THIS WEEK IN PANTHER VOLLEYBALL
Fri., Nov. 18 at Evansville 7 p.m. Evansville, Ind.
Sat., Nov. 19 at Southern Illinois 7 p.m. Carbondale, Ill.
PANTHERS CONCLUDE REGULAR SEASON AT EVANSVILLE, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS
The No. 11 University of Northern Iowa women's volleyball team will wrap up the regular season when it plays at Evansville and Southern Illinois on Friday and Saturday.
The Panthers have clinched their third straight Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title, and a pair of wins would give UNI an undefeated conference season for the third time in as many years.
Both matches will be broadcast on KWLO 1330 AM with Brad Wells calling the action.
. PANTHER QUICK SETS...
- UNI is ranked No. 11 in the latest AVCA poll, and the Panthers are No. 6 in the latest NCAA Division I RPI.
- Through 16 MVC matches, UNI has lost just eight sets. All eight of those losses have come on Fridays. The Panthers are 21-0 in MVC sets played on Saturdays.
- With a 28-1 record through matches played by Nov. 13, UNI has the best winning percentage in the nation (.966). There are no unbeaten teams left among Divison I teams, and the Panthers and Hawaii are the only one-loss teams left.
- UNI's 3-0 win at Drake on Nov. 12 was their 10th sweep in MVC action this season.
- UNI leads the MVC and ranks sixth nationally with 14.7 kills per set. The Panthers lead the Valley and rank 10th nationally with 13.58 assists per set.
- UNI enters the weekend with a a 52-match MVC win streak. UNI has not lost a conference match since falling 3-0 at Creighton on Nov. 21, 2008. Including UNI's two Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championships, the Panthers have won their last 51 matches against MVC opponents. UNI's longest MVC win streak came from 1997-2001, when the Panthers won 66 straight Valley matches.
- Graduate assistant Megan Schipper was inducted into the IGHSAU Hall of Fame on Nov. 12. Schipper led Aplington-Parkersburg to three state tournament appearances, finishing second in 2004 and first as a senior in 2005, where she was captain of the Class 2A all-tournament team. She earned elite all-state honors twice and was the Class 2A Player of the Year as a senior.
The Purple Aces enter the weekend 13-18 overall with a 3-13 record in league play. The Aces average 12.84 kills per set, hitting .192 on the season. Their opponents average 13.96 kills per set and a .207 attack percentage.
Brooke Maher leads UE with 2.95 kills per set. Ellen Sawin leads the Purple Aces with 8.85 assists per set, and Rachel TenHoor averages 0.94 blocks per set. Katie Klages averages 4.49 digs per set.
The Panthers lead the all-time series with Evansville, 35-1, including the last six matches. The Aces and Panthers met in the McLeod Center in September, with UNI taking a 3-0 win.
SCOUTING SOUTHERN ILLINOIS
SIU enters the weekend with a 9-16 overall record, and a 3-13 mark in MVC action. The Salukis average 9.81 kills per set, while allowing 10.52. SIU holds a .171 attack percentage on the season, and its opponents hit .201.
Jessica Whitehead leads SIU with 3.37 kills per set, and Laura Thole averages 3.20. Rachael Brown averages 9.91 assists per set, and Alysia Mayes averages 0.90 blocks per set.
UNI's 3-2 win over Missouri State on Oct. 28 was the fourth time this year that the Panthers have rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win the match. UNI also came from behind to top Florida State, Kansas and Wichita State.
GET TO TWENTY
UNI's 3-2 win over North Dakota State on Oct. 17 gave the Panthers their 14th consecutive 20-win season.
VALLEY HONORS FOR PAYTON
Bre Payton was named the MVC Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 2.75 kills, 10.50 assists, 2.25 digs and 0.88 blocks per set, while hitting .455 to help the Panthers pick up wins at Missouri State and Wichita State last weekend.
Amy Braun, Michelle Burow and Shelby Kintzel were each recognized for their success in the classroom when they earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors on Nov. 10. Braun has a 3.71 GPA in elementary education, Burow has a 3.48 GPA in statistics and actuarial science and finance, and Kintzel has a 4.00 GPA in elementary education.
TAKING IT SET BY SET
Through 16 MVC matches, the Panthers have lost just eight sets, two to Wichita State, two to Illinois State, two to Missouri State, one to Drake and one to Creighton. UNI has won the first set in 14 of its 16 MVC contests, with Wichita State and Missouri State being the only teams to take the first set from the Panthers. UNI is 14-2 in the first set, 11-5 in the second set, 15-1 in the third set, 5-0 in the fourth set and 2-0 in the fifth set in MVC contests.
