May 13, 2024

Briggs blasts 17 kills as Supernovas drop regular season finale to Grand Rapids

Posted May 13, 2024 1:09 PM

Story by Supernovas Communications

GRAND RAPIDS, MI.- Rookie Paige Briggs had one of her best efforts of the season with a 17-kill performance as the Omaha Supernovas dropped a 16-25, 25-23, 25-23, 24-26, 10-15 five-set contest to the Grand Rapids Rise (12-12) Sunday night at Van Andel Arena. 

Omaha ends the regular season 16-8 including a 3-1 season series win over the Rise as the Supernovas regroup ahead of the first Pro Volleyball Federation Championship to take place in Omaha on May 15 and May 18. Omaha is locked in as the No. 2 seed and will face the San Diego Mojo (13-11) Wednesday night at the CHI Health Center in downtown Omaha at 8:30 p.m. The No. 4 seed Rise will face No. 1 seed Atlanta Vibe at 6 p.m. CDT on the same night. 

Briggs was the standout performer in a match that saw all of Omaha’s 14-person active roster get playing time. The Western Kentucky graduate earned all those kills in four sets as the usual starting seven for the Supernovas were subbed out after a 25-16 defeat in the opening set. No one else reached double-digit kills for Omaha, but another rookie in middle blocker Sophie Davis excelled with nine kills on a .316 hitting percentage. 

Allison Mayfield finished with eight kills on the afternoon to go with nine digs. Jess Schaben-Lansman added six kills and seven digs while Bethania de la Cruz and Stephanie Samedy each chipped in three. 

Hristina Vuchkova led the middle with four of Omaha’s eight blocks for a match high. She also added six kills on a .250 clip. Setter Sydney Hilley ran the show from set two onwards, dishing out 43 assists with 10 digs, three kills and one block. Gabby Thompson came in to relieve Kendall White at libero and finished with a team-high 16 digs 

In total, the Omaha offense hit .211 with eight blocks and four aces. Grand Rapids hit .276 with nine blocks as well as four aces. 

Claire Chaussee paced the Rise attack with a match-high 20 kills on a .444 clip along with nine digs. Opposite Morghan Fingail finished with 10 kills off the bench while Emiliya Dimitrova chipped in nine kills. Erika Pritchard added eight kills while Symone Abbott also had eight kills, but on a .500 hitting percentage. 

Set 1: Samedy earned the first Omaha kill to tie the set at one before de la Cruz put down her league-leading 32nd ace of the season. De la Cruz later put down her first kill to give the Supernovas a 4-3 lead. The two teams exchanged points before former Husker Kayla Coffey swatted down a middle attack to put Grand Rapids ahead 8-7 going into a media timeout. De la Cruz hit a shot down the line to tie the set. Nuneviller hammered her first kill to equal things at 10. The Rise popped off for a 5-0 run from there as Chaussee recorded two more kills and middle Marin Grote took care of an overpass to go up 15-10. Nuneviller posted another kill to end the run, but another net violation put the lead at 16-11 Grand Rapids going into the second media timeout. Pritchard and Grote put down back-to-back kills to extend the lead to 18-11. Samedy added consecutive kills to cut the lead to five, but a 3-0 run by the Rise made it an insurmountable lead at 21-13. De la Cruz and Dixon each added one more kill, but Chaussee put away her seventh kill of the set to give Grand Rapids a 25-16 opening-set win. 

The Rise hit .586 with 17 kills and only one error on 28 swings. Grand Rapids posted two blocks, but no aces. Chaussee recorded her seven kills on 10 swings while Pritchard added four. 

Omaha hit .267 with zero blocks and one ace. De la Cruz and Samedy paced the offense with three kills each while Nuneviller and Dixon had two kills apiece. 

Set 2: After a slew of Omaha lineup changes, Davis put down a kill off the slide to give the Supernovas a quick 1-0 lead. Maggie Cartwright slammed down a kill to equal the set at three. New setter Hilley came up with a solo block while Cartwright added her second kill to give Omaha a 6-5 lead. The Rise went on a 3-0 run including a Caffey kill to go up 8-6 into the first media timeout. Chaussee extended the run to four with her ninth kill. Vuchkova and Mayfield secured back-to-back blocks to end the run. Briggs and Vuchkova earned consecutive kills to tie the set at 12, but a 3-0 run followed for Grand Rapids as Ashley Evans earned a setter dump and Pritchard roofed a block. Briggs added another kill to end the run, but another Pritchard kill put the Rise up 16-13 going into the second media timeout. Back-to-back kills from Mayfield and Davis fueled a 4-0 run to give the Supernovas an 18-17 advantage. Chaussee used a back-row attack to tie the set at 18. Briggs muscled back-to-back kills to give Omaha a 22-21 edge before Mayfield added another kill to put the lead at 23-21. Evans put down a setter dump after feeling the block’s pressure to make it 23-22, but a Vuchkova slide made it set point for Omaha. A net violation by Caffey on a block gave the Supernovas the second set win to even up the match. 

