Schaben to play for Omaha Supernovas
Former HCHS Cyclone and Iowa State Cyclone volleyball standout Jess Schaben has signed to play with Nebraska’s first major league professional volleyball team, the Supernovas.
“When this opportunity came up, I wasn’t necessarily expecting it to happen, but I got the call and it was a no-brainer,” Schaben said. “It’s such a historic moment for women’s sports. As a little kid, I always dreamed of playing professional volleyball, and I didn’t really think it was possible. The fact that it was Omaha, Nebraska, which is where I played all my club volleyball growing up, and to have a professional volleyball team, it doesn’t even feel real. It feels like a dream come true.”
During her high school days, Schaben led her team in multiple categories during her senior season with 560 kills and 71 blocks, along with taking her team to back-to-back state championships her junior and senior year.
“We were a part of the 2014 and 2015 volleyball and basketball teams to win back-to-back state championships,” she said. “My mom was the volleyball coach for Harlan pretty much my entire life, so she has coached me since I was little, and she’s actually the one who really got me interested in volleyball.”
In college, Schaben was widely regarded as one of the best to ever put on a Cyclone uniform. She achieved more than 300 kills in all four of her seasons, the most in Cyclone history. She is also one of only three players to notch 1,500 kills and 1,000 career digs as a Cyclone.
“I feel like the luckiest person in the world with the coaches I’ve had,” Schaben said. “Christy Johnson is one of the best college coaches in the country.”
Following her college career, Schaben continued playing volleyball at the beach for the LSU Tigers earning herself a gold medal as a member of the 2018 USA Collegiate National Beach Team.
“There was a moment where I kind of had to decide if I wanted to continue playing volleyball or go overseas and figure out what life after college volleyball was like,” she added. “I didn’t necessarily want to leave the country, but I wanted to continue playing. It was supposed to be a year, but because of COVID, it ended up being two years. That was such a great experience.”
Schaben credited the people around her that have helped her along the way and been an inspiration to her who have supported her throughout the journey she’s had with volleyball.
“I have two older brothers, who also went to Harlan,” she said. “They were at every single game. My whole family has been a huge factor. The support of both my parents, they gave up so much time and sacrifice to be able make my dreams happen. I would be nothing without them. My husband, we started dating in middle school, and he’s been with me through every step of the way.”
With the Supernovas being Nebraska’s first women’s professional volleyball team, Schaben talked about the opportunity to make a mark in professional sports history.
“It’s so cool that women’s volleyball and volleyball in general is on the rise,” she said. “Nebraska Volleyball Day is where they broke a world record in attendance where people came, and I was at that game. I think the main thing is just to give young girls and kids a dream that they can actually make it happen. It’s really incredible what volleyball has become in our country.”
The Supernovas led by Supernovas head coach Shelton Collier begin their season Jan. 24, 2024 at 7 p.m. at the CHI Health Center in Omaha against the Atlanta Vibe.