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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

UNI sweeps Bears and Salukis

The Panthers swept Missouri State and Southern Illinois to stay undefeated in conference play.

UNI volleyball came into the weekend looking to increase their strong start to conference play by extending their seven-game win streak to nine. They did just that by defeating Missouri State and Southern Illinois 3-0.

The Panthers improved to 8-0 in conference play for the second straight season after the weekend slate, and have won 25 of their last 26 conference matches dating back to the 2022 season. The victories marked the fourth straight win against Missouri State, and 14 straight against Southern Illinois.

In both games UNI secured a hitting percentage over .300, making these games their third and fourth consecutive games reaching that mark. The Panthers had over 40 kills and assists in both matches as well.

UNI started their weekend slate against Missouri State on Friday night. Both teams came into the game known for their elite defense, but the Bears stood no match for the Panthers as UNI came out striking early.

UNI hit an impressive .359 including 17 kills to win the opening set 25-18. Tayler Alden facilitated the Panther offense with 12 assists, and added four terminations.

The Panthers continued their hot streak in the second set by scoring the first four points. Olivia Tjernagel and Emily Holterhaus combined for an early block, and Kira Fallert handed out back-to-back serving-aces. UNI hit an imposing .400 en route to a 25-11 victory.

In the third and ultimately final set, Missouri State tried to mount a comeback by scoring the first two points. UNI, undeterred, scored the next six points and finished what they started by winning the set 25-18.

The night became historic for Alden as she finished with 31 assists and surpassed 3,500 career assists, becoming the eighth Panther to reach that milestone. Libero Erin Powers also had a career night as she surpassed 1,400 career digs. Powers recorded 1,090 digs at UAB from 2020-22, and currently has 319 in her first season as a Panther.

UNI continued their hot streak in the second game of their weekend slate on Saturday against Southern Illinois. The Panthers were tied early in the opening set 3-3 when they went on a 7-0 tear and rolled to a 25-14 victory.

The team had a dominant offensive performance by hitting a .484 and set up multiple opportunities for Layanna Green, Holterhaus, and Fallert which resulted in 17 kills.

In the second set UNI jumped out quickly to a 3-0 lead before the Salukis would tie it at 8-8. The Panthers would catch fire again as they went on a 17-6 run, winning the set 25-14. UNI’s stellar defense led the way during the run forcing nine Saluki attacking errors.

In the third set UNI finished in the same fashion they started by defeating SIU 25-16, completing the three-set sweep. Holterhaus finished the night with 16 kills while Alden contributed 29 assists.

UNI will be on the road throughout this week with the first game against their in-state rival Drake on Monday. First Serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Knapp Center in Des Moines with live coverage on ESPN+ and the Panther Sports Radio Network.

The Panthers will then travel to Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, October 20th to play against the Belmont Bruins. First serve is set for 6 p.m. UNI will then make a quick trip to Murray, Kentucky the following day to play against Murray State. First serve is scheduled for 5 p.m. and both games will be accessible to stream on ESPN+ and available to listen to on the Panther Sports Radio Network.

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