Omaha hit .395 with 18 kills and only three hitting errors along with three blocks and no aces. Briggs and Mayfield had five kills each as they combined to hit .409 in the set. 

Grand Rapids .255 with two blocks and zero aces. Chaussee added eight more kills to her total on a .429 clip. 

Set 3: Briggs opened up the set with another kill with Mayfield adding another two points later. Schaben-Lansman slammed down her first kill of the match in her first few points to give Omaha a 3-2 lead. Briggs added a kill to tie the set at four. A Hilley setter dump began a 3-0 run for the Supernovas as Vuchkova added a block and Briggs recorded another kill to go up 7-5. A Grote slide kill ended the run, but a Vuchkova tally gave the Supernovas an 8-6 lead going into the first media timeout. The Rise came out to rally for a 5-2 run including an Evans ace and a pair of kills from Chaussee to even the set at 11. Schaben-Lansman pounded an out-of-system ball for Omaha to take a 14-13 lead. Hilley and Evans exchanged setter dumps before Briggs put down a kill to give the Supernovas a 16-15 lead going into the second media timeout. Tied at 17, Omaha mounted a 3-0 run as Briggs and Schaben-Lansman each added a kill, plus a Vuchkova solo block forced a Rise timeout at 20-17, Supernovas. Each team exchanged 2-0 runs to make it 22-19 Omaha. Fingail entered the match and delivered a kill to cut the Supernovas advantage to one before a Briggs kill and ace put Omaha at set point. The Rise fought back with a Pritchard kill and Grote ace to put the score at 24-23 Omaha to force a timeout. That timeout turned out to be fruitful as it forced a Grote service error to give the Supernovas a 25-23 set win and 2-1 match lead.

Omaha hit .275 with two blocks and the one Briggs ace. The Ortonville, Michigan native paced the offense with six kills on a .333 clip while Schaben-Lansman added three kills. 

Grand Rapids hit .244 with two aces and no blocks. Chaussee led her team for the third-straight set with five kills while Dimitrova chipped in four. 

Set 4: Davis opened up the set with a kill off a slide attack. A service and hitting error by the Rise gave the Supernovas a 3-1 lead. Another Davis kill kicked off a 3-0 run for Omaha as Schaben-Lansman put down a block and Briggs added a kill to put the Supernovas up 6-2. A net violation put the score at 7-3, but Grand Rapids rallied back with a 4-0 run to tie the set at seven. After Omaha took a 9-8 lead off a Rise hitting error, Grand Rapids mounted a 4-0 run off a Fingail kill and block to take a 12-9 advantage. An ace by Alyssa Jensen put the lead at 14-11 Grand Rapids, but Davis began a 3-0 run for Omaha with a cross body kill. That was followed by a Mayfield ace and Briggs kill to cut the lead to one. Briggs tied the set at 15 before an Abbott termination gave the Rise a 16-15 edge going into the second media timeout. A pair of Abbott kills fueled a 4-1 run for the Rise who took a 20-17 lead. Back-to-back Grand Rapids errors cut the lead to one, but another 3-1 run put the lead at 23-20 for the Rise. Omaha fired back with a 3-0 run stamped by a Schaben-Lansman block. Fingail gave the Rise set point, but Briggs fought it off with a kill. Consecutive kills from Molly Lohman and Fingail gave Grand Rapids the 26-24 set win to force a decisive fifth. 

The Rise hit .090 with two blocks and two aces. Fingail and Abbott paced the offense with five kills apiece. 

Omaha finished with a .083 hitting percentage with a trio of blocks and the lone Mayfield ace. The rookies Davis and Briggs each had a team-high five kills. 

Set 5: Schaben-Lansman posted a kill, but the Rise fired off for a 5-2 run to begin the set. A hitting error and Briggs kill cut the Rise lead to 7-5, but a Shannon Scully tool off the block upped the lead to three at 8-5. Back-to-back points from a Vuchkova kill and Briggs ace leveled the lead to one, but consecutive kills from Abbott put the lead back at 10-7. Schaben-Lansman put down another kill to make it 12-10, but a 3-0 run by Grand Rapids sealed the five-set win for the Rise. 

The Supernovas return to Omaha for the semifinals of the first Pro Volleyball Federation Championship. Omaha will take on the San Diego Mojo in the second semifinal on Wednesday, May 15 at the CHI Health Center. First serve is set for 8:30 p.m. CDT and will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Fans can listen to all the action live on the Supernovas Radio Network led by its flagship station 93.7 The Ticket.