Advertisement

Rise prepares to face Omaha in PVF Championship

Rise prepares to face Omaha in PVF Championship

OMAHA, Neb. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Rise was the first team to join the Pro Volleyball Federation. Now, it could be the first team to win the PVF Championship.

The Rise will take on the Omaha Supernovas Saturday in the championship match.

The two have faced off four times this season, which makes preparing more difficult.

Rise upset Vibe, are now 1 win away from $1M

Head coach Cathy George says every match involves switching things up to throw their opponents off. Just like the Rise plans to attack Omaha’s weaknesses Saturday, the Supernovas plan to do the same — but George and the team are ready for the challenge.

“I want them to fight, I want them to stay together and I want them to enjoy that moment, because it’s something else. You know, when you play like that and you play to win and you get after it, everything falls into place,” George said. “And you know what? Both teams are really great, so we’re going to do our very best.”

PLAYER SPOTLIGHTS

George recruited middle blocker Alyssa Jensen to the Rise. The two knew each other from Michigan State.

Jensen said having an established relationship before with George has made the experience much more comfortable. She had a baby not too long ago, and coming back to a demanding career in professional sports is hard — but George helped her get back up to speed, didn’t rush her and made sure she knew she could be a mom and a pro athlete.

Outside hitter Erika Pritchard is a three-year pro, but she got more time on the court later in the season.

“I’ve been coming back from an ACL injury, so just having that recovery, it’s been amazing to go through it with all of my PTs and my coaches that have helped me,” Pritchard said. “Being able to help the team as much as I can, I’m glad I was able to do that. My teammates have been supportive this whole time.”

“We took it slow with Erika just because we wanted to make sure that she was strong enough and that she had confidence,” George said. “Sometimes, coming back from one of those … your mind has to come back with your body and I think she’s done that quite nicely. It’s been a nice transition to see her play more and more as the season goes on.”

Pritchard has 96 points through 12 matches.

Rise’s Dimitrova to retire from pro volleyball

Star opposite hitter Emiliya Dimitrova has been a constant for the team, but she’s retiring after the championship game.

George said Dimitrova is always intense in practice, but it’s clear Dimitrova really wants this win.

GAME SET FOR SATURDAY

There’s a lot more than a trophy on the line Saturday — the winning team gets a $1 million grand prize. It all goes down at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WOODTV.com.