UNI Volleyball has seven honored by Missouri Valley Conference - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI Volleyball has seven honored by Missouri Valley Conference


CEDAR FALLS(KWWL)-- University of Northern Iowa head coach Bobbi Petersen was named Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year while junior setter Bre Payton was named MVC Player of the Year and senior libero Ellie Blankenship garnered MVC Libero of the Year honors the league announced Thursday at the MVC Tournament awards banquet. Four other Panthers picked up conference awards with Michelle Burow, Beth Discher and Krista DeGeest earning first-team all-conference honors while Shelby Kintzel was named to the MVC All-Freshman team. 

Petersen has guided the Panthers to a 28-2 overall record and a perfect 18-0 record in Valley action for the second-straight season. UNI won its 14th regular-season title – finishing with an unblemished record in league play for the sixth time in program history.  They currently hold the nation's second-longest active league winning streak, having won 36-straight conference matches dating back to last season. Petersen has been named the Coach of the Year two times previously, having won last season and in 2006. 

Payton ranks in the top-20 in the Valley in assists, aces and hitting percentage. She is a part of the nation's fifth-best team at dishing out assists and her Panthers rank second in the nation in kills per set. She is the only player in the Valley to register a triple-double in 2010, totaling five this season and 12 for her career, the most of any Panther in school history. Payton is the 10th player in UNI history to win the league's top honor. 

The Panthers host the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament this weekend and will face the winner of Thursday's semifinal between Illinois State and Missouri State at 7 p.m.


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