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UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA
Panthers Searching For 3rd Straight MVC Tourney Title
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Friday 11/22/2011
2011 State Farm MVC Tournament
Cedar Falls, Iowa - McLeod Center Nov. 24 (Quarterfinals)
    Match 1        #6 Indiana State (14-16, 6-12 MVC) vs. #3 Wichita State (19-9, 13-5 MVC)    5 pm
    Match 2        #5 Illinois State (17-13, 9-9 MVC) vs. #4 Creighton (17-13, 12-6 MVC)    7:30 pm

Nov. 25 (Semifinals)
    Match 3        Match 1 Winner vs. #2 Missouri State (22-7, 15-3 MVC)    5 pm
    Match 4        Match 2 Winner at #1 Northern Iowa (30-1, 18-0 MVC)    7:30 pm

Nov. 26 (Championship)
    Match 5        Match 3 Winner vs. Match 4 Winner (Fox Sports Midwest)    6:37 pm

The University of Northern Iowa women's volleyball team (30-1 overall, 18-0 MVC) will play host to the 2011 State Farm MVC Volleyball Tournament in the McLeod Center.
    UNI will take on the winner of the Creighton/Illinois State quarterfinal on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals. The final is set for Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
    Both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the State Farm MVC Tournament will be video webcast at http://www.valley-live.tv, with Greg Halbleib and Linda Dollar on the call.
    The championship match will be televised live on Mediacom Ch. 22, FOX College Sports (56 million digital homes), ESPN3 (outside the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska), DirecTV (Channel 658), Dish Network (Channel 449) and AT&T U-Verse (Channel 693). Greg Halbleib (play-by-play) and Coach Linda Dollar (analyst) will call the title contest.
    To catch radio coverage of the UNI matches tune into KWLO 1330-AM as Brad Wells will call the action from courtside at the McLeod Center.

PANTHER QUICK SETS...
  • 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 58 in a row against Valley competition - which includes a 4-0 mark in each of the past two MVC Tournaments.

  • UNI lost just eight sets in going 18-0 in MVC play. All eight of those losses came on Fridays. The Panthers are 24-0 in MVC sets played on Saturdays.

  • With a 30-1 record through matches played by Nov. 20, UNI has the best winning percentage in the nation (.968). There are no unbeaten teams left among Divison I teams, and the Panthers and Hawai'i are the only one-loss teams left.

  • UNI posted 3-0 wins over Evansville and Southern Illinois to tally 12 sweeps in MVC action.

  • 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 enters the MVC Tournament with a 54-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 58 matches against MVC opponents. UNI's longest MVC win streak came from 1997-2001, when the Panthers won 66 straight Valley matches.

  • 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.

  • 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.

SCOUTING CREIGHTON
Creighton enters the MVC Tournament as the No. 4 seed having compiled a league mark of 12-6 on the year. The Bluejays are 17-13 overall.
    UNI defeated Creighton in Omaha, Neb., on Oct. 15 by the count of 3-0. The Panthers then knocked off the Jays in the McLeod Center on Nov. 11, 3-1.
    UNI has eliminated Creighton from the MVC Tournament in each of the past six seasons.

SCOUTING ILLINOIS STATE
Illinois State is the No. 5 seed for the MVC Tournament. The Redbirds are 9-9 in MVC play and 17-13 overall. UNI defeated Illinois State by identical 3-1 set scores in each matchup this season.
    Illinois State lost both of its regular season matches to Creighton. The Redbirds also closed the season losing each of its final three matches.

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.

ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
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 KNOCKING ON TOP-10 DOOR FOR KILLS AT UNI
UNI senior Michelle Burow has tallied 1,221 kills her Panther career and needs five more to move into a tie for No. 10 all-time at UNI. Maryellen McCann (1984-87) ranks No. 10 with 1,226 kills.

COMEBACK KIDS
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 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 matches, 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.

TRIPLING UP
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.

BLOCK PARTY
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.

VALLEY HONORS
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.

STEPPING UP
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.

HOME SWEET MCLEOD
The Panthers have a solid home court advantage in the McLeod Center, posting a 57-9 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 14-1 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.

PRESEASON HONORS
Seniors Michelle Burow and Bre Payton were each named to the MVC preseason all-conference team.

TOURNAMENT REGULARS
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.

MVC CHAMPS
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.

UNI'S ALL-AMERICANS
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.

NCAA REGULAR
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.

PETERSEN'S REIGN
Panther head coach Bobbi Petersen, in her 12th season at the helm of the UNI volleyball program, has a 318-77 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 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.

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