Northern Iowan

Volleyball dominates at Ball State Tourney

Courtesy Photo/UNI Athletics
The Panthers currently sit at 5-4 heading into the Illinois Tournament, which will be held Sept. 14-15 in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

JERRIUS CAMPBELL, Sports Writer

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The UNI volleyball team hit the road this past weekend to play in three matches on Sept. 8 and 9 at the Active Ankle Invite at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

The Panthers would win back-to-back matches on Sept. 7 against host Ball State and the Indiana Hoosiers.

Karlie Taylor would lead the Panthers with 16 kills and two aces. Following Taylor was Jaydlin Seehase, who would end the contest with 14 kills and one block.

UNI would set the tone early as they won the first set 25-21. In the second set, the Panthers wouldn’t put much together, losing the 25-20.

Set three saw the Panthers finding their rhythm, smashing the Cardinals 25-13. The fourth and final set would end in a dominating 25-19 performance by the Panthers with a score in favor of the Panthers, 3-1.

In the second match of the day against Indiana, every set  would be neck-and-neck. UNI took the first set 25-22 as the same effort was carried onto the second set with a 25-23 advantage.

The Hoosiers would bounce back in the third with a 22-25 advantage over the Panthers. In the last set of the match, the Panthers would run away with the lead, ending the set 25-23.

Karlie Taylor continued to impress with 24 kills and one ace serve. Piper Thomas would also have an excellent outing with 18 kills and two blocks for the Panthers. UNI ended the match with .262 hitting percentage.

On the second day of the tournament, the Panthers faced off against North Dakota State Bison. Karlie Taylor had been outstanding for the Panthers this season, and her leadership would help the Panthers out hit the Bison by a large margin. In this matchup, UNI would hold them to a .091 hit percentage, which led to ten errors by the Bison.

The match finished in favor of the Panthers, 25-16, 25-22, 25-15. Taylor would end with 15 kills followed by Thomas with 14 kills, as the Panthers ended the contest with a .277 hit percentage.

Karlie Taylor was named the tournament most valuable player (MVP) with 55 kills and was named the All-Tournament MVP as the Panthers move to 5-4 this season with three non-conference matches remaining.

Next up for UNI, they have one last three match tournament on the road this weekend as they head to Urbana-Champaign for the Illinois Tournament. There they will take on the host Illinois Fighting Illini, Lipscomb Bisons, and their former Missouri Valley Conference rivals, the Creighton Bluejays.

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Volleyball dominates at Ball State Tourney