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UNI Secures MVC Tourney Berth With 3-0 Sweep of Drake

(Photo: UNI Athletic Communications)
(Photo: UNI Athletic Communications)

The University of Northern Iowa volleyball squad clinched a spot in the Missouri Valley Conference volleyball tournament for the 32nd straight year.

The Panthers qualified after their 3-0 sweep of the Drake Bulldogs in the McLeod Center. UNI won by set scores of 25-16, 25-20, 25-13.

The Panthers (19-8 overall, 10-4 MVC) recorded their 40th consecutive victory over the Bulldogs (14-14, 5-9 MVC). UNI head coach Bobbi Petersen also moved to 33-0 all-time vs. Drake.

UNI secured 10 service aces in the triumph – the most since the Panthers had 10 service aces at Indiana State on Oct. 15, 2010. UNI’s Amie Held and Ashlee Sinnott each tallied four service aces vs. the Bulldogs.

Held earned her 15th double-double on the season with 10 kills and 10 digs. Piper Thomas added 11 kills and a team-high three blocks. Heather Hook got her 10th double-double this season with 28 assists and 13 digs. Kendyl Sorge posted a team-best 17 digs.

Drake jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the opening set, but the Panthers stormed back and evened the set at 5-5. UNI led 13-12 before closing the first set on a 12-4 run to take it, 25-16.

The Panthers pounced in the second set using an 8-0 run to turn a 14-12 deficit into a 20-14 advantage. UNI limited Drake to a .050 hitting percentage in the second set as the Bulldogs managed nine kills against seven attack errors.

UNI finished off the sweep with a 25-13 win in the third set. UNI used another 8-0 run int he opening half of the set to blow it open, 12-3. UNI hit a match-best .412 in the third set with 16 kills and only two attack errors.

UNI will be back in action in the McLeod Center next Friday and Saturday against Illinois State and Indiana State. Both matches will get underway at 7 p.m.

NOTES: UNI has defeated Drake 32 straight times in Cedar Falls … Drake’s last win in Cedar Falls came on Oct. 18, 1983 … UNI will play host to the 2016 MVC Tournament Nov. 24-26 … UNI has won nine of its last 10 matches overall.

Contributed By: UNI Athletic Communications

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