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Iowa History Daily: December 3 - Panthers Net Sweet 16

Iowa History Daily: On December 3, 1999, the University of Northern Iowa Panthers volleyball team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in program history. The Panthers hold a history of volleyball excellence with 21 Missouri Valley Championships, 25 NCAA tournament appearances, and three trips to the Sweet Sixteen.

From the opening night of the season, Iradge Ahrabi-Fard’s Panthers performed as a dominant team. During the regular season UNI rolled through the Missouri Valley schedule to post a perfect 18-0 record while climbing as high as number 15 in the national polls.

The Panthers attack featured four first-team all-MVC honorees in Shannon Perry, Holly VanHofwegen, Alexandra Auker and Kim McCaffrey. UNI arrived in the NCAA tournament undefeated as Perry garnered MVC Player of the Year honors.

As Northern Iowa entered the NCAA tournament, a first round win pushed the Panthers to 29-0 as they prepared to face Indiana in the round of 32. A four set win (17-15, 10-15, 15-10, 16-14) over the Hoosiers moved the team to 30-0 and the program’s first ever Sweet Sixteen. Although UNI fell to Pacific, Ahrabi-Fard captured National Coach of the Year Honors for a season Panther fans won’t soon forget. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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