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Friday, November 25, 2005 | Volleyball
No. 4 UNI Upends No. 5 Creighton
Sophomore outside hitter Laura Rowen had a match-high 14 kills to lead No. 4 UNI to a 3-0 win over No. 5 Creighton in the quarterfinal round of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Volleyball Championship Friday afternoon at the West Gym.
Rowen added 10 kills, posting her 15th double-double of the season, and hit .379 (14-3-29) for the match. Stephanie Germann and Amy Sampson each had eight kills for UNI.
Creighton was led by Jessica Houts who had 11 kills. Leah Ratzlaff had nine kills in the final match of her career, finishing with a CU record 1,622. That figure ranks 12th in MVC history. Amanda Cvejdlik had eight kills and Goc seven kills for the Bluejays.
UNI took a 1-0 lead with a 30-24 win in the first game. Creighton jumped out to a 10-7 lead, before the Panthers went on a 6-0 run to take a 13-10 advantage. Creighton battled back to tie the score, but UNI took the lead for good at 18-17. A 5-1 run gave the Panthers a 23-18 advantage, en route to the win. UNI hit .367 (15-4-30) in the first game, while Creighton hit .294 (16-6-34).
The Panthers controlled the second game, jumping to leads of 7-1, 15-7 and 19-11, before eventually claiming a 30-19 victory. UNI held Creighton to -.049 (12-14-41) hitting in the game.
In the third game, after Creighton pulled to within 21-18, the Panthers called timeout and responded with a 6-0 run to effectively seal the match. Rowen, Germann and Ashten Stelken each had kills during the decisive run.
UNI hit .290 (44-13-107) for the match, while Creighton hit .103 (40-28-116). The Panthers also recorded 10 team blocks to five for the Bluejays.
With the win, UNI (20-11) advances to tonight's semifinals, where it will face top-seeded Wichita State (27-2) at 7:30 p.m. Creighton's season ends with a record of 16-14. .
UNI head coach Bobbi Petersen:
"I thought we really played well today. Laura Rowen had an outstanding match which was good to see. We did some nice things out there and Laura was involved in a lot of our positive play. We played well as a team. I also thought Trista Humpal had an exceptional match."
On her team rebounding to beat Creighton after last Friday's loss to the Bluejays: :
"It could have gone several different ways today, but I was very, very happy with how we responded. Creighton presented a lot of problems for us last week, but today we were very sharp. I am very happy with how we played."
"We felt real confident coming into the match. We just beat them here last week. I knew they'd be mad and come out to get us." "I am very proud of what we all accomplished. None of it could have happened if not for the team. This year we've been real close and it's going to be hard to let go."
Head Coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth:
"Not only did I want a different result, but I wish we had battled more and the match was closer. I thought UNI played substantially better than last week. We didn't play our best either, so it's a little disappointing."
***UNI wins its 20th match of the season, marking the eighth straight season and 19th time in the last 21 years that the Panthers have won 20 or more matches in a year.
***The Panthers recorded double-figures in blocks for the 21st time this season with 10 blocks against Creighton
***UNI hit .290 as a team, and combined with last Saturday's .361 hitting percentage against Drake, marks the first time all year the Panthers have recorded .250 or better hitting in back-to-back matches.
***With the loss, Creighton saw its season-long five-match winning streak come to an end.
***Creighton is now 1-7 all-time in MVC Tournament play, including seven straight losses.
***Korie Lebeda finished the season with 1,401 assists, fourth in MVC history among freshmen and a CU record.