#UNIVB Home Headlines – Pretty (and Perfect) in Pink

These bold pink uniforms went 2-0 for UNI in October

These bold pink uniforms went 2-0 for UNI in October

The UNI Panther volleyball team usually gets one chance each year to wear pink uniforms in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. This season, UNI doubled up on these special jerseys – in more ways than one.

Three weeks after a 3-1 victory at Wichita State that featured both teams in nearly identical pink uniforms, UNI hosted Drake for its annual Pink Match and earned a 3-0 sweep (25-21, 25-13, 25-23)! The Bulldogs jerseys were a lighter tint of pink, so it was much easier to watch the Panthers win another pink-on-pink match-up:

This was one of the UNI’s best all-around performances in 2014. The offense was very balanced (six players with 6+ kills) and boasted a potent .300 attack percentage. UNI dominated the serve and pass game with five aces, one service error, and just two reception errors while siding out at an efficient 66% clip. Continuing on the defensive side, the Panthers had some impressive stats…

The Panthers were ranked 10th in the nation in digs per set (17.28), and they recorded 69 digs in Saturday’s sweep. That’s a season-high 23 digs per set!!! UNI’s block also had a strong night with eight rejections (all in the first two sets) to help keep the Bulldogs at bay.

Individually, Eryca Hingtgen and Kinsey Caldwell continued to perform as key members in nearly every facet of Panther play. Hingtgen and Caldwell each had eight kills and combined for three of the team’s five aces. Caldwell directed the balanced attack with 38 assists and ended the week with 1.86 kills/set, 12.14 assists/set, and 3.00 digs/set. Hingtgen’s career-high 21 digs was also the match high, giving her a phenomenal 5.14 digs/set this week along with 3.86 kills/set and four aces.

Next week, UNI hosts Missouri State and Wichita State for critical Missouri Valley Conference contests. The Bears, Panthers, and Shockers occupy second through fourth place in the MVC, and UNI can take clear control of second place with a pair of victories. UNI won the previous meetings against these programs, but these matches are always tough, competitive battles that should be fun to watch.

But, wait! There’s more! The MVC women’s basketball preseason poll will be released next week, and I will have a full update here on “On Press Row.” I am also visiting Valparaiso, Indiana early next week as a guest speaker at Valparaiso University – my alma mater. I hope you all enjoy this week as much as I will! U-N-I Fight!