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 Grand Rapids Rise

League-Leading Vibe Best Rise in Four Sets

April 16, 2024 - Pro Volleyball Federation (PVF)
Grand Rapids Rise News Release

Grand Rapids Rise outside hitter Symone Abbott
Grand Rapids Rise outside hitter Symone Abbott
(Grand Rapids Rise, Credit: Nicolas Carrillo)

ATLANTA - Winning a close first frame but dropping the next three, the Grand Rapids Rise suffered a four-set road loss to the first place Atlanta Vibe on Tuesday at Gas South Arena. Atlanta (16-4 overall) has now won a League-best seven consecutive matches and snapped the Rise's two-match winning streak in the process. The Vibe won by set scores of 23-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-15.

The Rise (8-9) eked out a 25-23 win in a key opening set, as the Vibe entered the match unbeaten (14-0) when claiming the first set. The frame was last tied at 20-20 before Emiliya Dimitrova and Claire Chaussee combined to score the Rise's final five points. Chaussee had eight kills and five digs in the first set. Middle blocker Marin Grote also had a highlight reel power kill from the middle of the court to spur Grand Rapids on during the frame.

Grand Rapids is now 8-14 in sets decided by two points, while Atlanta only dropped its second set all season by the minimum (16-2). The Rise improved to 12-5 in opening sets.

A 5-0 run helped Grand Rapids get back within a point of the Vibe in the second set, 13-12. The score was eventually tied at 17-17 following a Dimitrova kill. Atlanta then went on a 4-0 run to take a 21-17 advantage. The Rise rallied to get within a point at 22-21 but Atlanta closed out the second set with a 3-1 run. Leah Edmond powered down multiple kills down the stretch and led the Vibe with 11 kills through the first two sets.

Recently signed middle blocker Molly Lohman made her Rise debut in the second set as a serving substitute late in the frame. Her first Pro Volleyball Federation serve was nearly an ace that eventually resulted in a Chaussee kill.

Tied at one set apiece, Atlanta jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the third set. Rise head coach Cathy George went to her bench and brought in Symone Abbott and Alyssa Jensen for a fresh look. The change in rotation ignited a 9-2 run to put the Rise ahead 13-11. Locked at 16-16, Grand Rapids got a kill from Abbott, a Vibe attack error, and block from Grote to forge ahead by three points. Atlanta responded with its own 3-0 run to even the score at 19-19 and regained the momentum. Back-to-back kills from Shelly Fanning helped the Vibe shut the door, 25-22.

Lohman's first Rise kill stopped a 4-0 Vibe to begin the fourth set. Atlanta pushed on to a 10-3 lead before George called a timeout. The deficit was too large to overcome as the Vibe cruised to a 25-15 set victory to win the match. Morgahn Fingall, Sarah Sponcil, and Mac Podraza all got playing time for the Rise in the fourth set after not seeing any action through the first three stanzas.

The Rise and Vibe both finished with a trio of attackers getting double-digit kills. Grand Rapids was paced by Chaussee (15, .159), Dimitrova (12, .140), and Grote (10, .385). Atlanta's offensive contributions came from Edmond (19, .271), Grace Cleveland (11, .276), and Alli Linnehan (10, .333). The Vibe finished with a better team hitting percentage than the Rise, .253 to .171.

Atlanta middle blocker Magda Jehlárová collected a match-high six blocks and Cleveland had five to help the Vibe finish with seven more blocks than the Rise (15-8). Defensively for the Rise, four players ended with double figures in digs: Camila Gómez (20, new season best), Dimitrova (14), Shannon Scully (10), and Chaussee (11).


Thirteen of the 14 players on the Rise roster saw playing time on Tuesday. Erika Pritchard was the only Grand Rapids player who didn't get into the action. Nine different Rise players recorded a kill.

Vibe opposite hitter Anna Lazareva rested and didn't play against the Rise. She is averaging 16.3 points per match this season.

Edmond also collected 19 digs to go with her match-high 19 kills. The Vibe dug up 87 balls in total with Morgan Hentz and Marlie Monserez leading the way with 20 digs each.

Atlanta tied the season series with Grand Rapids with the win, 2-2. The Rise won the first two meetings, and the Vibe took the last two head-to-head matches.

Photo Gallery

Box Score

GR 25 22 22 15 - 1

ATL 23 25 25 25 - 3

Team Leaders

GR: Kills - Claire Chaussee 15, Emiliya Dimitrova 12, Marin Grote 10; Assists - Ashley Evans 41, Mac Podraza 3, Dimitrova 3; Aces - Grote 1; Blocks - Grote 3, Shannon Scully 2, Dimitrova 2; Digs - Camila Gómez 20, Dimitrova 12, Scully 12, Chaussee 11.

ATL: Kills - Leah Edmond 19, Grace Cleveland 11, Alli Linnehan 10; Assists - Marlie Monserez 44, Morgan Hentz 9; Aces - Linnehan 2, Magda Jehlárová 1, G; Blocks - Jehlárová 6, Cleveland 5, Edmond 3; Digs - Hentz 20, Monserez 20, Edmond 19.

Record / Next Match

Grand Rapids: 8-9 / Thu., April 18 vs. Orlando Valkyries, 7 p.m.

Atlanta: 16-4 / Fri., April 19 at Columbus Fury, 7 p.m.

Images from this story

Grand Rapids Rise outside hitter Symone Abbott
Grand Rapids Rise outside hitter Symone Abbott

(Nicolas Carrillo)

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