CEDAR FALLS — The Northern Iowa football team’s offensive line took a massive hit when starting right tackle Nick Ellis went down with 10 minutes and 22 secodns remaining in a 37-21 loss to Sacremnto State.
On Monday, UNI head coach Mark Farley provided a promising update on the sixth-year senior and team captain out of Parkersburg.
“It was good news, right after the game, that it was not fractured,” Farley said. “Now, it just depends on how long it takes to come back from.”
Ellis missed the entirety of the spring and fall seasons in 2021 due to an injury to the labrum on his right hip.
Prior to the season, Farley described Ellis as an impact player for UNI and said he would bring a tremendous amount to the Panthers this season.
UNI Volleyball opens MVC play at Valpo, UIC: Fresh off a 2-1 weekend and a second place finish at the Hawkeye Invitational, the Panther volleyball team opens up Missouri Valley Conference play on Friday.
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Over the weekend in Iowa City, UNI took down North Florida, 3-0, and South Dakota State, 3-1, before losing to the Iowa Hawkeyes in straight sets.
Head coach Bobbi Petersen said she was proud of the way her team has developed over the course of the non-conference season.
“The last four weeks, we have grown a lot as a team,” Petersen said. “We went from 1-5 to 7-6. So, really have made some changes and that was even without a lot of practice time.”
The Panthers open MVC play on the road against Valparaiso on Friday at 6 p.m. Picked fifth in the conference preseason poll, the Beacons currently sit atop the MVC with a 12-0 record following non-conference play.
“Valpo is undefeated, 12-0,” Petersen said. “I know they dig a lot of balls and I know they are balanced.”
Following their matchup against Valpo, UNI remains on the road to take on MVC newcomer the University of Illinois Chicago. According to Petersen, the (8-4) Flames, who lead the MVC in hitting percentage, had a great non-conference season.
Brkic still perfect after UNI tennis competes at Gopher Invite: UNI women’s tennis junior Andrijana Brkic, who won the Flight B singles title at the Drake Invite last week, remained perfect in singles play to start the fall season with three wins at the Gopher Invite.
Brkic defeated South Dakota’s Anna Medvyedyeva, 6-4, 6-1 and Marquette’s Andie Weise, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, and Sarah Badawi, 7-5, 6-1, to improve to 7-0.
Head coach Chris Sagers said Brkic stay strong mentally to put emerge from the Panthers’ first two tournaments unscathed.
“Really impressed by her play and her poise on the court,” Sagers said.
In addition to Brkic, Darta Dalecka and Lasya Mylavarapu earned wins in singles play.
Following the Drake Invite, Sagers said he wanted to see his team play more aggressive in doubles. With three or more wins by each doubles team at the Gopher Invite, Sages said he was pleased with his team’s performance in Minneapolis.
“I am always thinking our doubles could be a lot better,” Sagers said. “This weekend, it was great.”
UNI cross country kicks off season: The UNI cross country team got its first taste of action at the Redbird Invite on Friday.
The women’s team, led by sophomores Kate Crawford’s time of 22:23.2 and Sophia Jungling’s 22:37.0, finished four with 102 points in the women’s 6K team standings.
In the men’s 8k team standings, Caleb Schumaker’s 25:30.8 paced UNI as the Panthers finished in fifth with 163.
According to head coach Dave Paulsen, the Panthers are in a good spot despite the late start to their season.
“I think we definitely missed having an earlier race to get some of the rust kicked off,” Paulsen said. “There is a lot of room to be gained and a lot of practice to be made. We just have to get ready for the next opportunity.”
UNI will be back in action on Friday, September 30 when the Panthers travel to Columbia, Missouri for the Gans Creek Classic.