Bre Payton recorded her third triple-double of the season, and Amy Braun recorded her first career triple-double when the Panthers rallied for a 3-2 win at Missouri State on Oct. 28. It was the first time two Panthers recorded triple-doubles in the same match since Holly Van Hofwegen and Alex Auker each finished with triple-doubles against Illinois State on Nov. 20, 1999.
UNI racked up 20.0 team blocks against Missouri State on Oct. 28, eclipsing the previous season high of 14.0 set against Florida State on Sept. 2. It was the first time UNI recorded 20.0 or more blocks since reaching that number against Wichita State on Nov. 16, 2007.
Junior outside hitter Amy Braun was named the Missouri Valley Conference player of the week on Oct. 17. She led UNI with 3.86 kills and 4.43 digs per set to help the Panthers win at Drake 3-1 and at Creighton 3-0 last weekend. She had a .257 attack percentage on the weekend.
A CAREER NIGHT
Senior Michelle Burow finished with a career-high 24 kills against North Dakota State on Oct. 17, hitting .500 in the match.
Last season, Megan Lehman saw action in just 12 matches, averaging 1.50 kills per set. This year, the junior outside hitter has stepped into a starting role and averages 2.68 kills per set in MVC action.
ONE OF A KIND
Bre Payton earned her 700th career kill against Bradley on Oct. 7, giving her more than 4,000 career assists, more than 1,000 career digs and 700 kills. No other active player has more than 3,000 career assists, 800 career digs and 500 career kills.
ON THE MARK
Senior Michelle Burow and Krista DeGeest not only have two of the top attack percentages in the Missouri Valley Conference, but they also have two of the top three career attack percentages in UNI history. Burow is the career leader with a .330 career attack percentage. DeGeest oscillates between second and third on the career lists, currently sitting at third with a .317 career attack percentage.
ANOTHER WINNING SEASON
UNI's 3-0 win over Bradley on Oct. 7 guaranteed the Panthers' 33rd-consecutive non-losing season. There are only five other Division I programs - Hawaii, Nebraska, Penn State, UCLA and Stanford - that have recorded non-losing seasons every year since 1981. UNI has posted a winning record every season since 1985.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Senior setter Bre Payton was named the MVC Player of the Week on Oct. 3 after averaging 2.00 kills, 10.00 assists and 2.75 digs per set to help UNI top Wichita State and Missouri State.
SETTING THE BAR HIGH
Senior setter Bre Payton recorded her 4,000th career assist against Wichita State on Sept. 30. She is the fifth Panther and the 21st member of the Missouri Valley Conference to do so. Jill Arganbright is the UNI and MVC career assist leader, with 6,064 between 2000-03.
FACING THE BEST
UNI has faced three nationally-ranked teams, going 2-1 against them. The Panthers topped No. 12 Iowa State on Sept. 13 and No. 25 Florida State on Sept. 3, but fell 3-2 to No. 6 Minnesota on Sept. 10.
PETERSEN WINS 300
Head coach Bobbi Petersen became the fastest UNI coach to earn 300 wins when she did so against Southern Illinois on Sept. 16. She's the second Panther coach do so, after Hall of Fame coach Iradge Ahrabi-Fard. Petersen entered the season with a .792 winning percentage, making her the eighth-winningest active Division I coach.
JOINING THE CLUB
Michelle Burow became UNI's 21st member of the 1,000 kill club this season. The senior is the UNI career leader in attack percentage, posting a .329 attack percentage in her four seasons with the Panthers.
SHE'S GOT CLASS
Michelle Burow was listed among the 30 finalists for the Lowe's Senior Class Award for volleyball. The award honors seniors who demonstrate greatness in competition, the classroom, character and the community.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
UNI libero Candice Burke was named the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 19. Burke averaged 7.00 digs per set in UNI's sweeps over No. 12 Iowa State, Southern Illinois and Evansville. She notched 30 digs in the Panthers' 3-0 win over the Aces, the most by a Panther in a three-set match. She claimed the honor a second time on Sept. 26 when she averaged 5.71 digs per set in UNI's wins at Illinois State and Indiana State.
PACKING THE MAC
UNI's 6,490 fans in attendance at the Sept. 13 match between the 15th-ranked Panthers and No. 12 Iowa State set the school attendance record and ranks fourth in the MVC record books. UNI is averaging 2,391 fans per match on the season, ranking 17th nationally.
JUST ANOTHER TRIPLE-DOUBLE NIGHT
Bre Payton has recorded 15 triple-doubles in her career, including one against Wichita State on Sept. 30. Payton's 15 triple-doubles are the most of any Panther in school history and the most by any player in the history of the Missouri Valley Conference.
