ISU to begin NVIC play Thursday

MELINA TEDROW

Indiana State will head to Valparaiso for the first round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship on Thursday.

The Sycamores will face Toledo at 5 p.m., with the winner advancing to play either Butler or Valparaiso in a second-round matchup 7 p.m. Friday. All matches throughout the WIVC will air on ESPN Plus.

The Sycamores won just their second MVC tournament match in program history with a 3-0 sweep of No. 3 Bradley on Thanksgiving Day. Five players recorded at least seven kills, with Kaitlyn Hamilton and Storm Suhre leading with nine each. Indiana State then fell to host Illinois State in the semifinal match.

Indiana State sits at 18-12 for the season, which secures a winning record for the first time since 2015 when the team finished 17-16. Its 9-9 finish in league play ties its best finish in program history — a mark also set in 2014. The 18 wins are the most since the 1982 season.

Melina Tedrow continues to climb the ISU record book — her 28 digs in the MVC tournament moved her into fourth place in program history with 1,692. Tedrow sits behind Kiya James (1,706) and Cheryl Berg (1,713). Kristy Cox (2005-08) sits as the all-time leader in digs with 1,841 over her career.

Melina Tedrow was named Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention by the MVC on Tuesday. Tedrow owns a 3.60 grade-point average while majoring in marketing. It marks the third time of her career that she has earned MVC Scholar-Athlete and being named to the First Team in 2019 and 2020.

Toledo comes into this match with a 19-12 record while going 10-8 in the Mid-American Conference. The Rockets fell to Western Michigan 3-0 in the opening round of the MAC tournament. This will be the sixth matchup between the two schools with Toledo leading the all-time series 3-2. The last match came in 2019 with the Rockets winning 3-0.

Illinois State (NCAA), Bradley (NIVC), Evansville (NIVC), Indiana State (NIVC) and Valparaiso (NIVC) will each take part in the 2021 postseason, totaling five Valley volleyball teams in the postseason. The five postseason teams equal the 2018 season when Illinois State and UNI made the NCAA field and Bradley, Drake and Valparaiso competed in the NIVC as the most in league history.

The latest edition of the NCAA RPI report (Nov. 28) has been released and the Valley has three teams featured in the top-70. Valparaiso leads the league at No. 65, while Illinois State (No. 67) and Loyola Chicago (No. 68) are also among the nation’s top-70. Five other teams rank in the Top 139 (Bradley, Evansville, Missouri State, Indiana State, and UNI). The Valley ranks eighth as a league in RPI.

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