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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

Panthers bring in new recruits for 2024 season

Panther volleyball looks to continue their dominance on the court as they introduce fresh faces to the team.
Panther volleyball looks to continue their dominance on the court as they introduce fresh faces to the team.

Panther volleyball hopes to continue their momentum from a great season into next year. The Panthers finished this past year 26-7 and went 18-0 in conference play. They were the regular season MVC Champions as well as Conference Champions. They received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament where they lost to Miami (FL) in the first round. They have signed an excellent recruiting class that should help them to continue this success. 

The roots run deep in the Petersen family as one of head coach Bobbi Petersen’s daughters will be joining the program this coming fall. Jadyn Petersen hails from the Wolverine dynasty winning the 2A Championship in 2020, 2021, and 2023, with a runner-up finish in 2022. She is a very decorated athlete earning 2023 AVCA Second Team All-American, four time 2A State All-Tournament Team selection, three-time district honoree, and four-time All-NICL performer. 

Petersen played for local Cedar Valley club Six Pack and was on their 2023 USA Volleyball Junior National Championship team this past summer. She is a defensive specialist/libero that is very quick and versatile on the floor. She has great ball control and can attack like no other from the back court. 

Volleyball roots run deep in the Dike-New Hartford program as fellow teammate to Petersen, Maryn Bixby will also be joining the program. Bixby also brings a lot of accolades with her as well. She was a four year letterwinner for the Wolverine program and on the same championship teams as Petersen. Selected to the 2A All-Tournament Team, All-NICL three times, selected for the 2023 IGCA All-Star Game, while also being named AVCA All-Region and All-Academic recognition this past year. 

Bixby is both a middle and right hitter and could find herself at home in the middle position with the departure of Layanna Green. She has great size and quickness that could benefit the Panthers next season. Her quickness helps her in the front row being able to close the blocks on the pins and with her strides and length be able to get there efficiently. She is a great pickup for the team and could have good chemistry with Petersen. 

Isabelle Elliott comes out of a consistent Sumner-Fredericksburg volleyball program and also played on the same Championship Six Pack Team as Petersen and Bixby. She was a four-time All-State player and helped lead her team to three state tournament appearances. She was also the 2023 NICL Easy Player of the Year and four-time all-conference. Elliott was also named to the Class 2A All-Tournament team as well as Elite Team All-State. 

Elliot brings a great presence to the net as she is tall and has long arms to help out at the net. She is athletic and fast and she is able to get to the block  quickly. A powerful arm is also helpful as she will be able to score at a high level. 

Reese Booth comes out of Omaha and brings a lot to the table as a setter. She led her team to three straight Nebraska Class B state tournament appearances including the semi-finals in 2021 and 2023 and a runner-up performance in 2022. Booth is a three-time All-State performer and earned first team honors as a senior and second team honors as a junior. She was also named to the All-Eastern Midland Conference and All-Omaha area team twice. 

Booth brought a very strong presence in high school and looks to bring it to the Panthers. With Alden graduating, she will fit right in with the team showcasing her experience and timeliness. She is able to run an offense very well and has a strong volleyball IQ that will come in handy with the team. Reese is quick to the ball and has very consistent setting locations as well as some scrappiness on defense that will come in handy for the team.  

The final recruit that was signed is Kamryn Vogt who is a multi positional player from Waukee Northwest High School. Vogt signed with UNI Volleyball just shortly after coming off a 5A state championship with Northwest. She is a three-time All-Central Iowa Metro League (CIML), a three-time letterwinner, earned All-District honors in 2022, and helped Northwest to a CIML title in 2021.

Being a multi positional athlete, Vogt brings a lot to the team as she can be positioned anywhere. She is quick at the net as a blocker and can also attack at different tempos which will make her a threat as a hitter. Kamryn brings a very competitive drive that will help to be successful when paying at the next level. 

UNI Panther volleyball just concluded their spring season and will bring the new class in as they begin summer practices.

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NICOLE WATERS, Sports Writer

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