UNI hits the floor for spring volleyball



The UNI volleyball team got back on the court for the first time this spring. The Panthers look different after graduating several great players, but still expect to be successful this fall.

CADEN SHEA, Sports Editor

The UNI volleyball team returned to competition on Saturday as they competed against the other three state schools in Iowa in spring volleyball action. The team traveled to Ames as they took on Iowa, Iowa State and Drake in their first games of the spring season. The Panthers are coming off of a fantastic season with a record of 27-8 as well as winning both the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title and the tournament title, as well as picking up a victory in the NCAA Tournament.

The first match of the day for the Panthers would be against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Panthers would go the distance with the Hawkeyes in the first set, ultimately winning 26-24. Iowa turned the tables on UNI in the second set, winning 25-20. The Panthers would ultimately win the match against the Hawkeyes by beating them 12-7 in the final set. 

The next matchup of the day for UNI would be against the team that held home court advantage, the Iowa State Cyclones. The Panthers lost the first set against the Cyclones 25-19. The second set was an all out war between the two teams with both clubs going back and forth for much of the match. The Cyclones ended up winning 28-26. The Panthers would be victorious in their last set with Iowa State as they won 15-9. 

The last match of the day for the Panthers would be against the Drake Bulldogs. This was one of the premiere matchups of the day for the Panthers as it was against their conference rival. UNI came out the gates swinging as they beat the Bulldogs 25-20. The last two sets would not be as fortunate for the Panthers. The Bulldogs flipped the script on the Panthers in the next set as they were victorious 25-20. The Panthers would finish the day with a loss by a score of 15-10. 

The Panthers will look to repeat the success they had in last year’s season as they look to the future. The Panthers added three transfers to their team over the year who will attempt to further improve their already great team. The transfers are Calia Clubb of Illinois State, Erin Powers of UAB and Kara Oxenknecht of New Hampshire. 

UNI will compete in three more tournaments in the coming weeks: the UMKC Spring Tournament in Kansas City on April 8, the UNI Spring Tournament on their home court in the Wellness-Recreation Center on April 15 and the Iowa Spring Tournament in Iowa City on April 22.