Madison, Wis. -- Northern Iowa advanced to the second round of the NCAA volleyball tournament by defeating Western Michigan 16-14, 8-15, 15-7, 15-8 at the Field House in Madison, Wis. The Panthers improved to 29-4 on the season and will face Wisconsin, which defeated Bucknell 15-1, 15-0, 15-3. Western Michigan finishes the season 25-6.
Jeni Schneckloth led a balanced Northern Iowa attack with 23 kills and a .583 attack percentage. Three other Panthers tallied double-digit kills. Jill Arganbright dished out 54 assists to pace the offense and also added 14 digs.
Northern Iowa jumped out to a 10-2 lead in Game 1 before Western Michigan responded with nine straight points to take the lead at 11-10. Western Michigan had a game point at 14-13, but a kill by Alex Auker tied the game at 14 and two hitting errors by the Broncos gave Northern Iowa the opening game, 16-14.
In Game 2, Western Michigan got out to the early lead at 10-4. Northern Iowa responded with four straight points to close the gap, but Western Michigan scored the next five points to take Game 2, 15-8.
Northern Iowa was in control in Game 3, winning 15-7. The Panthers hit .279 for the game and held the Broncos to .119.
Defense took over in Game 4 as Northern Iowa out-blocked Western Michigan 7-0. The Panthers also hit .364 for the game compared to .059 for the Broncos, to win the game 15-8 and the match 3-1.
Alberta Griffin and Zakiya Pope led the Western Michigan attack with 19 and 15 kills, respectively. Ashley Ritter led WMU with 18 digs and passed out 51 assists.