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UNI Tops Iowa State In Epic Volleyball Battle [Video]

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

College volleyball matches don’t get much better than the in-state battle that took place in Cedar Falls Tuesday night (Sept. 13, 2016).

The UNI Panthers and Iowa State Cyclones fought tooth-and-nail for nearly three-hours inside the McLeod Center. When the marathon ended, UNI snared the five-set thriller in front of 5,240 fans on $1 ticket night. Set scores were 27-29, 40-38, 25-23, 17-25 and 15-10.

UNI senior Amie Held recorded the 24th 20-20 match in Panther history with 23 kills and 22 digs. Sophomore libero Kendyl Sorge of Janesville notched the fourth-highest single-game dig total in school history with 35 digs against the Cyclones. UNI tallied 120 total digs, which ranks as the second-highest single-match total in program history, trailing only the 125 digs the Panthers posted against Washington State on Sept. 11, 1987.

The Iowa State effort was led by Jess Schaben, who posted a season-high 22 kills and a career-best 22 digs in the first 20-20 match by a Cyclone in six years. Ciara Capezio also had a double-double at 15 kills and 20 digs. Abby Phillips and Hali Hillegas also had career-best nights digging the ball with 21 and 18, respectively.

In fact, the Cyclones actually won more points in the match (125) than the Panthers (124). Iowa State recorded the second-highest point total in NCAA history (25-point scoring sets) with 125 points – trailing Wichita State’s total of 127 set against Bowling Green on Sept. 12, 2014.

Iowa State (6-3 overall) jumped to a 5-0 lead in the opening set, but the Panthers turned it around quickly and took a 10-9 lead. The first set featured 12 ties and four lead changes and set the tone for the entire match. Iowa State needed four set points before finally securing a 29-27 first-set win.

Then came an epic second set that featured the highest-scoring game for both the Panthers and Cyclones in the 25-point set era. The set had 15 ties and eight lead changes, but probably should not have gone the distance it did after UNI opened the game with a 7-0 lead and a 21-15 advantage. Iowa State fought off two set points during a 9-3 comeback and deadlocked the tally at 24-all.

The score made it to 38-38, with a combined 17 set points (10 for UNI, seven for ISU) not being converted. On the 18th set point between the two teams, UNI finally got the breakthrough as Grundy Center native Heather Hook’s serve saw Abby Phillips return it into the antenna and give the Panthers the second set, 40-38.

UNI (6-4) used conventional scoring to earn a 25-23 third-set win to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Panthers trailed 19-15, but used a 5-0 run to take a 20-19 lead. After Iowa State knotted the score at 23-23, UNI got back-to-back kills from Held to finish off the set, 25-23.

The Cyclones recorded a 25-17 win in the fourth set as Iowa State had 12 kills and one error with a .262 hitting percentage. The Panthers were limited to 11 kills and 10 errors (.020 hitting percentage) in the fourth set.

UNI scored the first three points of the fifth set and never trailed. Iowa State tied the game at 3-all, but the Panthers ran-off three straights points for a 6-3 lead. The Cyclones got to within 10-9, but UNI closed the deal by scoring six of the final seven points for the 15-10 triumph.

With the 3-2 victory, the Panthers tied the all-time series with Iowa State at 27 matches apiece.

UP NEXT: UNI will be back in action at 5 p.m. Friday (Sept. 16), hosting Illinois State in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both squads. Iowa State heads to Milwaukee for the Marquette Invitational this weekend. The Cyclones face the host Golden Eagles at 7 p.m. Friday, before battling Missouri at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

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Watch the closing seconds of UNI’s victory, featuring two kills by Amie Held and a block by Kayla Haneline to win set five.


Courtesy: UNI Athletics MediaRoom

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