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Illinois State volleyball clinches regular season title

Written by on March 28, 2021

Photo courtesy of Illinois State Athletics.

NORMAL Ill.- Following a weekend sweep over last-place Southern Illinois, Illinois State secured the N0. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament set to take place this coming Thursday. The Redbirds enter the tournament as the MVC defending champions, after running the table as the No. 3 seed back in December of 2019.

Head coach Leah Johnson is no stranger to success, as she led the Redbirds to a regular-season championship in 2018. This season can’t be compared to any other, which might make this championship that much more special.

“This team has wanted this the whole season, especially our group of seniors who has had pieces of championships throughout their career. Their goal was to win a regular-season championship and to win a conference tournament to make it to another postseason. It’s a special thing to see someone realize their goals. I’m so proud of this team and excited to see what else they can accomplish,” said Johnson.

The Redbirds as the No. 1 seed take on No. 8 Indiana State at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Earlier this season, Illinois split its series against the Sycamores in Terre Haute, Ind. Drake enters the tournament as the two seed, followed by Missouri State as the three.

If the Redbirds are able to beat Indiana State, eyes would move ahead to the No. 4/No. 5 matchup featuring Bradley and Valparaiso. The six seed taking on Missouri State is Loyola-Chicago, while preseason No. 1 Northern Iowa finished seventh in regular season play and will face the Drake Bulldogs.

The MVC tournament is scheduled from April 1-3 and will be played at Redbird Arena in Normal, Ill.