Panthers Sweep No. 12 Cyclones In Front Of Record CrowdCourtesy: N

Courtesy: University of Northern Iowa Athletics


By James Steward

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The No. 15 University of Northern Iowa volleyball team came up with a 3-0 sweep of in-state foe and previously unbeaten No. 12 Iowa State in front of a record crowd of 6,490 Tuesday night in the McLeod Center. The Panthers took the match by scores of 26-24, 25-16 and 25-18.

Bre Payton hit .353 in the match, tallying seven kills to go with 30 assists and four digs. Megan Lehman and Krista DeGeest led UNI (10-1) with eight kills each, and Shelby Kintzel notched seven blocks. Candice Burke led UNI with 22 digs.

Hannah Willms led the Cyclones (9-1) with 10 kills. Alison Landwehr finished with 23 assists for ISU.

The Cyclones jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set. UNI was able to pull within three, 8-5, but an ISU kill put the Cyclones back in front by four, 9-5.

Michelle Burow put down a kill, and Amy Braun followed with a service ace to cut the UNI deficit in half, 9-7. A kill by Lehman was surrounded by a pair of ISU errors, giving UNI a 5-0 run and a 10-9 lead, its first of the set.

Willms put down a kill for the Cyclones to tie the set at 10-10, but a kill from Payton and a pair of ISU errors gave UNI a 13-10 edge. The Cyclones scored back-to-back points to pull within a point, but UNI managed to hold on to at least a one-point lead until ISU scored three straight to take a 20-19 advantage. A kill from Payton tied the set at 20-20, but Willms responded with a kill to put ISU back in front, 21-20.

DeGesest tied the set for the fifth time when her kill knotted the score at 21-21. That was the beginning of a 3-0 UNI run that put the Panthers in front, 23-21.

ISU scored two straight to tie the set 23-21, but DeGeest came up with a kill to bring up set point, 24-23. Iowa State answered with a kill from Carly Jenson, tying the set at 24. A service error by ISU gave set point back to UNI, and Shelby Kintzel converted a kill to end the set in a 26-24 win for the Panthers.

With set two tied 3-3, UNI went on a 6-1 run to give the Panthers a 9-4 advantage. UNI maintained at least a three-point edge, including at 15-12. UNI went on a 6-2 run, building a 21-14 lead. ISU cut the UNI lead to six twice, 21-15 and 22-16, but the Panthers scored the final three points of the set, two of them on kills from DeGeest, to take the 25-16 win in the set.

The Panthers and Cyclones were in five ties early in the third set, including at 10-10. UNI rattled off seven straight points to build a 17-10 lead. ISU scored three straight to pull within four, 17-13, but the Panthers never let the Cyclones get any closer, leading by at least four and as many seven on the way to the 25-18 win in the set and the 3-0 victory in the match.

The Panthers finished with 13.0 team blocks, compared to 4.0 for the Cyclones. UNI had an attack percentage to .225 while holding ISU to a .093 attack percentage.

The win is UNI's first over the Cyclones since 2008, and it is the first time UNI swept ISU since doing so on Nov. 13, 2001 in the West Gym. The victory is UNI's second over a ranked opponent this season, as the Panthers topped No. 25 Florida State 3-2 on Sept. 2.

The Panthers return to action on Friday when they host Southern Illinois in their Missouri Valley Conference opener.

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