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 Grand Rapids Rise

Three Matches in Five Days Await Rise

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

Grand Rapids Rise outside hitters Erika Pritchard (left) and Claire Chaussee
Grand Rapids Rise outside hitters Erika Pritchard (left) and Claire Chaussee
(Grand Rapids Rise, Credit: Nicolas Carrillo)

This Week's Matches

RISE (8-8) at Atlanta Vibe (15-4) // Tue., April 16 // 7 p.m. // Gas South Arena

Watch: YouTube at 7 p.m.

Season Series: 2-1 Overall, 1-0 Away. Fourth of four meetings overall, second of two at Gas South Arena

Noteworthy: Grand Rapids comes in having won two straight matches, and a third win a row would set a franchise record. Atlanta has strung together six consecutive wins. The Vibe lead the League with a 15-4 record and have already secured a playoff spot a month before postseason play starts on May 15.

RISE vs. Orlando Valkyries (7-10) // Thu., April 18 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

Listen: 96.1 The Game at 6:45 p.m.

Watch: YouTube at 7 p.m.

Season Series: 1-2 Overall, 0-1 Home. Fourth of four meetings overall, second of two at Van Andel Arena

Noteworthy: The Rise beat the Valkyries for the first time on April 11 with a 3-0 road sweep. Orlando had won the previous two meetings, including a five-set win inside Van Andel Arena. The Valkyries have fallen to fifth place in the League standings - one spot outside of playoff contention - after dropping their last two matches to the Rise and the San Diego Mojo last week.

RISE at Vegas Thrill (5-12) // Sat., April 20 // 10 p.m. ET // Lee's Family Forum

Watch: YouTube at 10 p.m.

Season Series: 2-1 Overall, 1-0 Home. Fourth of four meetings overall, second of two at Lee's Family Forum

Noteworthy: Grand Rapids avoided falling victim to another Vegas reserve sweep by winning a pivotal fifth set on Saturday. The Thrill are the only team the Rise have played two five-set matches against. Vegas is 1-7 when playing at home this season, with the lone victory coming against San Diego on Feb. 19.

Series Coming to a Close: The Grand Rapids Rise will wrap up three regular-season series this week against the Atlanta Vibe, Orlando Valkyries, and Vegas Thrill. It's the fourth and final time that Grand Rapids will play each of them in the inaugural Pro Volleyball Federation regular season. The Rise lead two out of three series by holding a 2-1 edge over Atlanta and Vegas. Orlando is currently up 2-1 on Grand Rapids. Head-to-head results could play an important role at the end of the season, as they are the first tiebreaker for the League standings. The second tiebreaker, if both teams beat each other twice during the season, is most match sweeps.

Atlanta, which became the first team to clinch a playoff berth on Sunday when San Diego defeated Orlando, has over half of the sweeps in the League this season with eight. Omaha is second with three, Grand Rapids has two, and the other four teams all have one 3-0 victory.

New Addition: The Rise signed 6-foot-3 middle blocker Molly Lohman on Monday. She became the first in-season addition in the franchise's brief history. To make room for Lohman on the active roster, middle blockers Sydney Bolding and Nia Grant were waived.

Lohman, a native of Mankato, Minnesota, has been playing professional for six seasons in six countries: France, Switzerland, Finland, United States, Hungary, and Philippines. She was named the best middle blocker in the 2021-22 Finnish Cup. Internationally, Lohman competed with the USA Collegiate national team at the 2016 Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia, where the team won gold and she was named the MVP of the tournament.

Lohman graduated from the University of Minnesota (2014-17) and was an AVCA All-American honorable mention in 2016. In the Minnesota volleyball record book, she still ranks third all-time in total blocks (536) and attack percentage (.356) with a minimum 1,000 attempts. During her junior season in 2016, Lohman totaled the second-most total blocks for the Golden Gophers in a single season with 177.

Go Go Gómez: After primarily being used as a defensive specialist and substitute server, Camila Gómez made her first start this season as the Rise's libero at Orlando on Thursday, April 11. The 5-foot-2 Colombian national team member played all three sets, collecting 11 digs and two assists. She made a handful of diving plays to extend key rallies. Gómez then got the nod to start again at libero on April 13 against Vegas. She picked up a team-high 17 digs and chipped in with four assists.

Set-By-Set Breakdown: A look at how the Rise have fared across the different sets:

*First Set: 11-5 with a +40 point differential (395-355); *Second Set: 10-6 with a +2 differential (370-368); *Third Set: 6-10 with a -2 point differential (380-382); *Fourth Set: 6-8 with a -9 point differential (337-346); *Fifth Set: 2-3 with a -5 point differential (60-65).

With eight regular-season matches remaining, Grand Rapids has a +26 point differential (1,542-1,516) and is 35-32 across all sets played. The Rise are 7-14 in sets decided by the minimum of two points and 15-11 in sets decided by five points or more.

Images from this story

Grand Rapids Rise outside hitters Erika Pritchard (left) and Claire Chaussee
Grand Rapids Rise outside hitters Erika Pritchard (left) and Claire Chaussee

(Nicolas Carrillo)

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