Perfect Panthers move to 13-0 in MVC

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  • Inga Rotto (13) had a very efficient weekend. Rotto had 21 kills across the two matches without an attack error.

  • With seven digs on Saturday, Baylee Petersen went over 1000 for her career. Baylee joins her mom and sister, Bobbi and Sydney, in this club.

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ADAM JOHNSON, Sports Writer

UNI volleyball had two home games over the weekend, the first being a matchup against Murray State on Friday, Oct. 28, and the second being against Belmont on Saturday, Oct. 29. UNI went on to win both of these matches, and continue their unbeaten streak in conference play.

First on the slate was Murray State. There was a lot of back and forth action in this one, but the Racers did get up by as many as five points at 16-11. UNI tried to make their way back at them, being only down by one at 22-21, but Murray State would hold on to take the first set, 25-21.

The next set saw a similar recipe as the first, but this time it was UNI who had the lead at 16-11. The rest of the way through, UNI kept that lead anywhere from five to seven points, never giving Murray State a chance to get back in the set. The Panthers took set two, 25-18.

The match went into the third set all tied up at 1-1. This set was full of runs that usually saw Murray State playing catchup with the Panthers. Seemingly every time that UNI would pick up a lead, the Racers would claw their way back. UNI finally looked to put them away in the set when they extended their lead to 24-18. The Racers, however, were not going away so easily. They tallied off four in a row to put it at 24-22, but that was all they could muster. UNI won the set, 25-22.

UNI decided not to mess around in the fourth set, as they dominated the whole way through. UNI was ahead 10-7 in the early going, and it looked like this was going to be another close one. However, the Panthers put things in another gear, and dominated the rest of the set, going on a 15-5 run to finish off the Racers. UNI won the set 25-12, and the match, 3-1.

Next up for the Panthers was Belmont. Some momentum must have carried over from the Murray State match, because UNI came out the gates quickly, jumping to an early 7-1 lead. The Panthers early lead would prove too much for Belmont, as they could never get anything going, UNI took set one, 25-17.

Following the first set, it would be hard to believe that UNI could play any better, but they did just that in set two. They came out the gates just as quickly, but instead of maintaining the lead, they grew on it throughout the set. They were up 15-5 towards the middle of the set, and would end up winning in dominant fashion, 25-13.

The Panthers were in search of a clean sweep of Belmont going into the third set. However, Belmont came forward with some more fight in the third set, as in the early going, UNI was only up 9-8. That is when the fun stopped for Belmont, as the Panthers went on an impressive 9-0 run to extend the lead to 18-8. UNI won the third set 25-13, completing the 3-0 sweep against Belmont.

Following both of these victories, UNI has extended their unbeaten conference record to 13-0. With only five matches left in conference play, it will be something to watch down the stretch. The Panthers will play next against Illinois State on Friday, Nov. 4 in Normal, Ill., before traveling to Peoria, Ill. for a meeting with Bradley on Saturday, Nov. 5.