International Volleyball

Pro Volleyball Federation: Just one team coming on board; free-agency signings galore

Pro Volleyball Federation: Just one team coming on board; free-agency signings galore

Brooke Nuneviller will be back in Omaha/Bonnie Ryan for Omaha Supernovas/Pro Volleyball Federation

The Pro Volleyball Federation opened its free-agency player-signing period last week, and while plenty of notable transactions occurred, free agency applied to coaches and franchises, too.

PVF, scheduled to have 10 teams in its second season in 2025, will now have eight: Indy is in;  Dallas and Kansas City are not.

And Atlanta, which never publically announced that first-year coach Todd Dagenais was out, hired former Nebraska great and Olympic libero Kayla Banwarth as its new coach.

Eight teams, not 10

PVF played its first season with teams in Atlanta, Columbus, Grand Rapids, Las Vegas Omaha, Orlando and San Diego.

The plan was to add franchises in 2025 in Indianapolis, Dallas and Kansas City. Indy is up and running and will be called the Ignite. The others? In a news release last week, in which PVF looked forward to 2025, there was no mention of Dallas or K.C., but it noted that there will be eight teams in 2025. 

We asked PVF CEO Jen Spicher for a statement:

“We continue to work on expansion,” she said. “In addition to our team in Indy, we look forward to working together with other ownership groups as well as new markets to bring teams to the courts in Pro Volleyball Federation.”

The Ignite will be coached by George Padjen, who was an assistant at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, for 21 years. During that time, Concordia won nine NCAA women’s Division II titles, the last in 2017.

Kuhn no longer interim, Banwarth to Atlanta

Omaha won the first PVF title and Laura “Bird” Kuhn led the team as the “interim head coach” almost the entire season. She was an assistant and took over after just two matches when the Supernovas “promoted” head coach Shelton Collier. 

Omaha went 17-7 under Kuhn, including its PVF semifinal win over San Diego and championship-winning victory over Grand Rapids.

Atlanta finished 19-6 and lost in five sets to Grand Rapids in the league’s semifinals on May 15. Dagenais, who came to Atlanta after a successful run at UCF, was let go shortly after.

Kayla Banwarth, who since the 2016 Rio Olympics was an assistant at Nebraska and head coach at Ole Miss, actually was on the Vegas Thrill preseason roster.

Ole Miss improved from 1-19 in 2020-21 to 21-9 in 2021 when the program made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. But her tenure there ended with 11 matches to go in the 2022 season.

Six of the eight teams…

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