Panthers go 1-1 in road games with Bears, Salukis


This past weekend, the UNI Panthers had two Missouri Valley Conference road games scheduled back-to-back. Friday’s match took place in Springfield, Mo. against the Missouri State Bears, with Saturday’s game being held in Carbondale, Ill. 

The Panther women gave it their all against Missouri State, but ended up falling just short in five sets. Standout freshman Taylor Alden notched a triple-double and led four Panthers in double-figure kills. She had 28 assists, 11 kills and 10 digs. The 28 assists were a career-high for Alden, who is making strides in her second year for UNI (she stands as a freshman due to the NCAA allowing an extra year of eligibility because of COVID-19). UNI also lead the match in attack percentage, .267 opposed to .182 for Missouri State, but the Panthers were unable to come through in the close sets.

The first set was as evenly-matched as could be. It saw 14 different ties and neither team led by more than three points. However, this one belonged to the Bears as they edged out a 25-23 victory. 

UNI won sets two and four with 25-17 and 25-15 scores, respectively, with Missouri State never trailing and dominating set three, winning 25-17, pushing the game to a fifth and final set. After the Panthers got out to a 2-0 lead, the Bears scored five of six and never rescinded the lead, winning the set 15-11 and the game three sets to two. 

  However, this setback in the first game didn’t hold the Panthers from being victorious as they finished the weekend with a 3-2 series win over Southern Illinois Saturday at Davies Gym in Carbondale. The Panthers won their match with set scores of 25-18, 25-17, 15-25, 23-25 and 15-11.  

The Panthers won the first two matches following a back-and-forth start.  They had all the momentum as they started off 2-0 in the series.  In the third set the Panthers and Salukis exchanged several ties going back and forth but the Salukis would go on to take the third match with a 25-15 victory.  The Salukis continued this hot streak with another match victory of 25-23.  The Panther women would shake off the rust and become victorious in the final match never trailing once in the final frame, winning 15-11.  

Up next, UNI will host the Evansville Aces and the Indiana State Sycamores. The Panthers have historically had great success against Evansville with 25 wins and only two losses.

This match will take place Friday, Oct. 15 at the McLeod Center. It will be the annual Pink Game and and can be viewed on ESPN 3.