2011 NCAA Volleyball Tournament
Cedar Falls, Iowa - McLeod Center
Dec. 2 (First Round)
Match 1 Florida (24-5) vs. Missouri (21-12) 5 pm
Match 2 #6 UNI (32-1) vs. Niagara (25-8) 7 pm
Dec. 3 (Second Round)
Match 3 Match 1 Winner vs. Match 2 Winner 7:30 pm
PANTHER QUICK SETS...
• UNI earned the overall No. 6 seed in the 2011 NCAA Volleyball Tournament and will play host to the Niagara Purple Eagles on Friday in the McLeod Center at 7 p.m. The Missouri Tigers and Florida Gators will play the first match on Friday at 5 p.m. in the McLeod Center. The two winners will meet on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the McLeod Center. The winning team from the Cedar Falls site will advance to Gainesville, Fla., for the Sweet 16/Elite 8 matches.
• UNI enters the NCAA Tournament riding a 23-match winning streak.
• UNI is 12-1 against teams in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
• With a 32-1 record through matches played by Nov. 27, UNI has the best winning percentage in the nation (.970). There are no unbeaten teams left among Divison I teams, and the Panthers and Hawai’i are the only one-loss teams remaining in the nation.
• The Panthers are making their 17th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and sixth consecutive trip.
• UNI earned the Missouri Valley Conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament after sweeping both matches at the MVC Tournament over Illinois State (3-0) and Wichita State (3-0). It marked the first time since 2006 (UNI) that an MVC Tournament champion won the title with two sweeps.
• Senior setter Bre Payton was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year for the third consecutive season.
• Payton also earned MVC Tournament MVP honors after leading UNI to the tourney title. She posted her 17th career triple-double in the MVC tournament final with 11 kills, 37 assists and 11 digs. It was the fourth triple-double this season for Payton.
• Four Panthers also earned first-team all-MVC honors in helping lead UNI to its third consecutive 18-0 league mark. Junior Amy Braun (Lakeville, Minn./North HS), senior Michelle Burow (Lincoln, Neb./Norris HS), junior Krista DeGeest (Spencer, Iowa/Spencer HS) and senior Bre Payton (Waterloo, Iowa/Columbus HS) were all named to the MVC first team.
• UNI head coach Bobbi Petersen was named the MVC Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her career. Petersen has earned MVC Coach of the Year honors in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
• UNI is ranked No. 12 in the latest AVCA poll, and the Panthers are No. 6 in the latest NCAA Division I RPI.
• The Panthers completed their third-straight 18-0 regular season in the MVC. UNI has won 54 straight MVC matches. The Panthers have won 60 in a row against Valley competition - which includes a 6-0 mark in each of the past three MVC Tournaments. UNI has not lost a conference match since falling 3-0 at Creighton on Nov. 21, 2008.
• UNI lost just eight sets in going 20-0 against MVC competition this season. All eight of those set losses came on Fridays. The Panthers were 27-0 in MVC sets played on Saturdays.
• UNI leads the MVC and ranks No. 6 nationally with 14.76 kills per set. The Panthers lead the Valley and rank No. 7 nationally with 13.58 assists per set.
• UNI’s Krista DeGeest was named the MVC Player of the Week for her effort in a pair of 3-0 sweeps of Evansville and Southern Illinois. DeGeest tallied 14 kills, hit .500 and tallied 10 total blocks in leading UNI to a pair of wins over Evansville and Southern Illinois. Against Evansville she posted eight kills and six blocks assists. In the win over SIU, DeGeest secured six kills on eight attacks along with one solo block and three block assists.
Niagara has won 20 of its last 21 matches, and posted a mark of 25-8 on the season. The Purple Eagles posted a 17-1 regular season record in the MAAC.
The three-time MAAC Champions claimed their third-straight title last Sunday to earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Purple Eagles (25-8) became the fourth team in MAAC history to win three straight titles and the first since 2008.
The Purple Eagles boast the 2011 MAAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player Kari Honomichl, Libero of the Year Sam Morgan and Co-Defensive Player of the Year Hannah Hedrick, who all earned All-MAAC First Team and All-Tournament Team honors.
Niagara has faced two Big Ten powers in the last two seasons. Niagara faced Michigan in 2009 in the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance and played now four-time NCAA defending champion Penn State in 2010.
