Panther volleyball protects home court



Tayler Alden (6) attacks during the match against SEMO. UNI swept the Redhawks on Saturday, 25-14, 24-20, and 26-24.

BEN LAHART, Sports Writer

The home court advantage was evident in the UNI volleyball team’s excellent weekend at their home tournament, finishing undefeated against their three opponents. This was a perfect turn around from their 0-3 performance last weekend. The team played one game on Friday, Sept. 9 against Western Michigan and then played two games on Saturday, Sept. 10 against Southeast Missouri State and Grand Canyon University (GCU), in that order.

In the Friday night game against Western Michigan, the team split the first two sets with a score of 25-23 in both. The third set was another close game edged out by UNI to win 25-22 which was followed by a comfortable win in the fourth set where the women won 25-13. Emily Holterhaus led the team in kills with 15 in the four sets while Carly Spies led the team with seven blocks. Tayler Alden and Kira Fallert tied for the team lead in aces with three each. The Panthers won the match 3-1.

In their second match of the tournament against Southeast Missouri State, the team picked up right where they left off from the night before winning three straight sets. The women started the first set with an 8-1 run, before ultimately winning the set 25-14. Each of the following sets had a smaller margin of victory with the Panthers winning 25-20 and 26-24. Holterhaus once again led the team with 16 kills during this match. Sydney Peterson led the team in aces with four while Olivia Tjernagel led the team in blocks with six. The final score for the set was a UNI victory 3-0.

The final match of the weekend did not start out as well as the previous two, with Grand Canyon winning the first two sets in close fashion, 25-22 and 26-24 respectively. The UNI women quickly turned things around and commandingly won the next three sets, 25-8, 25-12 and 15-8 in the deciding set. After allowing 51 points in the first two sets, UNI only allowed 28 points over the following three. Holterhaus again led the team in kills, tallying 14 in this match. Baylee Petersen led the team with five aces while Spies once again led in blocks with five throughout the five sets. UNI won this match 3-2.

All in all, over the three matches in the tournament, the Panthers swept their competition finishing with a 3-0 record. This brings their record for the season up to 4-5. Holterhaus led the team in kills over the whole weekend with 45 and accounted for over a fourth of the team’s total kills. Tjernagel tallied a team high 12 blocks in the three matches, and Baylee Petersen led the team in aces with eight.

The Panthers will be back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 13 to play Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa starting at 6:30 p.m. The team will also participate in the Hawkeye Invitational the following weekend in Coralville, Iowa on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16 and 17.