OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha Supernovas and its owners received high-level endorsements and recognitions this week by the City of Omaha and the State of Nebraska with a Gubernatorial Proclamation, Omaha City Council Proclamation, and the two owners present at the first match on Wednesday, Danny White, and Chris Erickson, being presented Keys to the City of Omaha.
In the pre-match presentation, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert presented Danny White and Chris Erickson with Keys to the City. The third team owner, Jason Derulo, appeared via video on the center-hung screen, from California where he was recording a music video with music icon Michael Bublé.
In the greeting video, Derulo shared, “We’re here to congratulate all the amazing ladies playing tonight and all across the country at Pro Volleyball. We’re so excited. We’re happy for you. Thank you for being a part of history.”
Speaking to the athletes and fans, Bublé added, “We’re really proud of you all. Congratulations!”
On receiving the Keys to the City, White shared, “It is an honor for City+Ventures to have one more way in our portfolio to support and grow our local hometown community and state, and also to support these amazing athletes throughout the entire United States. Thank you to Mayor Stothert for joining us for the first match and supporting this incredible world-class experience here in Omaha. Her support and leadership, and that of the Governor, First Lady and Omaha City Council, is appreciated.
Erickson added, “Having a national presence, focused in Omaha, is meaningful on many levels and being named the Official Pro Volleyball Team of the State of Nebraska has special meaning as we appreciate this moment of the record-breaking first match and the performance of these world-class athletes. We want to thank Mayor Stothert, the Governor and First Lady, and City Councilmembers for these recognitions.”
“As Mayor, one of my greatest pleasures is to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to Omaha by presenting a Key to the City. Many have made tonight possible, but special thanks go to team owners Danny White, Chris Erickson, and Jason Derulo,” Mayor Stothert said. “We are proud to be the home of the Omaha Supernovas and the home court for the first match of the Pro Volleyball Federation.”
Also in the pre-match show, First Lady of the State of Nebraska, Suzanne Pillen, read a Gubernatorial proclamation which declared the day “Professional Volleyball Day in Nebraska.” The proclamation also noted that Nebraska Pro Volleyball is “Nebraska’s OFFICIAL major league professional volleyball in our Great State with the Omaha Supernovas.”
On Tuesday, Omaha City Council proclaimed the day of the match, Wednesday, January 24 as “Omaha Supernovas Day,” recognizing the Omaha Supernovas as Nebraska’s professional volleyball team which includes the very best volleyball players from around the world, and only a few select stars become Supernovas.
Omaha City Council President, Pete Festersen, shared, “We’re excited to begin a new era of women’s professional sports in the City of Omaha. These are top notch athletes representing our city and raising our profile throughout the country. I was excited to attend the first game along with the volleyball players in my family.”
Supernovas President, Diane Mendenhall, and team executives Jen Rae Wang and Michael Stephens attended the City Council meeting for the recognition and to thank the council on behalf of the team and owners, while players and coaches were at practice for the opener that day.
Wednesday’s attendance set a U.S. record for women’s professional volleyball, with more than 11, 600 fans at CHI Health Center to witness the historic match between the Omaha Supernovas and the Atlanta Vibe. The Supernovas continue their homestand, facing the San Diego Mojo on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 6:00 p.m. CST.
The Supernovas are one of seven U.S. teams for the 2024 Pro Volleyball Federation inaugural season: Omaha Supernovas, Atlanta Vibe, Columbus Fury, Grand Rapids Rise, Orlando Valkyries, San Diego Mojo and Vegas Thrill. Three expansion teams, Dallas Pro Volleyball, Indianapolis Pro Volleyball Kansas City Pro Volleyball, have been announced for 2025. The Supernovas will have 12 home and 12 away matches as part of a 24-match schedule across a 16-week regular season.
When the regular season concludes, the Supernovas are aiming to be one of the top four teams in the standings that will compete for the Pro Volleyball Federation National Championship in May. The location of the championship will be determined and announced later this season.
The Omaha Supernovas roster includes a mix of U.S. and international Olympians, NCAA National Champions and All-Americans and Olympians. That also includes two college practice players. The Supernovas final roster is No. 1 Natalia Valentín-Anderson, S; No. 2 Sydney Hilley, S; No. 3 Kendall White, L; No. 5 Brooke Nuneviller, OH; No. 6 Tori Dixon, MB; No. 7 Gina Mancuso-Prososki, OH; No. 10 Jess Schaben-Lansman, OH; No. 13 Paige Briggs, OH; No. 14 Nia Reed, OPP; No. 15 Allison Mayfield, OH; No. 18 Bethania de la Cruz, OH; No. 23 Gabby Thompson, L; No. 27 Emma Willis, MB; and No. 81 Danielle Hart, MB; as well as practice players No. 24 Sophia Davis, MB and No. 25 Maggie Cartwright, OPP.
The Supernovas are led by AVCA Hall of Fame Head Coach Shelton Collier, who brings a 41-year volleyball coaching career to Omaha. He’s aided by one of the top coaching staff in the Pro Volleyball Federation which includes nationally celebrated coaches Laura ‘Bird’ Kuhn, John Corbelli and John Xie.