This will be the second-ever meeting between the two programs. Niagara fell in straight sets to the Panthers on Sept. 12, 2003, in the Radisson Invitational hosted by Western Michigan.
This is Florida’s 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the Gators’ 22nd overall NCAA Tournament bid. Florida is 24-5 on the season and ranked No. 17 in the latest AVCA poll.
The Gators, who will enter the NCAA Tournament unseeded for the second time in program history, will face the Missouri Tigers at 5 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 2. This will be the first-ever meeting between the future SEC opponents and only the second time in program history that the Gators will travel for the first and second rounds.
The Gators are 53-21 (.716) all-time in the NCAA Championship, including a 52-20 (.725) mark under head coach Mary Wise’s direction. Florida has advanced to NCAA regional action in 19 of Wise’s previous 20 seasons and has reached the national semifinal on seven occasions during that span.
UNI and Florida share two common opponents (Florida State and Iowa State) on the season. Both UNI and Florida defeated Florida State. UNI defeated Iowa State, but the Gators fell to the Cyclones (3-2) on Sept. 5.
Missouri is 21-12 on the season and 7-9 in the Big 12. The Tigers were selected for its second consecutive NCAA Tournament and 10th in the last 12 seasons.
With nine underclassmen, the Tigers will be one of the youngest teams in the NCAA Tournament this season. Mizzou will be matched up against Florida of the Southeastern Conference and should the Tigers advance, they will play either Northern Iowa or Niagara in the second round.
UNI and Missouri shared four common opponents in the 2011 season. UNI and Mizzou defeated North Dakota State and Drake. Mizzou lost two times to Iowa State, while UNI was able to sweep the Cyclones on Sept. 13.
A FAMILIAR PATH TO THE REGIONAL
In 2002, UNI won its first two NCAA Tournament games that were played in Cedar Falls and advanced to the Sweet 16 to take on Washington State in Gainesville, Fla.
UNI will host the first and second rounds this season with the winner of the second round advancing to Gainesville for the regional.
2002 NCAA First/Second Round – Cedar Falls, Iowa
UW-Milwaukee W 3-1 (30-18, 30-15, 26-30, 30-27)
#20 Missouri W 3-2 (25-30, 22-30, 30-27, 30-27, 15-10)
2002 NCAA Sweet 16 – Gainesville, Fla.
vs. #7 Washington State L 3-0 (29-31, 21-30, 21-30)
UNI SECURES OVERALL #6 SEED FOR NCAA TOURNAMENT
UNI earned the overall No. 6 seed in the 2011 NCAA Volleyball Tournament and will play host to the Niagara Purple Eagles on Friday in the McLeod Center at 7 p.m. The Missouri Tigers and Florida Gators will play the first match on Friday at 5 p.m. in the McLeod Center. The two winners will meet on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the McLeod Center. The winning team from the Cedar Falls site will advance to Gainesville, Fla., for the Sweet 16/Elite 8 matches.
23 AND COUNTING ...
UNI enters the NCAA Tournament riding a 23-match winning streak.
UNI AGAINST THIS YEAR’S NCAA FIELD
UNI is 12-1 against teams in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
UNI def. Cincinnati, 3-1 (25-17, 25-19, 16-25, 26-24)
UNI def. Delaware, 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-18)
UNI def. Florida State, 3-2 (23-25, 15-25, 25-21, 25-21, 15-13)
UNI def. Iowa State, 3-0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-18)
UNI def. Marquette, 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 26-24)
Minnesota def. UNI, 3-2 (22-25, 25-12, 25-14, 16-25, 15-10)
UNI def. Missouri State, 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-17)
UNI def. Missouri State, 3-2 (24-26, 22-25, 25-21, 25-11, 15-12)
UNI def. North Dakota State, 3-2 (25-13, 19-25, 25-21, 23-3, 20-18)
UNI def. Northern Illinois, 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-20)
UNI def. Wichita State, 3-2 (20-25, 24-26, 25-23, 25-23, 15-13)
UNI def. Wichita State, 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 28-26)
UNI def. Wichita State, 3-0 (25-23, 29-27, 25-20)
HOME SWEET MCLEOD
The Panthers have a solid home court advantage in the McLeod Center, posting a 59-9 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 16-1 in the McLeod Center in 2011.
TOP WINNING PERCENTAGE IN THE NATION
With a 32-1 record heading into the NCAA Tournament, UNI has the best winning percentage in the nation (.970). There are no unbeaten teams left among Divison I teams, and the Panthers and Hawai’i are the only one-loss teams remaining in the nation.
