UNI Volleyball Extends Winning Streak to 13 with Sweep of Illinois State
In a meeting of two Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) teams with the longest winning streaks, the UNI women’s volleyball team remained undefeated in conference play with its 13th consecutive win in a 3-0 sweep of the Illinois State Redbirds.
UNI is now tied for the sixth-longest winning streak in the nation, winning 29 of its last 30 matches and 13 consecutive MVC matches at home. The win was UNI’s fourth straight against Illinois State and snapped the Redbirds’ nine-game winning streak.
UNI started the match on a 5-0 run, with Erin Powers hitting a team-high 32 serves, as the Redbirds clawed their way back into the first set, forcing the Panthers into a lengthy see-saw battle. But UNI’s net defense and offensive prowess eventually wore down Illinois State in the back row. UNI won the first set 25-15, led by five kills each from Kira Fallert and Layanna Green.
In the second set, Illinois State got off to a fast start, taking a 5-0 lead. But the Panthers quickly evened the score and took the lead after tying the set at 11-11. Both teams played their best at the net, totaling 10 blocks. uni won the second set 25-22, despite hitting just 10.9% of their kills.
The Panthers took an early lead in the third set after Alden’s second service ace of the set, with Fallert and Emily Holterhaus leading the UNI offense. the Redbirds had a strong set, testing UNI with 15 kills and 21.4 percent hitting. the Redbirds pushed the lead to 17-16, but UNI’s offense was not as strong as it could have been. The Redbirds closed to within 17-16, but UNI’s blocking defense came through again with four blocks, Alden hit her third service ace of the match to seal the win for the Panthers, and Green capped the set with a kill to help the Panthers win the third set 25-20 and complete the sweep.
Fallert had a match-high 13 points and eight digs, Holterhaus had 12 points and four digs, Green had 10 points and three block assists, and Tjernagel had six points and three block assists. In addition to setting season highs of three service aces, Alden dished out 34 assists and five digs on defense, while Powers contributed 20 digs on defense.Grace Mikota added seven digs on defense and two service aces.