A PRETTY GOOD RUN
Since the start of the 2009 season UNI has posted a record of 79-7. During those 86 matches the Panthers have lost just 63 sets. In addition, UNI has swept its opponent 47 times while being swept just twice during that span.
HOME SWEET MCLEOD
The Panthers have a solid home court advantage in the McLeod Center, posting a 52-9 record in the arena. UNI played its final regular season match of the 2006 season in the McLeod Center, topping Bradley. UNI finished 2007 with a 9-4 home record, 2008 with a 12-2 record, 2009 with a 10-1 mark and went 11-1 in the McLeod Center in 2010. The Panthers are 11-1 in the McLeod Center in 2011.
OFF TO A GOOD START
Junior Krista DeGeest was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week after the opening weekend of play. The middle blocker led UNI with 3.80 kills and 1.4 blocks per set in the NIU Invite. She hit .469 in the three-match tournament.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Bre Payton was the second Panther in as many weeks to be named the MVC Player of the Week when she claimed the honor Sept. 6. The senior setter averaged 2.19 kills, 10.8 sets and 2.75 digs per set to help UNI finish the week 4-0 and win the Delaware Asics Invitational and earn tournament MVP honors. She also notched 11 kills, 32 sets and six digs in the Panthers' 3-0 win over Marquette earlier in the week. She notched her first triple-double of the season in UNI's 3-2 win over UC Irvine, tallying 11 kills, 51 assists and 17 digs.
TOURNAMENT SUCCESS ONCE...
UNI went a perfect 3-0 to open the season in the NIU Invite. UNI topped IUPUI 3-0, Cincinnati 3-1 and host Northern Illinois 3-0. Krista DeGeest and Bre Payton were each named to the all-tournament team.
... AND AGAIN
UNI topped No. 25 Florida State 3-2, UC Irvine 3-2 and host Delaware 3-0 to win the Asics Invitational Sept. 2-3. Bre Payton was named the tournament MVP, and Shelby Kintzel and Amy Braun each were named to the all-tournament team.
MORE ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS
UNI finished the Clarion Inn-vitational with a 2-1 record, putting the Panthers in a three-way tie with No. 6 Minnesota and Kansas. UNI finished second after the tie breakers. Senior Bre Payton and junior Megan Lehman were each named to the all-tournament team.
PICKED TO WIN IT
The Panthers were a unanimous favorite to win the Missouri Valley Conference, as voted on by the league coaches in the 2011 preseason poll. The Panthers went 18-0 in league play in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons, winning both the regular-season and tournament titles each year.
Seniors Michelle Burow and Bre Payton were each named to the MVC preseason all-conference team.
In 2010 UNI made its fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament and 16th appearance in the program's history. The Panthers have an overall NCAA tournament record of 12-16. 2010 marked UNI's eighth trip to the NCAA Tournament under head coach Bobbi Petersen. UNI is 7-8 in the NCAA Tournament under Petersen's reign, including two trips to the Sweet 16.
UNI earned an automatic berth into the 2010 NCAA Tournament by winning its 15th Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title. The Panthers topped Creighton 3-1 in the finals to earn the MVC's automatic bid. 2010 marked the fourth MVC regular season championship for the Panthers under head coach Bobbi Petersen and the 14th overall. UNI has won 14 regular-season league titles, winning the crown in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2010.
Seniors Bre Payton and Michelle Burow were named to 2010 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America teams. Setter Payton earned second-team honors while middle blocker Burow garnered honorable mention honors. The duo also earned AVCA All-Region honors for the Central region.
Since making its first NCAA tournament appearance in 1986, the Panthers have failed to make the NCAA tournament field just nine times. Three of those years UNI was selected to play in the now defunct National Invitational Volleyball Classic (NIVC), meaning that only six times in the last 24 years have the Panthers failed to make some sort of postseason play.
Panther head coach Bobbi Petersen, in her 12th season at the helm of the UNI volleyball program, has a 305-77 record during her tenure. Her .792 career winning percentage ranks her eighth among active Division I volleyball coaches. Petersen has claimed at least 20 wins in nine of her ten seasons as a head coach, while claiming six Missouri Valley Conference titles with seven NCAA tournament appearances. She was the MVC Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2006, and the 2002 AVCA National Coach of the Year.
AMONG THE NATION'S ELITE PROGRAMS
UNI is just one of 22 college volleyball programs to have won more than 800 matches. The Panthers entered the 2011 season ranked 15th in Division I will 877 school victories.
A WINNING TRADITION
UNI has recorded 29 consecutive winning seasons since the beginning of the 1981 season, ranking them sixth among Division I volleyball programs. The Panthers' 30 consecutive non-losing seasons (beginning in 1981) currently has them tied for first among Division I programs.