Omaha Supernovas

Supernovas Down Valkyries in Four Sets Behind Cartwright's Explosive Debut

February 25, 2024 - Pro Volleyball Federation (PVF)
Omaha Supernovas News Release

ORLANDO, FLA. - The Omaha Supernovas picked up its third road win of the season with a 30-28, 17-25, 25-23, 25-18 four-set win over the Orlando Valkyries Sunday night at Addition Financial Arena.

Maggie Cartwright popped off in her first professional volleyball action with 10 kills on a .250 clip in two sets. Setter Natalia Valentin-Anderson dished out 47 assists with 17 digs, two blocks and two kills as part of an all-around effort.

Team captain Brooke Nuneviller paced the offense with a team-high 15 kills to go with 14 digs for her fifth-straight double-double. Olympian Bethania de la Cruz chipped in nine kills with a season-high 16 digs. Middle blocker Tori Dixon added eight kills with a pair of blocks. Fellow middle Hristina Vuchkova had five kills on 13 swings for a .385 hitting percentage. Opposite Jess Schaben-Lansman contributed seven kills in two sets.

The Supernovas (5-3) hit .183 on 175 swings with eight blocks and three aces. Omaha totaled 82 digs and 51 assists.

Former Omaha draft pick Jill Gillen led the Valkyries with a match-high 18 kills with 11 digs and four blocks. Star outside hitter Adora Anae had 12 kills, but was limited to a .125 clip. Rookie Azhani Tealer was the third Orlando player to reach double digits with 14 kills. She also had four blocks.

The Valkyries (3-4) hit .201 and recorded a season-high 14 blocks. Orlando served three aces with 80 digs and 56 assists.

SET 1: The Valkyries used their block to shoot ahead 6-2 early in the set, recording a pair of stuffs. The Supernovas got going after that starting with a Dixon slide attack to end the run. Valentín-Anderson earned a kill with a dump attack which was followed by another Dixon kill to tie the match at seven marking a 5-1 Omaha run. The two teams went back and forth with Orlando grabbing a 15-13 edge at the media timeout following a kill by first-year pro Tealer.

Schaben-Lansman spearheaded a quick 3-0 run to tie the match with a kill and ace, but Orlando followed with three straight kills from Gillen to take an 18-16 lead. Sitting at 19-17 Orlando, the Supernovas popped off for a 6-1 run with an ace from Dixon as well as a block and a pair of kills from Nuneviller to lead 23-20. The Valkyries came out firing from their timeout scoring three straight to tie the match at 23. Capitalizing off a service error from Nuneviller, Anae secured an ace to mark set point, but a Schaben-Lansman kill kept the game alive. Omaha would survive two more set points before two consecutive Nuneviller kills gave the Supernovas a chance to end it. Valentín-Anderson and Vuchkova answered the call as the two combined for a stuff to give Omaha a 30-28 opening set win.

Omaha hit .176 in the set as Nuneviller and Schaben-Lansman each contributed five kills. Valentín-Anderson dished out 14 assists along with six digs and both of the Supernovas blocks in the set. Omaha also had two aces. Orlando had a .192 clip as first-year pro Gillen had eight kills while Anae added four. The Valkyries had three blocks and two aces.

SET 2: Orlando kept a consistent lead over Omaha in the early stages of the set, reaching a 6-2 lead with a pair of kills each from Gillen and Tealer. The Supernovas climbed back to cut the lead to 8-7 with two Nuneviller kills, but the Valkyries responded with three straight to go up 11-7. Tealer continued to wreck havoc securing two more kills leading to a 15-11 Orlando advantage at the media timeout.

Kaz Brown continued to put on the heat for Orlando securing a kill and block to make it 17-12 Valkyries. Omaha scored three straight off another Dixon ace and a Nuneviller tally to cut it to 17-15. The Valkyries rallied for three straight points of their own off two Anae kills and a block to earn a five-point edge at 20-15. Vuchkova scored a kill on a slide to end the run, but the Valkyries responded with a 5-1 run to win the set 25-17.

Orlando rolled offensively hitting .350 with one hitting error as Tealer paced her crew with six kills while Gillen had three and all of M'Kaela White, Brown and Anae each had two. The Valkyries dominated at the net with six blocks, but had no aces. Omaha hit .022 as Nuneviller and Dixon secured three kills. Schaben-Lansman tallied two kills while Vuchkova had one. The Supernovas had one block and one ace.

SET 3: Nothing could separate the two teams throughout the first portion of the set as neither squad could garner a lead bigger than two. Supernovas opposite Maggie Cartwright made her professional debut by getting the set start and came out firing with a block on the very first point. Later in the set, Cartwright hammered down back-to-back kills to make it 13-11 Omaha. Later in the set tied at 15, the Supernovas fired off a 6-1 run as de la Cruz added two more kills, plus another Cartwright tally to go up 21-16 and force a Valkyries timeout.

With their backs against the wall, Orlando fired back with an ace and two blocks as part of a 6-1 run to tie the match at 22. Dixon and Cartwright combined on a block to go up 23-22. Gillen pounded another kill to tie the match, but Cartwright replied with her sixth and final kill of the set to give Omaha set point. Valentin-Anderson sealed the deal with her second block as the Supernovas came out on top 25-23.

Omaha hit .220 in the set with four blocks and no aces. Cartwright paced the offense with six kills while Nuneviller had four. Vuchkova and de la Cruz each recorded two kills and Dixon had one. Orlando hit .175 with four blocks as well and one ace. Gillen and Anae each added five more kills to their total with Tealer recording three.

Set 4: It was another even start for both teams, but Cartwright continued her impressive debut with three of the Supernovas opening five points. Deadlocked at eight, de la Cruz found her offense with four-straight kills as part of a 5-0 Omaha run to give the Supernovas a 12-8 advantage. Orlando used a 4-1 run to cut the lead to two, but Omaha ran the lead back up to five at 20-15 off a pair of Valkyrie hitting errors and two Nuneviller kills. The Supernovas extended their lead to 22-18 with another kill from de la Cruz and Dixon. Omaha capped off the win with three straight points off an Orlando service and hitting error which was followed by a Cartwright block to seal the set 25-18.

The Supernovas continue their road trip with a rematch against the Atlanta Vibe on February 29 at 6 p.m. CST inside Gas South Arena.

Fans can listen to all the action on the Supernovas Radio Network which is led by the flagship station, 93.7 The Ticket. Radio coverage is also on 95.7 The Boss (Omaha), KRVN (Lexington), KOLT (Scottsbluff) and KTOC (West Point).

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