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UNI Earns 20th Bid To NCAA Volleyball Tournament

Photo By: Elwin Huffman - Waterloo Broadcasting
Photo By: Elwin Huffman – Waterloo Broadcasting

The UNI Panthers will be taking part in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament for the 20th time in school history. They nabbed an at-large berth into the 64-team field Sunday night (Nov. 27, 2016).

UNI (24-9 overall, 14-4 Missouri Valley Conference) will take on the Creighton Bluejays (26-6 overall, 18-0 BIG EAST) Thursday at 4 p.m. (CT) in Lawrence, Kan. Kansas will play Samford in the other matchup in Lawrence with the winners meeting on Friday for a berth into the Sweet 16.

UNI and Creighton met earlier this season in Los Angeles at the USC Radisson Classic. Creighton prevailed in a 3-0 match by scores of 25-20, 32-30, 27-25.

The Panthers have posted 14 wins in the NCAA Tournament and have advanced to at least the second round 11 times. UNI has made three Sweet 16 appearances (1999, 2001, 2002). UNI’s last NCAA appearance came in 2015 when the Panthers dropped a five-set decision to Marquette in Minneapolis, Minn., in the first round.

UNI head coach Bobbi Petersen has led the Panthers to 12 NCAA Tournament trips. UNI is 9-11 in NCAA tournament play under Petersen, including two trips to the Sweet 16 (2001, 2002).

This marks the fourth at-large selection for the Panthers into the NCAA Tournament. UNI also earned at-large bids in 2008, 2012 and 2015.

Iowa State was also selected for the tournament. The Cyclones will be making their 11th-straight postseason appearance when they travel to Columbia, Mo. for a first-round match against Purdue on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. (CT)

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