CEDAR RAPIDS - The Cedar Rapids Titans and Sioux Falls Storm have met in the conference title game in each of the past four seasons.
If the Titans have any hope to make it five, they will need to dig out of an ever-increasing hole.
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Northern Iowa pushed the match to a fifth set, but lost 25-16, 25-20, 24-26, 14-25, 15-12 to No. 21 Creighton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday in Lawrence, Kan.
Piper Thomas had 14 kills, Bri Weber added 12 and Kayla Haneline had 11 for UNI (24-10). Kendyl Sorge led with 26 digs and Heather Hook had 39 assists.
Creighton takes on No. 5 Kansas in the round of 32 Friday.
Iowa State dropped its first-round NCAA Tournament match to Purdue, 26-24, 25-21, 25-13, on Thursday in Columbia, Mo.
The Boilermaker attack was relentless, hitting .454 for the match, led by 21 kills from Danielle Cuttino.
Samara West led Iowa State (18-11) with 10 kills and Hali Hillegas had 16 digs.
Purdue gets No. 15 Missouri in Friday’s second round.