UNI falls to Drake in straight sets



The Panthers fell in straight sets to their in-state rivals Drake at home last Friday night. They will look to rebound on Monday, Oct. 4 on the road at Loyola Chicago.


This past Friday, Oct. 1, the UNI volleyball team concluded a three-match conference homestand, hosting their in-state rivals Drake University at the McLeod Center. UNI came in with a 6-9 record on the season, including 1-1 in Missouri Valley Conference play, while Drake entered 6-4, 1-1 in the MVC. Despite keeping it close in the first two sets, the Panthers couldn’t take down the Bulldogs, falling three sets to zero.

Drake started off hot in the opening set, pulling out to a quick 6-1 lead. UNI refused to go away, at one point taking five of six points to tie the set at 11 apiece. The Bulldogs would go on to pull away later in the set, taking the opener 25-18.

The second set was back and forth throughout. Everytime the Bulldogs showed hints of pulling away, the Panthers would bounce back with a mini-run of their own. The Panthers had a chance, trailing by just one point at 22-21, but after kills by Madeline Holt and Haley Bush of the Bulldogs and an attack error by Kira Fallert of the Panthers, Drake pulled off a win in the set, 25-22, taking a 2-0 lead in the match.

The third set showed early signs of playing out similarly to the second set, but with UNI holding a 9-7 lead, the Bulldogs went on an extended stretch of dominance, finishing the set and the match on an 18-4 run, taking the set victory 25-13. This also gave Drake the match victory, 3-0.

The Bulldogs were the much more successful team offensively, finishing with a hitting percentage of .333, to go along with 40 kills, compared to .140 for the Panthers with 31 kills.

Emily Holterhaus was the leader in kills for UNI, finishing with 11 on a .476 hitting percentage. Tayler Alden led the Panthers with 14 assists, and the duo of Holterhaus and Payton Ahrenstorff both finished with a team-high eight digs.

With the loss, the Panthers fall to 6-10 on the season with a 1-2 record in Missouri Valley Conference play. UNI will now be on the road for three consecutive games. They will be taking on Loyola-Chicago on Monday, Oct. 4, Missouri State on Friday, Oct. 8, and Southern Illinois on Saturday, Oct. 9. The Panthers will then return home to take on Evansville on Friday, Oct. 15.