Redbirds Get Senior Day Sweep Over Evansville
Written by Jack Podlesnik on March 22, 2021
Photo courtesy of goredbirds.com
NORMAL, Ill. – The Illinois State volleyball team secured its third sweep of the season, defeating the Evansville Purple Aces 3-0. The win extends ISU’s winning streak to four, now holding a record of 11-5 overall, with a 9-3 conference record. With the win, they are also now the number one seed in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Leading the way in the Redbirds’ victory was senior Sydney Holt. Holt recorded a season-high 13 kills and was tied for second on the team with three blocks. It’s only fitting that the senior showed out in her last game at Redbird Arena, as Holt expands on what it has meant to play at ISU.
“It’s always so fun to win in Redbird Arena,” said Holt. “We have the best fans in the whole country even if we aren’t able to have them all here. These past four years have just been awesome, the coaching staff, my teammates, the community – it’s so welcoming and everyone is so supportive so it makes it easy to represent this university.”
Sydney Holt wasn’t the only senior who impressed. Kaylee Martin delivered nine kills, Stef Jankiewicz had 41 assists, and libero Kendal Meier recorded 20 digs. The seniors have played a major role in the program’s recent success. The team won the MVC a year ago, and is looking for their second straight championship. Meanwhile, they’ve also made it to the NCAA Tournament two years in a row. Looking for their third straight NCAA Tournament bid, Head Coach Leah Johnson acknowledges how this group of seniors have impacted her and the program.
“I don’t know a season without them. They’re what I see as Redbird Volleyball and that’s an incredibly high standard,” said Johnson. “They’re exceptionally competitive and just champions every day in everything they do.”
The Redbirds will finish their regular season play this weekend at Southern Illinois as they face off against the last-place Salukis. Tournament play begins the following week, on April 1, as ISU looks for their second consecutive MVC championship.