CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The UNI volleyball team has released its full schedule for the upcoming 2022 season. Entering the program’s 48th season and 23rd under the leadership of head coach Bobbi Petersenthe Panthers are slated for a 30-match schedule, including an 18-match schedule in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play.
UNI will open the 2022 campaign during the final weekend of August in Arizona at the Sun Devil Volleyball Classic, facing off with Toledo, Arizona State and CSU Bakersfield in Tempe. Labor Day weekend will see the Panthers visit Omaha for a triad of matches against USC, Kentucky and Creighton.
The purple and gold return home to the McLeod Center on Sept. 9 to host a four-team tournament with Western Michigan, Grand Canyon and Southeast Missouri State. UNI will take on Iowa State in a mid-week matchup in Ames on Sept. 13 before wrapping up non-conference play in Coralville at the Hawkeye Invitational, where the Panthers will meet up with North Florida, South Dakota State and Iowa at Xstream Arena.
UNI will play its first four MVC matches on the road beginning Sept. 23 at Valparaiso, followed by its first meeting with UIC as an MVC member in Chicago. The Panthers’ open the longest home stand of the season with five consecutive matches begins Oct. 7 against Bradley, featuring a homecoming matchup with Illinois State on Oct. 8.
Four of UNI’s final six matches of the year will be played at home, as the Panthers welcome the two of the league’s newest members to Cedar Falls during the final weekend of October in Murray State and Belmont. The Panthers will close the home portion of the regular season hosting Southern Illinois on Nov. 11 before honoring its senior class the following afternoon ahead of the season finale against Missouri State.
The top-8 teams in the league standings will qualify for the MVC Tournament, which will be played Nov. 20-23 at the Meeks Family Fieldhouse in Evansville, Ind.
Ticket information for the upcoming volleyball season will be announced at a later date.
2022 Schedule Notes
- UNI will face off against 6 NCAA Tournament teams from 2021, including Creighton, UIC, Illinois State, Kentucky, Iowa State and SEMO.
- Three of UNI’s scheduled opponents enter the season as reigning regular season champions of its respective league (Kentucky-SEC; Creighton-Big East; SEMO-OVC), while SEMO and Illinois State enter as defending conference tournament champions.
- Six Panther opponents qualified for the 2021 National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC), including 4 MVC teams in Evansville, Bradley, Indiana State and tournament runner-up Valparaiso. CSU Bakersfield and North Florida both qualified as well.
- In non-conference play, UNI will face a pair of new opponents in CSU Bakersfield and Grand Canyon for the first time.
- The Panthers will take on three new opponents in MVC play with the addition of UIC, Murray State and Belmont. UNI holds a 10-3 record all-time against UIC, and won its only matchup with Murray State in 1989. The Panthers’ Oct. 29 match with Belmont will be the first meeting all-time between the two programs.
- UNI continues its series with Iowa State for the 24th consecutive season as the Panthers visit Ames in September. The two programs have played every season since 1998.
- The Panthers’ Sept. 17 matchup with Iowa will be the first in the regular season since 2005. UNI holds a 26-22 all-time record against the Hawkeyes.
- 2022 will be the 17th season of Panther volleyball played in the McLeod Center, where UNI holds a record of 158-50 (.759) since moving in from the West Gym in Nov. 2006.
- Entering her 23rd season at the helm, head coach Bobbi Petersen is the winningest coach in UNI and MVC history with a career record of 530-194. Petersen has guided the Panthers to 15 NCAA Tournament appearances during her tenure with 10 tournament victories, including a pair of Sweet 16 berths. The 6-time MVC Coach of the Year has helped the Panthers win 9 conference regular season and MVC Tournament titles.