Thursday, June 13, 2024

Mojo Pro Volleyball: Apr 29 Free Tickets for Military, Team Defeats Supernovas in Five, Plays Monday Versus Valkyries (Updated)

4/29/2024 The article was updated to include a link to free tickets to April 29 game for members of the military and their families.

Free tickets for Members of the Military and Their Families!

Monday, April 29 at 7 p.m. 

San Diego Mojo Women’s Professional Volleyball versus the Orlando Valkyries

Viejas Arena at San Diego State University

Member of the Military: Get free tickets here

4/28/24. The article was updated to reflect Friday’s 4/26/24 match versus the Vegas Thrill and to share an overview of the upcoming match on Mon, April 29.

The San Diego Mojo Women’s Professional Volleyball team pulled off a remarkable upset against the league’s second-ranked Omaha Supernovas, winning in thrilling five-set fashion, 19-25, 25-17, 25-22, 21-25, 15-8, at SDSU’s Viejas Arena on Tuesday evening. The Mojo have won five of their last seven matches and are sitting solidly in the coveted fourth place in the league. The top four teams make it to the playoffs, where a $1 million grand prize is at stake.

“This team is incredibly passionate about making the final four and this is the way they do that,” said coach Tayyiba Haneef-Park. “This was a team win.”

The Mojo lost the first and fourth sets and the rebound after each was especially impressive.

The Mojo began the second set with a 10-3 run. The Supernovas followed with their own 9-4 run to close to 14-12. Haneef-Park called a time out to get her team to regroup. Whatever she said worked. The Mojo ended the set on an 11-5 run to win 25-17. Similarly, after losing the fourth set, the Mojo bounced back and led the entire fifth set after 3-3, winning nine of the set’s final 12 points.

“These girls are one of the most resilient teams I’ve ever been a part of”  -Coach Tayyiba Haneef-Park.

Four players scored in double figures. Temi Thomas-Ailara led the way with 27 points off of 22 kills. Willow Johnson played in only her second match, scoring 18 points off of 14 kills, three blocks, and one ace. Lindsey Vander Weide came off the bench to score 16 with 11 kills and five blocks, while Alison Bastianelli led the team in blocks with seven, to go along with six kills and a 50% kill rate.

April Achievements

The team’s record in April is 5-2. No other team has had the meteoric rise of the Mojo. “These girls are one of the most resilient teams I’ve ever been a part of. You can’t hold them down for very long,” said Haneef-Park. “They are very very passionate. They are very disciplined. What I enjoy is that they demand more of us as coaches which pushes us to our limit.”

Of note are wins in three of the past four matches, all five sets. The most thrilling was a win against the Orlando Valkyries, where the teams traded match-point opportunities in the fifth set. The Mojo had the first match point at 14-13 and the Valkyries had two chances at 15-14 and 16-15 but failed to convert. The Mojo finally won the final set, 18-16, off a kill by Thomas-Ailara.

Mojo Vs. Vegas Thrill

The Mojo lost in five sets on Friday night, 21-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 13-15. This was the Mojo’s fifth straight five-set match.

The seven teams in the league play each other four times. The Mojo have already played the top two teams four times each. Four of their final six matches are against sub-400 teams.

Next Up

The Mojo’s next match is home against the Orlando Valkyries at 7 p.m. on Mon, April 29 at SDSU’s Viejas Arena. The Mojo are 1-1 versus the Valkyries. Both contests went five sets, including the most recent, when both teams traded match points before the Mojo won the fifth, 18-16. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a FREE bucket hat. Get tickets here.

Playing in her second match of the season, Willow Johnson provided additional power to an already strong roster. Photo by Micah Cunningham


  • Setter Nootsara Tomkom was named the Player of the Week for the week of April 17, the first Mojo player to earn the honor, after leading the team to two wins during the week. Tomkom is one of the most dominant setters in the league.
  • According to YouTube commentator Jake Herman, Ronika Stone is the only player in the league who has more service aces than service errors.
  • At one point, more than 10,000 tuned in to YouTube to watch the Mojo defeat the Supernovas.
Kendra Dahlke and Ronika Stone block the attack by the Omaha Supernovas. Photo credit Micah Cunningham

Volleyball Terms (return to article)

Attacker. Player whose main job it is to attack and block. The attacker may play in position of Outside Hitter, Opposite, or Middle Blocker.

Libero. The player who plays only in the back row and typically runs the defense. She wears a jersey that is a different color from the rest of the team. The Libero’s main job is to receive serves, and to “dig” balls when on defense.

Setter. The player who typically makes the second contact before the ball goes over the net. The setter’s job is to get the ball to one of the attacking players. The setter must communicate with the players so that they know who is expected to hit the ball and where the “set” will go. The setter usually makes contact with two hands.

Reception. First contact after a service. In general, the reception should be passed to the team’s setter.

Positive Reception. In Real Pro Volleyball, receptions are judged on a 4-point scale. The league’s explanation of statistics states that a score of 4 is perfect, “the setter doesn’t move,” and a score of 3 is good, “The setter can set all front row players.” A positive reception rate is the sum of all receptions judged to be a 3 or 4 divided by the total number of receptions.

Hit/Attack/Spike. Typically the third contact before the ball goes over the net that the player strikes with one hand at a downward angle.

Kill. An unreturnable attack that results in a point for the attacking team.

In System. The pass goes where the setter wants it so that the setter can set to all offensive options. When a team is playing “in system” an attacker is more likely to get a “kill” than when the team is Out of System. Return to article.

Sites reviewed for support with the terms:,,,,,

Lisa Lamb
Lisa Lamb
Lisa’s passion for sports journalism stems from her experiences playing high school sports and reading great sports journalists, especially those who write about her favorite basketball team, the San Diego State Aztecs. As a professor of mathematics education, she enjoys analyzing data to highlight the statistics that help bring the story to life. Lisa has lived in Coronado for almost 20 years with her husband and son. She loves the friendly neighborhood community and the walkable access to wonderful restaurants and parks.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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