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College Volleyball: UNI draws Florida State for NCAA Volleyball Championship opener Friday

CEDAR FALLS – Following several months of action marked by unprecedented turnarounds and a Missouri Valley Conference title sweep, an unprecedented 2022 season is set to continue for the UNI Panther volleyball team Friday when the Panthers take on the Florida State Seminoles in the first round of the NCAA Volleyball Championship.

CEDAR FALLS – Following several months of action marked by unprecedented turnarounds and a Missouri Valley Conference title sweep, an unprecedented 2022 season is set to continue for the UNI Panther volleyball team Friday when the Panthers take on the Florida State Seminoles in the first round of the NCAA Volleyball Championship. Friday’s contest will be hosted by the Minnesota Golden Gophers at 4:30 p.m. inside Maturi Pavilion in Minneapolis.

UNI (26-7 overall, 17-1 MVC) was an automatic qualifier to the tournament following its victory in the Missouri Valley Conference Volleyball Championship. The Panthers, which also earned an outright league regular season title, have won 25 of their last 27 contests. With 14 more total victories than the previous season and 10 more conference triumphs compared to 2021, UNI enters postseason play guaranteed to finish with the best single-year comeback in program history.

Florida State (19-10 overall, 11-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), the No. 7 seed in the Texas Region, received an at-large berth after closing the regular season in fifth place out of 15 teams in the ACC standings. The Seminoles and the Panthers have never met in postseason play and share an all-time series record of 1-1. Florida State won a five-setter at the 1998 Florida State Invitational, and UNI picked up a 3-2 win within the 2011 Asics Invitational hosted by Delaware.

The first-round tilt between the Panthers and the Seminoles will be followed by a 7 p.m. match featuring the second-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions. Winners advance to the second round and are scheduled to go head to head in Maturi Pavilion at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Going into its 24th NCAA Volleyball Championship, UNI’s record is 15-23 across its previous tournament appearances including a 12-11 mark in the opening round with wins in 1994, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2017. The Panthers advanced as far as the regional semifinals in three different seasons (1999, 2001, 2002).

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