Top-seeded Northern Iowa Advances To Championship

Nov. 24, 2006

Top-seeded Northern Iowa advanced to the conference championship match with a three-game sweep in the first semifinal at the 2006 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Volleyball Championship. Game scores in favor of the Panthers were 30-28, 33-31, 30-24.

Creighton, the fourth seed, jumped out to a 12-6 lead in game one only to see UNI slowly chip away and take the opener 30-28.

Creighton led 22-20 when UNI went on a 5-0 run preceding a Bluejay timeout. The lead would grow no larger than two points the rest of the way and was even at 28 when UNI received a back row kill from Laura Rowen and an Ashten Stelken kill through a CU block to seal game one.

It was nip and tuck all the way in the second game, but once again UNI came up with the big plays at opportune moments as they claimed a two-game lead, winning 33-31.

The defense picked up on each side as CU hit just .074 and UNI .140.

UNI would push the lead to as many as 10 in game three before closing the match 30-24. The Panthers poured on the hitting in game three, attacking at a .366 clip as a team (17-2-41).

UNI advances to the championship match on Saturday at 5 p.m. against the winner of the Wichita State, Missouri State semifinal match.