17TH NCAA APPEARANCE, 6TH IN A ROW
The Panthers are making their 17th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and sixth consecutive trip.
The Panthers have an overall NCAA tournament record of 12-16. This season marks UNI’s ninth 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.
AUTOMATIC BID FOR THE PANTHERS
UNI earned the Missouri Valley Conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament after sweeping both matches at the MVC Tournament over Illinois State (3-0) and Wichita State (3-0). It marked the first time since 2006 (UNI) that an MVC Tournament champion won the title with two sweeps.
THREE-TIME MVC PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Senior setter Bre Payton was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year for the third consecutive season.
PAYTON CAPTURES MVC TOURNEY MVP
Payton also earned MVC Tournament MVP honors after leading UNI to the MVC tournament title. She posted her 17th career triple-double in the MVC tournament final with 11 kills, 37 assists and 11 digs. It was the fourth triple-double this season for Payton.
FOUR PANTHERS EARNED FIRST-TEAM ALL-MVC HONORS
Four Panthers also earned first-team all-MVC honors in helping lead UNI to its third consecutive 18-0 league mark. Junior Amy Braun (Lakeville, Minn./North HS), senior Michelle Burow (Lincoln, Neb./Norris HS), junior Krista DeGeest (Spencer, Iowa/Spencer HS) and senior Bre Payton (Waterloo, Iowa/Columbus HS) were all named to the MVC first team.
PETERSEN NAMED MVC COACH OF THE YEAR
UNI head coach Bobbi Petersen was named the MVC Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her career. Petersen has earned MVC Coach of the Year honors in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
FOUR PANTHERS EARN MVC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE FIRST-TEAM STATUS
Four UNI volleyball student-athletes have been named to the 2011 MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team by a vote of the league’s volleyball sports information directors. UNI’s Shelby Kintzel, Amy Braun, Michelle Burow and Jenny Willms were all named to the first team.
DEGEEST SECURES MVC PLAYER OF WEEK HONORS
University of Northern Iowa junior middle blocker Krista DeGeest (Spencer, Iowa) has been named the Missouri Valley Conference’s volleyball player of the week for her effort in two wins over Evansville and Southern Illinois.
DeGeest tallied 14 kills, hit .500 and tallied 10 total blocks in leading UNI to a pair of wins over Evansville and Southern Illinois. Against Evansville she posted eight kills and six blocks assists. In the win over SIU, DeGeest secured six kills on eight attacks along with one solo block and three block assists.
It marks the second time this season that DeGeest has been honored as the MVC player of the week.
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.
BUROW JOINS TOP-10 KILLS LIST AT UNI
UNI senior Michelle Burow moved into the top-10 list for kills at UNI by notching 15 kills in the Panthers’ two matches in the MVC Tournament.
Burow had tallied 1,236 kills in her Panther career. She would move into the No. 9 spot in a tie with Shannon Ashcoff (2006-09) with three more kills.
Molly O’Brien (2000-03) holds the UNI record for career kills with 1,779.
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 20
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 Oct. 31 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.
TAKING IT SET BY SET
Through 18 MVC regular seasonmatches, the Panthers 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 16 of its 18 MVC contests, with Wichita State and Missouri State being the only teams to take the first set from the Panthers. UNI is 16-2 in the first set, 13-5 in the second set, 17-1 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 2.65 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 the top two 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 second with a .320 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 – Hawai’i, 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 .330 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 2,319 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 81-7. During those 88 matches the Panthers have lost just 63 sets. In addition, UNI has swept its opponent 49 times while being swept just twice during that span.
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.
UNI earned an automatic berth into the 2010 NCAA Tournament by winning its 16th Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title. The Panthers topped Wichita State 3-0 in the finals to earn the MVC’s automatic bid.
This season marked the fifth MVC regular season championship for the Panthers under head coach Bobbi Petersen and the 15th overall. UNI has won 15 regular-season league titles, winning the crown in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
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 25 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 320-77 record during her tenure. Her .792 career winning percentage ranks her eighth among active Division I volleyball coaches prior to the 2011 season.
Petersen has claimed at least 20 wins in 10 of her 12 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 31 consecutive winning seasons since the beginning of the 1981 season, ranking them sixth among Division I volleyball programs.