- #19 Northern Iowa def. Drake, 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-15)
- UNI improves to 18-5, 8-1 MVC; Drake falls to 18-5, 7-2 MVC
- Cedar Falls, Iowa
- Attendance: 2454
- Box score
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Northern Iowa dominated in all aspects of the match to break the second-place tie over Drake in straight sets (25-14, 25-17, 25-15). It was the Panthers first match since a four-set setback against Missouri State that dropped them out of the Missouri Valley Conference lead. Overall, this was the 41st consecutive win over Drake for the Panthers, and Coach Bobbi Petersen’s 34th consecutive win over the Bulldogs. Statistically, the Panthers more than doubled the Bulldogs in kills (56-25), assists (56-25) and easily outdug Drake (73-46).
The Panthers received a record-setting performance from Bri Weber. She finished the match with 21 kills, the most kills by a Panther in a three-set match since the scoring format changed to 25 points per set in 2008. Weber had broken her own record of 20 in a three-set win over Indiana State on October 6 of this season. Weber wrapped up her double-double with 14 digs on the evening. Piper Thomas added 11 errorless kills on 22 swings for an impressive .500 hitting percentage. The Panthers also got 10 kills each from Jaydlin Seehase and Karlie Taylor, with the latter getting the other Panther double-double by adding a match-high 20 digs. This was Taylor’s 16th consecutive double-digit kill effort on the year and her 6th straight double-double. Libero Kendyl Sorge scooped 17 digs. Setter Heather Hook ran the efficient offense (.355) with 44 assists.
For the Bulldogs, it was their second MVC loss in their last three matches. Natalie Fry and Gillian Gergen both finished with a team-high 6 kills. Kyla Inderski led the Bulldogs defensively with 13 digs. Drake ran a 6-2 on the evening, with both Paige Aspinwall and Sara Jensen recording 10 assists each.
Courtesy of Northern Iowa Athletics
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The No. 25-ranked University of Northern Iowa volleyball squad bounced back from its first Missouri Valley Conference setback with a 3-0 triumph over the visiting Drake Bulldogs on Tuesday in the McLeod Center. UNI won by set scores of 25-14, 25-17, 25-15.
UNI (18-5 overall, 8-1 MVC) used a 21-kill, 14-dig effort from junior Bri Weber to defeat Drake (18-5 overall, 7-2 MVC) for the 41st consecutive time. Panther head coach Bobbi Petersen moved to 34-0 all-time against the Bulldogs. The Panthers took over sole possession of second place in the MVC standings with the win.
Weber’s 21 kills is the most for a Panther in a three-set match since the NCAA went to 25-point sets in 2008. Weber had set the mark of 20 earlier this season in a 3-0 sweep at Indiana State. Weber posted nine kills in the first set and added seven more in the second set. Weber collected five more kills in the third set. Weber hit a blistering .421 against the Bulldogs with five errors in 38 total swings.
Sophomore Karlie Taylor recorded her 16th straight double-figure kill match and her sixth consecutive double-double with 10 kills and 20 digs.
Junior Piper Thomas added to league-leading attack percentage by nailing 11 kills in 22 attempts with no errors. Thomas is now hitting .408 in MVC matches. Thomas boasts of a team-high 130 kills (4.33 kills/set) in MVC play.
Courtesy of Drake Athletics
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Drake University volleyball team suffered just its second Missouri Valley Conference loss of the season with a 3-0 setback at No. 25 UNI Tuesday, Oct. 17, evening at the McLeod Center.
The Panthers hit .355 in the win to move past Drake into sole possession of second place in the MVC standings by set scores of 25-14, 25-17, 25-15. Drake (18-5, 7-2 MVC) was led by freshman middle blockers Natalie Fry (Allen, Texas) and Gillian Gergen (Janesville, Iowa) with six kills apiece. Gergen, the reigning MVC Freshman Player of Week added three blocks at the net.
UNI (18-5, 8-1 MVC) was paced by Bri Weber‘s 21 kills on 38 attempts while three other Panthers recorded double figures in kills and four hit .290 or better.
“We’ve made a lot of progress as a program, but tonight showed we still have a lot of work to do,” said Drake head coach Darrin McBroom. “UNI is a top 25 program and we’re not there yet. This is always a tough place to play and we knew that UNI would be an incredibly difficult opponent as always.
The Bulldogs fell behind early, facing an 11-5 deficit in the first set and never cut into that margin as the Panthers hit .528 in the opening set to take a 25-14 win. A 6-0 run keyed by Bri Weber‘s serving helped UNI take a 7-2 lead to open the second set. However, after taking a timeout to regroup, the Bulldogs rattled off a 7-2 run with a pair of aces to tie the match at 9-9. The team’s swapped points immediately after before UNI started to slowly pull away to take the set, 25-17, and a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
Following the break, the Bulldogs took a 5-3 lead to open the set, but UNI answered with four-straight points to retake the lead. Minutes later, Drake jumped ahead with a 10-9 advantage, but nine-straight UNI points followed as the Bulldogs could not break Taylor Hedges serving.
The Bulldogs came into the match ranked in the top five in the nation in digs and were led Tuesday night by Kyla Inderski‘s (Urbandale, Iowa) 13 digs while two others had seven or more digs.
“We didn’t set out to become a defensive team, but that’s sort of what we’ve become,” McBroom said. “It didn’t show tonight, but defensively we’re No. 1 in the league in opponent hitting percentage and ranked high in blocking. That’s allowed us to keep ourselves in rallies and score in long rallies. That’s paid off a lot this season, but not tonight.”
The Bulldogs return to the Knapp Center to try to bolster their position in the MVC standings with matches against Valparaiso and Loyola on the docket for Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. starts. Drake enters those matches having won 11 of its last 13 outings and has already recorded the program’s most wins in a season since 2010.
“It’s been a huge morale boost and identity shift for the program,” McBroom said of the team’s success to date. “We realize we’ve done well, but there’s still another step we need to take every day. We’re not fully where we need to be, but our team believes in what we’re doing and it is fun.”