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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 on top of MVC with wins over Sycamores and Aces

Panthers take down Indiana State, Evansville at home
Layanna Green delivers a spike to the Indiana State Sycamores. The Panthers defeated the Sycamores in four sets.

The Panther volleyball team defeated Indiana State and Evansville this weekend, 3-1 and 3-0. The victory against Indiana State on Friday helped the Panthers secure a double-bye for the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Tournament, along with a guaranteed top-two seed. 

The victories added to their dominant play in conference games dating back to last season, resulting in their 32nd win for UNI in their last 33 conference games. The victories also resulted in the Panther’s 16th and 17th straight home wins in MVC play. 

In the first set against Indiana State, the Sycamores opened out hot, grabbing an early advantage against UNI. That hot streak would fizzle out as the Panthers went on a 6-0 scoring run thanks to Kira Fallert and Emily Holterhaus, who combined for 13 of UNI’s 18 first set kills. The Panthers kept their foot on the gas and won the opening set 25-13. 

The Sycamores began the second set in the same fashion as the first, scoring the first five points of the game. The Panthers continued to struggle during the set as they had eight attack errors, ultimately costing UNI a chance at a comeback. Indiana State evened the score with a 25-18 victory. 

The Panthers celebrate their emotional win over Evansville during their Senior Night festivities. Seniors include Tayler Alden, Kaylissa Arndorfer, Emily Holterhaus and Megan Witte. (STEPH STARK)

In the third set, UNI found themselves in a back-and-forth match, but found comfort on offense, with 20 kills. Kaylissa Arndorfer led the way for the Panthers early on, and the team followed suit which resulted in a 25-23 victory. 

In the fourth and final set, UNI made sure to leave no room for questions about their ability to close out games. While holding onto a two point lead, the Panthers ended on an 11-4 run, securing the 25-16 victory. 

The Panthers followed up their victory over Indiana State with yet another impressive win against Evansville in a 3-0 shutout. The night was a special one for UNI as the Panthers honored the seniors on the team. 

In the first set, UNI’s defense stepped up huge by blocking six shots and slowing down one of the best attacking offenses in the MVC. The Panthers utilized a key 7-0 run to help secure a 25-12 first set victory. 

Evansville looked to get their attack going in the second set and found success early on, as the two teams were tied at nine points a piece. UNI then went on a tear, scoring eight straight points en route to a 25-13 victory, showcased by 17 kills in the team effort.

In the third and final set, UNI kept their sights on the win as they recorded 12 more kills as a team. The Panthers went on to secure a 25-13 victory, completing the sweep over the Purple Aces. 

Following the win, UNI honored its four senior players; Tayler Alden, Kaylissa Arndorfer, Emily Holterhaus, and Megan Witte. 

UNI will be on the road again on Friday as the Panthers travel to Chicago, Ill. to take on the UIC Flames at 4 p.m. UNI will then travel to northwest Indiana for its final regular season road game of the year against the Valparaiso Beacons on Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. Both games will be available to stream on ESPN+ and on the Panther Sports Radio Network.

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STEPH STARK, Head Photographer

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