Panthers Fall At NCAA Volleyball Tournament, 3-2
The season is over for the UNI volleyball squad following a 3-2 loss to Marquette in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis on Friday (Dec. 4, 2015).
The Golden Eagles won by set scores of 25-17, 22-25, 25-11, 23-25, 15-9.
Marquette improves to 22-11 on the season, while the UNI Panthers fall to 19-15 overall. The five-set setback ended the UNI's streak of 17 consecutive 20-win seasons.
Redshirt freshman Taylor Louis led the Golden Eagles with a match-high 26 kills (.426 hitting percentage).
The Panthers had five players tally double-figure kill efforts, led by Kayla Haneline's 14 kills. Former Dike-New Hartford star Bri Weber and Lindsey Schulz notched 11 kills, while former Jesup prep standout Piper Thomas and Amie Held recorded 10 kills. Held and Weber each notched double-doubles as Held recorded 25 digs and Weber scored 12 digs. Heather Hook, a Grundy Center graduate, registered a team-high 51 assists for the Panthers.
Marquette tallied a 25-17 victory in the opening set. The Golden Eagles turned a 5-5 tie into a 16-9 lead with an 11-4 run. The Golden Eagles posted a .326 hitting percentage in the opening set, while UNI posted an .093 hitting percentage with seven errors.
UNI knotted the match at a set apiece with a 25-22 triumph in the second set. UNI led 7-3 only to see Marquette use an 8-3 run to give the Golden Eagles an 11-10 advantage. The set was deadlocked at 15-15 when UNI used a 3-0 run and forced Marquette's second timeout of the set. Marquette closed to within 24-22 but UNI's Schulz finished off the set win with a kill. UNI hit .333 in the set, while Marquette was limited to .237 with five errors.
The Golden Eagles blitzed the Panthers in the third set, 25-11. Marquette led 9-1, 14-2, 17-3 and 20-5. UNI scored four in a row trim the advantage to 20-9, but Marquette was able to post the win and take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Golden Eagles hit .419 with 14 kills and one error in the third set, while UNI hit -.062 with seven kills and nine errors.
UNI forced a fifth and decisive set with a 25-23 victory in the fourth. UNI trailed 11-7, but ran off six in a row to take a 13-11 lead. Marquette came right back with four in a row to take a 15-13 advantage. The Panthers tied it at 17-17 in a Kayla Haneline kill.
UNI trailed again at 21-19, but squared the set at 21-21 on a kill by Schulz. Held provided the momentum switch by notching back-to-back aces that gave UNI a 24-22 lead. Schulz scored the set-winning point with a kill to give UNI the 25-23 win.
Marquette was able to win the match with a 15-9 triumph in the fifth set. The set was deadlocked at 8-8 when the Golden Eagles scored seven of the final eight points of the match. The Golden Eagles hit .526 in the final set with 10 kills and no errors, while UNI had nine kills and three errors (.231) in the final stanza.
NOTES: UNI was making its 19th NCAA Tournament appearance … the Panthers are now 14-19 all-time in NCAA Tournament play … Weber, a freshman, set the UNI single-season attack mark with (1,303 attacks) surpassing the old mark set by Laura Rowen (1,274 in 2006).