Redbirds Prepare For Homecoming Matchups
Written by Matt Cherry on October 15, 2021
Image courtesy of goredbirds.com
NORMAL Ill.- Redbird volleyball is back for homecoming weekend and will face off against the top two seeds in the Missouri Valley Conference, Loyola on Friday and Valparaiso on Saturday.
Friday, the Birds will play their toughest opponent, Loyola, who is currently number one in the standings and 6-0 in conference play. Last time these two teams played was last year where ISU beat the Ramblers in 4 sets to win the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship.
As one of the most experienced teams in the conference, Loyola will be a strong opponent for ISU who has one of the youngest teams in the conference. Head coach Leah Johnson says, “We need to manage their middle. Taylor Venuto is a very good attacker, so if we can control her I think we give ourselves an opportunity. They run through her a lot.”
Saturday, the Birds will play Valparaiso. The Beacons currently sit at number 2 in the standings for the MVC, with a record of 4-2 in conference play. Last time the Birds played this team was in the 2020-2021 season. The first game was won behind senior Kaylee Martins’ 18 kills, however the Birds lost in their second matchup 2-3.
Despite the young team scheduled to play the best in the MVC, the Redbirds are still chasing a championship. Johnson says, “That goal will never change for us, we’re not just looking to make the conference tournament. Our goal is to win every match when we step on the court.”
ISU will be playing Loyola on Friday at 6 pm and Valparaiso on Saturday at 7 pm at Redbird Arena.