UNI finishes home season strong


The UNI volleyball played at home for the last time this regular season. The two matches saw them record their 20th and 21st win on the season. They finished 11-2 at McLeod this season.

UNI started off strong by sweeping Loyola. The last time these two teams faced off, UNI won in five sets by set score of 25-9, 25-16 and 25-16. The Panthers then swept the Bradley Braves on Saturday’s Senior Night by a set score of 25-11, 25-19 and 25-17.

The first set against Loyola was arguably the smoothest set of the season for UNI. They started off the set down 3-1, but managed to pull off a 10-0 run and that signaled what the rest of the match would be like.

They finished the set off with 5-0 run. The second set started off back and forth until UNI reeled off seven straight points to double up the Ramblers 20-10. Despite having the same score as the second set, the third had some major differences.

It was also a very back and forth set, but saw multiple lead changes and not just ties. UNI went on an eight point run to help put Loyola away. Once UNI got to game point, Loyola got tough and forced multiple match points until a service error ended the match.

No one player dominated this match, only three players even reached double digits in a stat category. The one statistical standout was sophomore Kendyl Sorge who led the team in digs with 16. She also scored four of the nine aces for the Panthers.

The first set on Saturday seemed to flow directly from Friday as UNI had two different 6-0 runs, including the one used to end the set.

The second set saw the Panthers use a few mini-runs to go up 13-6. From there the two teams traded points with neither team stringing together more than two in a row. Bradley started the third with five straight points only to have UNI 8-1 rally to take the lead.

They then rattled off another run of six to get some separation. Fittingly enough the final three points saw arguably the two best seniors on the team score. A kill by Kayla Haneline, followed by an Amie Held ace and the match point saw Held cut off the Braves with another kill. Sorge become one of sixteen Panthers to reach 1,000 digs, she had 19 on the night.

The seniors: Held, Haneline, Lindsey Schulz, Ashlee Sinnott and Jaidyn Blanchfield, all made great contributions. Sinnott had two assists and eight digs. Blanchfield had three kills, one dig and an assist.

Schulz had six kills, two digs and four blocks, three were solo blocks. Haneline was strong with eight kills, six digs, helped on three blocks and an assist; the on court leader all season long, shined once again.

Held got her 30th career double-double with 15 kills and 13 digs, she also had an ace. The season finale will be Saturday at Indiana State, UNI also plays Illinois State Friday.