Monday, 26 February 2024

International Volleyball

All seven Pro Volleyball Federation rosters, info, outlooks

All seven Pro Volleyball Federation rosters, info, outlooks

The Pro Volleyball Federation’s first serve is two days away.

Five of the new league’s franchises will be in action this week, starting Wednesday night when the Omaha Supernovas play host to the Atlanta Vibe  (8 p.m. Eastern, Stadium streaming sports network, News Channel Nebraska). The next day the Columbus Fury enterain the Grand Rapids Rise and on Friday the Orlando Valkries are home for Atlanta.

At the 11th hour, the PVF was hit with a significant defection when opposite Willow Johnson, who had been penciled in as a cornerstone of the San Diego franchise, apparently has spurned the Mojo and jumped to a team in the South Korean pro league, the Heunghkuh Life Pink Ladies. The Inchon squad posted a graphic on social media welcoming the former Oregon standout, daughter of Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson, who has been shown as “suspended” on the PVF transactions list. The Mojo don’t play until February 1 when they go to Atlanta.

The Supernovas lined up local TV coverage for the historic match on Wednesday at the CHI Health Center in Omaha. News Channel Nebraska will air the opener to the more than 500,000 homes it reaches statewide, with John Baylor (longtime voice of Nebraska volleyball) and former Nebraska star and Olympian Nancy (Meendering) Metcalf on the call.

Atlanta Vibe

Opening match: January 24, at Omaha Supernovas
Arena: Gas South Arena (capacity 13,100), Duluth, Georgia
Coach: Todd Dagenais
Projected starting lineup
Leah Edmond (Kentucky) OH
Alli Linnehan (Kentucky) OH
Shelly Fanning (Baylor) MB
Karis Watson (Clemson) MB
Grace Cleveland (Purdue) OPP
Tori Dilfer-Stringer (Louisville) S
Morgan Hentz (Stanford) L
Key reserves
Yossiana Pressley (Baylor) OPP
Magda Jehlarova (Washington State) MB (on “exempt” list)
Leketor Member-Meneh (Pittsburgh) OH
Whitney Bower (Brigham Young) S
Regan Pittman (Minnesota) MB
Chiamaka Nwokolo (Pittsburgh) OH
Marlie Monserez (UCLA) S
Anna Lazareva (Russia) OPP (on “exempt” list)
Noteworthy: The Vibe look lethal on the left side with former Wildcat teammates Edmond and Linnehan. High-flying Pressley was picked up on waivers. The team traded up to snare Jehlarova with the No. 2 pick in the draft and the Czech national could be a breakout star, even though she will miss some matches because of visa issues and will start the season on the “exempt” list. Hentz should be the league’s best libero.

Columbus Fury

Opening match: January 25, at Grand Rapids Rise

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