AMES, Iowa - The University of Northern Iowa volleyball squad recorded its third win of the season over a ranked foe and did so by knocking off previously undefeated No. 19-ranked Iowa State, 3-2. UNI won by set scores of 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 17-25, 15-11.
UNI (8-3 overall) defeated Iowa State (7-1 overall) for the second straight year in a five-set match. It marks UNI's first win in Ames since a Panther victory in 2008.
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The Panthers are one of three NCAA Division I volleyball teams with three wins over ranked foes this season - joining Florida and Creighton in that elite list.
UNI came out strong with a 25-21 triumph in the opening set, only to see the Cyclones even the match at 1-1 with their own 25-21 win in the second.
The Panthers looked dominant midway through the third set with a 17-10 lead. However, the Cyclones stormed back and knotted the set at 22-22. UNI stemmed the tide and was able to post a 25-23 third-set victory. The Cyclones forced a fifth and deciding set with a decisive 25-17 win in the fourth.
UNI scored the first two points of the fifth set and pushed the margin to 8-4 before an Iowa State timeout. The Cyclones clawed back to within 11-10 and forced a Panther timeout. UNI came out of the break and scored on a kill by Piper Thomas. Taylor Hedges followed with a service ace and Bri Weber tallied a solo block to give UNI a 14-10 lead and four match points. Hedges served an error, but Weber answered on the next point with a kill to give the Panthers the five-set triumph.
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Thomas led the Panthers with a match-high 17 kills. Thomas and Moriah Johnson tied for team-high honors with five blocks. Weber and Karlie Taylor each contributed with 14 kills. Weber earned her 39th career double-double with 13 digs. Jaydlin Seehase also chipped in with 11 kills, four digs and two blocks. Heather Hook notched a match-high 43 assists. Kendyl Sorge recorded 20 digs to lead the Panthers.