Volleyball falls in four at UNI
Missouri State’s volleyball team had a dominant game three performance but struggled for the remainder of the match in a 3-1 loss at Northern Iowa Friday evening in their final trip to UNI’s historic West Gym. Final scores in favor of the Panthers were 30-16, 30-26, 18-30 and 30-19.
Northern Iowa improved to 17-6 overall and claimed the outright lead in the Missouri Valley Conference race with a 9-1 record. The Bears fell to 16-5 and 8-2 in the league as their five-match winning streak came to an end.
The Panthers stormed out of the gates to take the first two games, hitting a combined .381 to just .071 for the Bears to go into intermission with a 2-0 lead. UNI was nearly perfect in game one, finishing with 15 kills and just one error to hit .500 in the 30-16 victory.
The tables turned in game three, as the Bears came out of the locker room to hit .360 (12-3-25) while UNI attacked at a -.194 clip in MSU’s 30-18 win. Shanda Harper had five kills on seven swings as the Bears had just 12 kills as a team in the game but came away with the decisive victory. Northern Iowa’s 13 attack errors were five more than the Panthers had in the first two games combined.
Game four was tight for the first half of the period before UNI turned a 17-14 lead into a 24-14 advantage to put away any thoughts of a Missouri State comeback. MSU actually had more kills than the Panthers in the final period, 16-15, but were doomed by seven attack errors to go along with four service errors and three aces from the Panthers. UNI hit .361 in game four to finish at .238 for the match, while the Bears hit .158 for the four games.
Junior Jamie Adams finished with a career-high 18 kills on .262 hitting to lead all players, while Erin O’Connor added 13 and Harper chipped in 10. Harper was also in on nine of MSU’s 12 blocks.
Sophomore setter Ashley Kell came off the bench to provide a spark in the form of a career-high four service aces.
The Bears play at Bradley at 7 p.m. Saturday.