OMAHA, Neb. -- On Monday, Nebraska Pro Volleyball announced the first two player signings for the Omaha team.

The Omaha-based team, led by Head Coach Shelton Collier, announced the first two player signings, securing Sydney Hilley, a 6’0” setter who led Wisconsin to a national championship and Gina Mancuso-Prososki, a 6’1” outside hitter who was an All American with the Nebraska Huskers. 

Mancuso-Prososki, a native of Bellevue, is a renowned volleyball player and Nebraska Huskers alumna, Class of 2013, with 10 years of professional play and coaching experience.  

“Nebraska Pro Volleyball’s leadership made a wonderful decision designating Gina as Omaha’s first franchise player,” said Collier. “Gina is coming off a strong season playing in the international professional league in Puerto Rico and will certainly add value to our Omaha team in many ways both on and off the court. She is the ideal player for this important position as a franchise player.” 

As a franchise player, Mancuso-Prososki will be involved in additional team activities to include team promotion.

Collier said, “Gina is a popular player and award-winning former Husker residing here in Omaha. She has an engaging personality and vibe that will allow her to excel as she is involved with a wide range of promotional and team-building activities between now and the start of our season in early 2024.” 

Mancuso-Prososki has competed at the highest level professionally, winning a Bronze Medal in the Champions League facing some of the top players in the world, most recently in Puerto Rico. She holds two League and two Cup Championships.

During her four-year career at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Mancuso-Prososki earned spots on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All American First & Second Teams, she twice earned All-Big Ten First Team spots and the Senior CLASS Award, among many others. After graduating from Nebraska, where she earned First-Team AVCA All-American honors in 2011 and AVCA Second-Team All-American honors in 2012.

Mancuso-Prososki also played in Azerbaijan’s Rabita Baku and Germany’s Dresdner SC where she won titles in all three leagues. Mancuso also played for Team USA’s youth teams. 

Mancuso-Prososki comes from an athletic family. Her father, Mike Mancuso, played quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers in the NFL, and her older sister, Dani Mancuso-Helu, also played volleyball for the Huskers and later became a professional player. 

“I am absolutely thrilled to accept this position for the city and team of Omaha, my hometown,” said Mancuso-Prososki. “Being chosen in the first-ever major professional women’s volleyball league in the United States is an incredible honor with immense significance, pride and excitement. It’s been a smooth and fun process with Head Coach Collier leading the way and working with him on building a championship team.

I can’t wait for Team Omaha to showcase our skills, inspire young athletes, and contribute to the growth of women’s volleyball in the country while also bringing some new entertainment to Omaha at the same time. After meeting with team leadership, my confidence level in this organization has only increased and I can already tell this is going to be a successful, crazy cool experience with this group of people. This is a dream come true.” 

Collier, when asked about the possibility of Nebraska icon and 2021 Olympic MVP, Jordan Larson, being considered as the team’s first franchise player, said, “I have the ultimate appreciation of Jordan as a person and as a player, and I have a very clear stance in terms of her and the Omaha team. Jordan recently returned from a lengthy and demanding season in Italy, and it is most important for her to have whatever time she wants and needs to relax, decompress, and evaluate her future opportunities.

We are aware a top priority for her is to be well prepared in every way possible for the 2024 Olympics. At some point, on her own terms, I believe she will make decisions on her future plans, and if down the road Jordan were to decide she would like to play for Omaha in our inaugural season, we will be here for her and welcome her with enthusiasm.” 

The Omaha team also signed NCAA National Championship Setter Sydney Hilley. Hilley was born and raised in Brooklyn Park, Minn., and was a setter for the University of Wisconsin, Class of 2021. She has been playing professionally since college graduation. 

“We hear about NFL football coaches who openly discuss the importance of having an elite quarterback as an essential component of considering a head coaching position with certain organizations,” said Collier. “Having Sydney already committed to Omaha before I interviewed for the position was an important part of accepting the challenge of building a championship team here in Omaha. Sydney has many impressive personal qualities and volleyball skills, and having a high-level setter who has already led teams to championships on the biggest stage is a huge plus as we look forward to building the team around her and her leadership. She is extremely bright, has an impressive skill set, and has charisma to rally a team to exceptional performances. We are proud to feature she and Gina as our first two Omaha Team signees.” 

While at University of Wisconsin, Hilley led the Badgers to 3 Big Ten Championships and their first program National Title.

Hilley was the All Time Assist Leader at the University of Wisconsin. Hilley has an immense list of accolades including 5x AVCA All-American, three of which she was First team All-American. Hilley also earned Big Ten Setter of the Year three times, the Senior CLASS Award, and was a Sullivan Award Finalist. After graduating college, Hilley played professionally in Turkey for Vakif-Bank S.K., in Puerto Rico for Manatí, and with Athlete’s Unlimited. 

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Pro Volleyball Federation team in Omaha,” said Hilley. “Nebraska fans are known for their immense passion and unwavering dedication to volleyball. Their support will undoubtedly be a tremendous source of motivation for me and the team. I can't wait to give my all and make them proud. Together, we will create something truly special in Omaha.” 

“The coach, the players, and the fans are tough to beat," Hilley said. "Coach Collier is already so respected by each of the players for not only his consistent success as a coach, but because he fights for his players and makes them feel valued and supported. It says a lot about Coach Collier that he can put together a growing roster of some of the best volleyball talent out there in such a short time while emphasizing the importance of character and culture in this program. 

The Omaha-based team announced Collier as head coach last week. Collier is revered for his knowledge of the game and respect for players, and brings more than 40 years of coaching experience and coaching education at the national, international and Olympic levels to the Omaha team. 

The Pro Volleyball Federation is expected to launch its first season in early 2024. Six of the markets have been announced: Omaha, Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando, Grand Rapids and Columbus.