The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

Panthers compete in Texas A&M Invitational

The Panthers placed third in the Texas A&M Invitational this weekend. While at the invitational, they swept the TCU Horned Frogs in straight sets.

UNI Women’s Volleyball aims high this weekend at the Texas A&M Invitational. The Panthers had their first game Thursday night against the Big 12’s TCU Horned Frogs in a thrilling five sets to open the tournament. Kira Fallert was a strong force for the Panthers in their game recording a 20-20 match: 20 kills and 20 digs, just the 31st panther to do so. 

The Panthers overcame a slow start against the Horned Frogs, dropping 5-2 before going on a 10-0 run, thanks to seven kills and a service ace from Emily Holterhaus. The Panthers cruised their way to a 25-15 victory in the first set.

In a thrilling second set, TCU showed that they were not backing down. The Panthers and the Horned Frogs shared 11 ties. Tied at 19-19, the Horned Frogs scored five straight despite the Panthers strong performance, taking the set 25-20.

In the third set, the Panthers continued to struggle, while the Horned Frogs continued to shine with 12 blocks of the set. The Panthers were only down two, but saw the Horned Frogs score nine of the next 12 points en route to a 25-15 win and a 2-1 match lead. 

UNI fought back in the fourth set recording 16 kills while finding their momentum. The Panthers tied the set 15-15, they took advantage of errors by the Horned Frogs and kills by Layanna Green, and others from Fallert and Holterhaus, helping the Panthers to a 25-21 win to force a fifth set. 

After falling behind at the start, the Panthers scored five points in a row to make the score 9-5. With ten kills, the Panther defense held their own as TCU tried to make their way back, but the Panthers held them off and took the set 15-11, winning the match 3-2. 

The Panthers opened up play Friday night against the Texas A&M Aggies. The Panthers had a slow start to the set, UNI was able to bounce back and get the Aggie lead from six to two putting the game at 21-19 thanks to Holterhaus, Olivia Tjernagel and Kaylissa Arndorfer. Ultimately, the Aggies blocking held off the Panthers and ended up taking the first set 25-19. 

In the second set, the Panthers and Aggies battled it out, sharing seven ties before the Aggies went on a 6-0 run that put the Panthers down 17-10. UNI started to close the gap thanks to Green, Fallert, and Arndorfer helping the Panthers get within two points of 19-17 and tying at 21-21. The Aggies then went on to take the match 25-23 after a late 2-0 lead. 

In the third set, UNI continued to improve with 13 kills. The Panthers got within one point to put them at 10-9 thanks to Tayler Alden. Holterhaus helped improve the lead to 18-17, but it wasn’t long before the Aggies fought back. The Aggies got it tied at 22-22 and were too much for the Panthers as they took the set 25-23 to complete the three-set sweep. 

The Panthers played their last game of the weekend Saturday against the Utah State Aggies and gave it all they got. The Panthers and the Aggies went back and forth in the first set. The Panthers had 14 kills in the first; they had eight attacking errors that were crucial in the finish. Fallert came up strong late in the set with a pair of points, but it wasn’t enough and the Panthers dropped the set 25-22.

The Panthers used their late momentum in the first set in the second set, but it wasn’t enough due to a Utah State 11-0 run and overall 17-4 lead. The Panthers couldn’t keep up with the Aggies amid eight attack errors and dropped the penultimate set 25-13. 

UNI fought back in the third set, but continued to struggle with attack errors. The Panthers had an early lead, but it was upended by a 11-0 Aggie run. The Panthers fell 25-15 in the final set, leading to a Utah State sweep. 

The Panthers completed the tournament with a third-place finish. The Panthers will return home to the Cedar Valley this weekend as they host North Dakota, Dayton and Northern Illinois for the UNI Tournament.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
NICOLE WATERS, Sports Writer
JORDAN JUNGE, Graphic Designer

Comments (0)

All Northern Iowan Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *