CEDAR FALLS, Ia.- The University of Northern Iowa volleyball team defeated the Illinois State Redbirds 3-1 Saturday night in the McLeod Center. The Panthers are now 10-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference and still remain in first place.
Krista DeGeest led the way with 17 kills and a .452 hitting percentage and Macy Ubben followed with 14 kills. Molly Turk notched 48 assists and Candice Burke recorded 19 digs and three service aces.
The Panthers took command of the first set early on. With the score at 6-4 UNI, kills by Amy Braun, Megan Lehman and Molly Turk helped the Panthers go on a 5-0 run to make it 11-4. UNI continued its dominance in the set and won it by a score of 25-9.
The second set was a close one for the teams. The Panthers started off the set behind. Illinois State had the 9-6 lead, but several kills by Krista DeGeest helped UNI to go on a 4-0 run to take the lead at 10-9. An Illinois State kill in the next play helped them to tie it up at 10-10. The score was tied up four more times in the set until it was 18-18. Two kills by Braun and an attack error by Illinois State gave UNI the 21-18 lead. The Redbirds fought their way back though and tied it up at 23-23. A service ace and a kill in the next two plays helped the Redbirds get the 25-23 win in the set.
With the score tied at 10-10 in the third set, a kill by Illinois State gave them the 11-10 lead. An attack error by the Redbirds helped the Panthers tie it up at 11-11. A kill by Lehman gave UNI the 12-11 lead in the next play, but Illinois State answered with a kill in the play after to tie it back up at 12-12. A Macy Ubben kill helped to spark a 6-1 run to make it 18-13 UNI. The Panthers continued this run and won the set 25-15.
The score was tied at 4-4 in the fourth set when a kill by DeGeest helped UNI go on a 5-0 run to give them the 9-4 lead. The Redbirds slowly started coming back until they tied it up at 11-11. Kills by Ubben and Turk helped launch a 5-0 run to make it 16-11 UNI. Illinois State tried to battle back, but it was not quite enough to top the Panthers. UNI won the set 25-21 and the match 3-1.
The Panthers head to Wichita, Kansas, next Friday to take on the Wichita State Shockers at 7:00 p.m.