It will be a big weekend for the UNI volleyball team. Not only will the Panthers open Missouri Valley Conference play but the program will be recognizing its 40th year of competition.

UNI coach Bobbi Peterson says several former players will be returning for the events and there will be a lot of familiar faces. Peterson says the people have been the biggest part of the program and it is exciting to have so many return.

It will be an emotional weekend for Peterson, who competed for the Panthers and served as an assistant coach before taking over the program. “There’s just so much pride in our alumni and what our program did when they were here and what they continue to do,” Peterson says. She says when they get together they won’t talk about the matches, they will talk about the relationships they have built over the years.

UNI hosts Loyola on Friday and Bradley on Saturday.

(Reporting by Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein)