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UNI falls to Nebraska in 2nd round of NCAA Tournament

Sports Writer

Published: Monday, December 3, 2012

Updated: Monday, December 3, 2012 13:12


ERIN KEISER/Northern Iowan

The UNI Panthers, pictured here against Creighton, swept the Kansas State Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated by the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The University of Northern Iowa volleyball team competed in the NCAA Tournament in Lincoln, Neb., over the weekend. After sweeping Kansas State University in the opening round of action, the Panthers went on to play the No. 4-ranked University of Nebraska Cornhuskers in the second round. UNI put up a good fight, but was unable to come away with a victory.

In the match against Kansas State (21-9), hitters Krista DeGeest, Megan Lehman and Macy Ubben each recorded 11 kills. Setter Molly Turk dished out 36 assists to her teammates.

The Panthers started off the tournament on a strong note with a 5-1 run to start the first set. UNI cruised from that point on and won the set with a score of 25-18.

The Panthers (25-10) continued their strong play in the second set, dominating the Wildcats around the net. With some big kills by DeGeest, the Panthers went up 2-0 in the match with a 25-13 win.

With UNI holding a 17-11 lead midway through the third set, Kansas State started to make a comeback. However, the Wildcats got no closer than three, as UNI went on to win by a score of 25-21. With the win, the Panthers advanced to the round of 32 for their second straight season.

No. 4-ranked Nebraska (25-6) proved to be a challenge for the Panthers, who struggled against ranked opponents early in the season.

Ubben connected on eight kills in the match and Turk was able to record 29 assists in the last match of the season for the Panthers.

The first set set the tone for the match, as both teams battled back-and-forth throughout. UNI took an early 4-1 lead, but that was quickly erased by Nebraska. With multiple ties in the set, Nebraska eventually went up 20-17, forcing UNI to play catch-up as the set wore on. The Panthers continued to fight, but it wasn’t enough, as Nebraska got the win 25-21.

UNI fell behind early in the second set and were never able to get back within striking distance. With all of the momentum leaning in favor of the Cornhuskers, UNI lost the set 25-16 and went down 2-0 in the match.

After the intermission, the Panthers showed solid play around the net and good defense, which kept them in it until the end. However, a late 5-2 run by Nebraska sealed the deal as the Cornhuskers won 25-21 and swept the Panthers 3-0.

The loss put an unfortunate end to a great season by the Panthers. UNI will say goodbye to five seniors: Amy Braun, Candice Burke, Jenny Willms, DeGeest and Lehman.


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