Co-champion UNI middle blocker Piper Thomas took home the MVC’s Player of the Year honors, while Bradley’s Hannah Thompson earned the conference’s Freshman of the Year award. Illinois State’s Courtney Pence earned the league’s Libero of the Year honor, while her Redbird teammate Stef Jankiewicz was tabbed Setter of the Year.
Illinois State (14-1 MVC), UNI (13-1 MVC) and Bradley (10-5 MVC) have already punched their tickets to the MVC Volleyball Championship, while Valparaiso (9-5 MVC), Missouri State (8-6 MVC) and Loyola (7-7 MVC) currently occupy the final three spots.
A big match-up is coming up this weekend between Illinois State and UNI at Redbird Arena. Both teams will face Drake and Bradley, respectively, on Friday night before a 7 p.m. showdown on Saturday.
UNI maintained its lead at the top of MVC standings with a win over rival Drake in league play Friday. Illinois State (10-1 MVC) sits just a half game behind UNI in the race for a MVC crown with just one month remaining in the regular season.
UNI continued its impressive streak to 9 wins in a row. The Panthers are perfect in Missouri Valley Conference play (9-0) and stand at 15-6 overall. Illinois State stayed in 2nd at 7-1 with a sweep of Loyola Saturday.
UNI holds a one game lead over Valparaiso and Illinois State after the third week of Missouri Valley league play. The Panthers are in action Monday night against Evansville.
Butters now ranks 12th in Missouri Valley Conference history in career digs.
Missouri Valley teams combined to post a 20-11 record during the opening weekend of the 2018 volleyball season despite playing on the road. Drake and Evansville led the pack with 3-0 marks.
UNI’s Karlie Taylor and Illinois State’s Courtney Pence made the MVC honor roll for the week as player and defensive player of the week respectively. Indiana State setter Makayla Knoblauch was named the top rookie.
Missouri State senior libero Emily Butters, a 2017 VolleyMob All-American and the reigning Missouri Valley Conference Libero of the Year, talks stepping up, two-a-days and high expectations.