With Evansville’s five-set upset of UNI on Friday evening, the Illinois State volleyball team (24-6, 16-2 MVC) clinched the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title.
On the final day of the MVC regular season Saturday, UNI toppled Indiana State to give the Panthers a share of the championship title with the Redbirds, as both teams finished with a 16-2 record during league play. The last time the title was shared was in 2013, when former Valley member Wichita State clinched a share with UNI.
After tie-breaking protocol, UNI will be the No. 1 seed heading into the MVC Championship this week in Springfield, Missouri, while Illinois State has locked up the No. 2 seed. The Redbirds and the Panthers have each secured a first-round bye and will begin competition at the MVC Championship on Friday, November 23.
Illinois State reached 20 wins during the regular season for the fourth time in five years, which included 14 straight-set wins, with nine of those occurring in Valley play, and a 12-match win streak. Senior Courtney Pence became the league’s career digs leader with her fourth digs of the Redbirds’ sweep of Loyola Chicago on Nov. 9, surpassing UNI’s Ellie Blankenship’s (2007-10) mark of 2,656.
For more information regarding the Valley’s championship tournament, please visit the MVC’s championship central page.