Aces fall to conference leaders in weekend finale


UE hosts final two home matches of 2023 next weekend 

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Extended runs in each set proved to be the difference with Northern Iowa picking up a 3-0 win over the University of Evansville volleyball team on Saturday evening at the McLeod Center.

Giulia Cardona and Melanie Feliciano recorded 9 and 7 kills, respectively, to lead the Purple Aces.  Kora Ruff tallied 16 assists while Ainoah Cruz picked up 11 digs.  Kira Fallert was the top performer for the Panthers, finishing with 14 kills.

Game 1 – UNI 25, UE 12

Chloe Cline picked up a kill for the first point of the night and the Aces took a 2-0 lead.  Northern Iowa countered with a 7-0 run to take their first advantage of the night at 7-2.  Melanie Feliciano pitched in a kill with UE picking up the next two tallies.

Evansville stayed within a handful of points with a Giulia Cardona kill cutting the Evansville deficit to 15-11.  The Panthers responded with a 9-0 run to go up 24-11 before picking up the set win.

Game 2 – UNI 25, UE 13

Once again, things were close in the early moments.  Madisyn Steele and Kora Ruff combined on a block as part of a 3-0 run to open the set.  UNI came back to take a 6-4 lead before a Cardona ace tie the score at 8-8.  Evansville retook the lead at 9-8 on a Panther error.

Another big run by Northern Iowa saw them take control.  Scoring eight in a row, the Panthers went up 16-10.  Following a point by UE, UNI pulled away even more as they took a 2-0 match lead with a 25-13 win.

Game 3 – UNI 25, UE 13

Cardona registered an early kill with the Aces taking a 3-2 advantage.  Four in a row for the Panthers gave them a 6-3 edge before Cardona put a temporary halt to the run with her second kill of the frame.  Northern Iowa got right back to business, adding six in a row to extend the lead to 12-4.

From there, the Panthers clinched the match with a 25-13 victory.  UE returns to Meeks Family Fieldhouse next weekend for its final two home matches of 2023 against Murray State and Belmont.