UNI volleyball set for 2017 campaign - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI volleyball set for 2017 campaign

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    Get the latest news and sports information about the University of Northern Iowa Panthers sports teams, including football, basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball.More >>
    Get the latest news and sports information about the University of Northern Iowa Panthers sports teams, including football, basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball.More >>
CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Bobbi Petersen believes in her Panthers. The UNI volleyball coach, now in her 18th year, cast her first place vote in the coaches' poll for her team. It was the only first place vote UNI received.

"Are we supposed to look on paper and see who's supposed to win, or do we believe we're going to win a championship?" Petersen questioned during Wednesday's media day, "Do we put ourselves? So, we definitely did because we believe that."

The league's coaches tabbed the Panther's to finish second in the Missouri Valley behind defending champion Missouri State. The Bears received the other nine first place votes.

UNI enters the 2017 season looking for some new blood. The Panthers graduated a large, five senior class from a team that finished third in the MVC and advanced to the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Panthers are anchored by junior Bri Weber, a first team All-MVC outside hitter, and setter Heather Hook, the only senior on the 2017 squad. Petersen says that adds some new responsibilities.

"She's a very good leader by example, a great leader by example, but now it's time to expect others to have that same drive that she does."

UNI opens the season on August 26 against 18th ranked Missouri State. Three of the Panthers' first six games come against top 25 opponents.

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