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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 wins second straight MVC title

Erin Powers helped the Panthers obtain their second outright MVC Championship.

UNI Volleyball started the weekend off with a trip to the Windy City to face the UIC Flames. UIC started off strong after ending some weaknesses in the Panther defense, building a lead of five points. It didn’t take the Panthers long to bounce back as Kira Fallert and Layanna Green found a spark with five kills each.  Kaylissa Arndorfer, Emily Holterhaus and Olivia Tjernagel backed up with four clocks at the net. Grace Mikota would tie the set up 20-20 with a service ace, but the Panthers would pull away to win the set 25-21.

The Panthers were able to keep momentum going in the second set and grabbed an early lead. The Panthers were able to grab leads of 3-0 and 8-0 getting up to double digits to win the set 25-12. Fallert had two service aces followed by another one from Erin Powers along with 14 kills from the team to help push them to a second set win. 

The third set was a back-and-forth battle with both teams sharing eight ties with each other. The Flames were able to take a two-point lead at 16-14, but the Panthers answered quickly with a 3-0 push, thanks to a block that included Tjernagel and Arndorfer. Fallert would score another pair of aces to help UNI score seven of the final 11 points and push them to a 25-21 third set and match victory.

The Panthers were back in action Saturday as they took on Valpo. Valpo started off strong with a 13-1 lead against the Panthers. The Panthers struggled the first set, with nine attack errors. UNI was able to go on a slight 3-0, but stood no match to Valpo, dropping the first set 25-13. 

UNI was able to bounce back early in the second set with 12 kills. Four early ties were shared by the teams and an early 8-5 deficit, the Panthers came back with a 18-6 lead as Tayler Alden, Tjernagel and Arndorfer kept the offensive pace. Green helped at the net to secure the Panthers the set with a 25-17 win.

The third set was a back-and-forth match between the two teams. The Panthers were able to jump out to a subtle 2-1 lead early before the Beacons took charge to a 20-17 lead. UNI was able to come back with a 4-0 run, courtesy of a service ace from Powers to give the team a 21-20 lead. The Panthers were able to secure the set thanks to Cassidy Hartman and Arndorfer getting crucial kills at the net to help the team take the set 25-23.

The Panthers were neck-and-neck with the Beacons at the start of the forth set. The Panthers were able to get 14 kills and break a 9-9 tie on a Tjernagel kill to help them push to scoring 16 of the final 21 points. The Panthers were able to get the Beacons to struggle offensively, forcing seven attack errors by Valpo to secure the 25-14 win over the Beacons and a 3-1 match win. 

These wins helped the Panthers obtain their second straight outright MVC regular season championship. The Panthers currently have a perfect record in conference play and will look to continue their undefeated season as they take on the Drake Bulldogs in their regular season finale. The game will take place in the McLeod Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. The game will also be streaming on ESPN+.

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About the Contributors
NICOLE WATERS, Sports Writer
STEPH STARK, Head Photographer

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