UNI falls to No. 18 Marquette; defeat Valpo

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FRANK WALSH, Sports Writer

The McLeod Center is the place to be for Panther volleyball action. The team has been on a roll as they dominate the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC).

UNI has had a historic start this season, grinding out hard fought wins around the league.

Through Oct. 19, the Panthers stood at 10-0 in MVC play.

On Sunday, Oct. 21, the Panthers hosted the 18th ranked Marquette Golden Eagles at the McLeod Center in a brief break from MVC play. UNI was able to win one set against the Golden Eagles, but lost the match 25-20, 20-25, 16-25 and 24-26.

Despite the loss, Karlie Taylor was dominant and posted 20 kills. UNI was able to quickly rebound during their next home meet.

The Panthers returned to conference play as they welcomed the Valparaiso Crusaders to Cedar Falls on Friday, Oct. 26. Fans of the purple and gold were treated to an outstanding five-set thriller as UNI took down the Crusaders 18-25, 25-16, 25-12, 20-25 and 15-7.

Taylor was unable to play as the two teams fought it out on the court. Piper Thomas, UNI’s middle hitter, showed incredible scoring ability as she dominated with 20 kills.

Kate Busswitz also had an incredible game in the win as she had a total of 13 kills, two blocked shots and two ace serves. With the win, the Panthers are guaranteed their 34th consecutive winning season.

UNI (17-7) will hit the road on Nov. 2-3 to take on the Bradley Braves and Illinois State Redbirds. The Panther have two remaining home matches this season, hosting the Missouri State Bears on Nov. 9, and the Southern Illinois Salukis on Nov. 10.