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 Grand Rapids Rise

Rise Face Omaha, Columbus in Final Regular-Season Road Trip

April 22, 2024 - Pro Volleyball Federation (PVF)
Grand Rapids Rise News Release

Grand Rapids Rise in action
Grand Rapids Rise in action
(Grand Rapids Rise, Credit: Nicolas Carrillo)

This Week's Matches

RISE (10-9) at Omaha Supernovas (12-6) // Fri., April 26 // 9:30 p.m. ET // CHI Health Center

Watch: CBS Sports Network at 9:30 p.m.

Season Series: 0-2 Overall, 0-1 Away. Third of four meetings overall, second of two at CHI Health Center

Noteworthy: Grand Rapids has won four of its last five matches and is back above the .500 mark for the first time since March 26. Omaha has won five straight home matches. The Supernovas have had six home matches with over 10,000 fans, peaking at a record 12,090 on March 16 against the Orlando Valkyries - the most ever for an indoor women's professional volleyball match. This will be the first Omaha match being broadcast nationally by CBS Sports Network. If the season ended today, second-seeded Omaha would face third-seeded Grand Rapids in the first round of the Pro Volleyball Federation Championship on May 15 in Omaha.

RISE at Columbus Fury (6-11) // Sun., April 28 // 2 p.m. // Nationwide Arena

Watch: YouTube at 2 p.m.

Season Series: 3-0 Overall, 1-0 Away. Fourth of four meetings overall, second of two at Nationwide Arena

Noteworthy: The Rise have won all three previous meetings over the Fury with a 9-2 set record. It's the final regular-season road match for Grand Rapids. Columbus had lost six straight matches before upsetting the League-leading Atlanta Vibe on April 19. The Fury will host the Orlando Valkyries two days prior to this contest, on April 26.

Playoff Push: With four wins in their last five matches, the Grand Rapids Rise are closing in on securing a postseason berth. The top four Pro Volleyball Federation teams will make the playoffs, with the Atlanta Vibe already claiming a spot. The Rise have a magic number of two (wins) over seventh-place Vegas, four over sixth-place Columbus, and three over fifth-place Orlando. The magic number decreases by one every time Grand Rapids wins or that opponent loses. When the magic number reaches zero, that team can no longer overtake the Rise in the standings. (All magic numbers include one extra win, to avoid a tiebreaker.) Therefore, Grand Rapids needs three out the seven teams to reach zero to make the playoffs. The magic number table can be viewed below:

In the simplest terms, the Rise will clinch a playoff spot with three more wins and Columbus losing one of its seven remaining matches. If Orlando drops one more match and Columbus loses twice, then Grand Rapids would need to win only two out of its remaining five matches.

The Supernovas currently need two more wins, or a win and a Columbus loss, to punch their ticket to championship week that they will be hosting at the CHI Health Center in Omaha on May 15-18.

Fingall to the Rescue: Rise opposite hitter Morgahn Fingall was called off the bench late in third set against the Vegas Thrill on April 20 after star player Emiliya Dimitrova went down with an ankle injury. Fingall rose to the occasion and helped Grand Rapids close a four-set win over the Thrill. She set a Rise single-match record bolstering a .733 hitting percentage (minimum 10 attack attempts) with 11 kills and no attack errors on 15 swings. For comparison, Fingall entered the match with only four kills and seven attack errors on 16 attempts (-.188) in seven sets played.

Fingall was drafted by the Rise in the first round, fourth overall, of the 2023 Pro Volleyball Federation draft that was held in December. She is the only Rise draft selection (out of five) that remains on the team.

Go Go Gómez: After primarily being used as a defensive specialist and substitute server, Camila Gómez has started the last five matches for the Rise at libero. The Rise are 4-1 in those matches with Gómez averaging 17 digs per set. She has 89 digs and 16 assists in 43 sets played this season.

Mini Milestones Tracker: The following achievements were accomplished in the April 20 match against the Vegas Thrill:

Fingall: First match with double-digit kills, first pro block;

Gómez: Fifth-straight match with double-digit digs;

Dimitrova: Fifth match with 15-plus digs;

Ashley Evans: Fifth match with 50-plus assists.

Images from this story

Grand Rapids Rise in action
Grand Rapids Rise in action

(Nicolas Carrillo)

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