AUSTIN, Texas — Fourth-ranked Texas got all it wanted from unranked Northern Iowa Friday in a season-opening volleyball matchup that was also a reunion of sorts for UNI coach Bobbi Petersen and her twin daughters.
The Longhorns won by scores of 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 25-19.
Texas hit .357 and while the Panthers sputtered to a .147 attack percentage in the opening set. Logan Eggleston sparked the Longhorns’ offense with five kills on .625 hitting while Sydney Petersen had four assists and three digs.
UNI settled in and answered in set two when it led most of the way after a 9-9 tie. Back-to-back kills by Karlie Taylor turned a 20-19 Panther lead into a 22-19 edge, and an ace serve by Baylee Petersen made it 23-19. Kate Busswitz added a key kill for the 24th point, and a Texas error secured the UNI win.
The third set proved pivotal. It was tied 11 times and as late as 21-21 before Texas pulled out the two-point victory.
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Set four was another back-and-forth battle that featured nine ties. It was 16-16 when the Longhorns went on a three-point run to grab a 19-16 lead and the Panthers couldn’t get any closer than 20-18 after that.
The final stats showed Texas with a .319-.198 advantage in attack percentage. Both teams struggled with their serves as UNI finished with 15 service errors and Texas 11.
Individually, UNI was without one of its top offensive threats in Jaydlin Seehase. Taylor had 19 kills for the Panthers, but needed 56 swings (.232). Emily Holterhaus added 11 and Inga Rotto added 10. Rachel Koop racked up 38 assists and Kate Busswitz had four service aces, along with eight kills and two solo blocks.
Taylor and Abbi Staack each had 19 digs and Taylor Hedges 10.
Texas was led by Micaya White with 18 kills and Skylar Fields and Logan Eggleston with 15 each. Longhorns libero Sydney Petersen had 15 digs and eight assists.