May 07, 2024

Supernovas sweep Thrill again to take season series

Posted May 07, 2024 12:15 PM

Story by Supernovas Communications

HENDERSON, NV. - The Omaha Supernovas (15-7) earned a sweep of the Vegas Thrill (8-15) for the second-straight match (25-16, 25-23, 25-16) to win the season series and officially claim the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Pro Volleyball Federation Championship. The season’s inaugural championship will take place at the CHI Health Center in Omaha on May 15 and May 18. 

Omaha will either take on the Grand Rapids Rise, Columbus Fury or San Diego Mojo in the semifinal showdown at 8:30 p.m. on May 15. 

The Supernovas were boosted by a .286 team hitting percentage which is the third-highest clip they’ve achieved this season and the highest since hitting .299 against the Orlando Valkyries on Feb. 18. Team captain Brooke Nuneviller led the offensive charge with a match-high 10 kills to go with 14 digs and one block. Nuneviller was the only player to reach double-digit kills from either side. Opposite Stephanie Samedy added nine kills while Olympian Bethania de la Cruz posted seven kills and her league-leading 30th ace of the season. 

The two Omaha middle blockers Tori Dixon and Hristina Vuchkova had another extremely efficient night from the middle. Dixon put down seven kills on a .375 clip and two blocks while Vuchkova earned four kills on a .500 hitting percentage along with a match-high four blocks. The two middles have combined for 27 kills on a .426 clip over the two-match road trip. 

Setter Natalia Valentín-Anderson handed out 32 assists in three sets as well as 15 digs and one kill. Libero Kendall White dug out 12 balls on the night. The Supernovas finished with seven team blocks and two aces. 

Rookie outside hitter Hannah Maddux paced the Thrill offense with nine kills while opposite Khat Bell finished with eight. Middle Berkeley Oblad posted eight kills on 22 swings with no errors for a .364 hitting percentage. The Thrill finished with five blocks and three aces in their home finale. 

Set 1: The Supernovas shot out to a 7-3 advantage out of the gate as Dixon slammed down two kills while de la Cruz and Samedy added their first kills of the match. Bell earned a pair of kills to end the run, but a slew of hitting errors gave Omaha a 9-4 edge. Vuchkova tallied her first kill of the match off an overpass. Another hitting error made it an 11-4 Supernovas lead, forcing a Vegas timeout. De la Cruz added two more kills to extend the Supernovas run to 7-1. Nuneviller put down her first kill to give Omaha a 15-6 lead. Bell later fueled a 5-1 run for the Thrill which also included a McKenna Vicini ace. Vuchkova posted another kill while a Vegas hitting error halted the Thrill momentum. Vuchkova used the slide for her third kill of the set while de la Cruz earned a crafty kill to force a Vegas timeout at 23-15, Omaha. De la Cruz gave the Supernovas set point before a Bell hitting error gave Omaha the 25-16 set win. 

The Supernovas hit .412 with only one hitting error on 34 swings as well as one block, but no aces. De la Cruz paced the offense with five kills while Vuchkova and Samedy each finished with three. 

Vegas hit .094 with one block and one ace. Bell posted four kills while rookie Maddux had three. 

Set 2: Maddux gave Vegas a 3-2 lead early, but the Supernovas answered with a 7-1 run. Nuneviller earned four kills in that burst, including three straight while Dixon earned an ace to give Omaha a 9-4 lead. Nuneviller added her fifth kill before the halfway point of the set. The Thrill used the hard serving from Payton Caffrey to garner momentum serving an ace as part of a 5-1 run to get within two. A 4-1 run from Vegas tied the match at 18 as Vicini dropped in another ace while Oblad and Caffrey put down kills. A kill by setter Alisha Glass Childress and Maddux extended the Vegas lead to 20-18, but de la Cruz responded with back-to-back kills to tie the set again. The Thrill took a 22-21 advantage off an Omaha four-hit violation, but a 3-0 run off a trio of hitting errors gave the Supernovas a 24-22 lead. Maddux slammed down a kill to make it second set point for Omaha, but Samedy shut the door with a tool off the block for a 25-23 set two win. 

The Supernovas hit .200 with three blocks and the lone Dixon ace. Nuneviller came alive for six kills in the set on a .455 hitting percentage. 

Vegas hit .175 with three blocks and two aces. Oblad put down five kills on 10 swings for a .500 clip while Maddux added three kills. 

Set 3: The Supernovas kept their momentum into the third set as Dixon started things off with a block. Samedy followed up with a kill while a Vegas hitting error quickly gave Omaha a 3-0 lead. Oblad ended the run at three with a kill. Dixon and Nuneviller each added one more kill while another Maddux hitting woe lifted the Supernovas lead to 6-1, forcing a Thrill timeout. Vegas answered with back-to-back points of a Maddux kill and Bell block. Three more errors extended the Omaha lead to 10-4 before the Thrill picked up the slack with a 5-1 run including two more kills from Bell. After getting back within three at 14-11, the Supernovas went on a run of their own as Dixon put down two more kills and earned a block to force a Vegas timeout at 18-12. Vuchkova came up with a block and a kill while Nuneviller and Samedy tacked on another termination to lengthen the Omaha run to six-straight points to go up 22-13. A service error gave the Supernovas match point before another Vegas hitting mistake gave Omaha the match win at 25-16. 

The Supernovas return to Omaha for their home finale against the Columbus Fury on Thursday, May 9 at the CHI Health Center. First serve is set for 7 p.m. CDT with News Channel Nebraska providing television coverage. Fans can listen to all the action live on the Supernovas Radio Network led by its flagship station 93.7 The Ticket.