Rachel Koop – UNI junior setter, 2018

Rachel Koop – UNI junior setter, 2018


BRAD: The UNI Panther volleyball team is just outside of the Top 25 as they are unbeaten in Missouri Valley Conference action through the first three weeks of conference play. One of the play makers for UNI has been the junior setter, Rachel Koop. Koop is leading the conference is assists per set, and as Eric Braley shows us she’s doing an excellent job of distributing the ball to UNI’s lethal hitters. ERIC: In her fourth year on campus, Rachel Koop finally takes over leading the UNI volleyball team as it’s setter. This redshirt-junior is leaning on the growth she’s made over the past 3 years. KALANI: That maturity level is where you really start to see the transition from the sophomore to junior season and Koop did a really good job in the Spring when Heather graduated last year, she has the ability to now run the offense and we put her in the offense and she does a really good job. She wants to run a quick offense, she wants to try and juke out the other team and they don’t know what she does because she throws in dumps at different times and she knows how to get blockers away from certain hitters and she is just a very smart player. ERIC: Rachel is leading the Missouri Valley Conference in assists per set, but she doesn’t always deliver the ball in a conventional manner. She just pulls off stuff that you never could imagine a human could do. It is just like, how did you do that? And she can come up with stuff like “hey we are going to run this play and I want you to mix it up and do this instead,” and it’s like wow, how does it ever come from your brain to think of a play like that because I would never imagine it that way so she is just a very creative setter and very smart and crafty. And that will be to our advantage this year. ERIC: That style of play is a perfect reflection of Koop’s personality, helping keep the team loose and comfortable on the floor. Always smiling, Rachel is giving Panther fans plenty to smile about in her first year as setter. Koop has been working so hard the past few years and her setting role is growing and developing so much and it is fun to see that grow each year and with all the hitters that she has the opportunity to set and it will be a fun season with her. We wrap things up with the UNI head football coach Mark Farley as the Panthers get set to battle the South Dakota Coyotes in Vermillion, SD. Coach they are 2-0 in the MVFC and either in the top 25 or receiving votes all season long, coached by Bob Nielsen you know they are going to be a well coached and well prepared football team. Yeah, and we are going to their place. It has always been tough battles with them but we are going on the road to find a way to win this one but they will be well prepared. They have some momentum coming off the big win against Missouri State so they have momentum going as they proceed forward so it is a big deal for us because we are coming off this one and we have to get our feet underneath us and get ready for South Dakota. Big test for your defense. Their passing game is top 10 in the FCS, Austin Simmons their quarterback averages over 315 yards passing each game. Is that where you see the strength of their offense in this game? It is, I think it is run after catch is where you see a lot of the action going on because they throw the deep ball a lot but also the catch and run is very good and puts points on the board. Their defense they have a couple of all conference players as well, on offense what do you want to see your UNI Panthers go out and execute? I want to see progress from last week. I want to see a better football team from last week that keeps progressing because I think we showed what we are capable of but I don’t think we showed where we can be yet. Team as a whole, what do you want to see from the guys on Saturday? To come off this game and to put the team on the field that we want because when you are the road team in this league you have to be good. You have to be really good against South Dakota this week because we are on the road and it gives them that advantage so we have to take a highly prepared and passionate football team on the road this week. Alright, another hostile environment for the Panther football team to go into against South Dakota. Thanks so much for watching today on Panther Sports Talk!