Courtesy: Missouri Valley Conference
Friday, October 12
Valparaiso at Illinois State (ESPN+)… 6 PM*
UNI at Southern Illinois (ESPN3)…….. 6 PM*
Drake at Missouri State (ESPN3)……. 7 PM*
Loyola at Bradley (ESPN+)………………. 7 PM*
Alone at the Top
UNI remains unbeaten in MVC action and sits 7-0 in league play for the second-straight season. The Panthers suffered their first MVC defeat against Missouri State last season and face the Bears on Saturday in Springfield. The Panthers have only dropped two sets in league play, posting a 21-2 mark in conference sets.
UNI’s RPI improved four spots to No. 16 this week. Entering this week, the Panthers are one of only four teams nationally to have seven matches against teams ranked in the Top 25 of the RPI, joining Texas, USC and Creighton. UNI is also one of only 17 teams nationally to have at least two Top 25 RPI wins and is the only one not ranked in the AVCA Top 25 poll. UNI’s schedule is rated as the 6th toughest nationally.
Valpo’s Best Start
Valpo’s 18-3 start joins the 2004 team as the only teams in program history to sit at 18-3 through 21 matches. Valpo is one of just two teams in the nation with at least 18 victories, sitting just behind the 19 wins of Stephen F. Austin. Valpo has a showdown at Illinois State Friday night in a battle of the two second place teams. The Redbirds hold a 3-0 record against Valpo since the Crusaders joined the MVC.
Stokes Moving Up List
A week after earning her 500th career win, Melissa Stokes is now one victory away from tying for second in MVC history in overall victories. Stokes, who already owns the most MVC wins of any league coach with 292, currently trails UNI’s Iradge Ahrabi-Fard’s 503 total wins by one. Linda Dollar, who racked up 758 victories at Missouri State from 1972-95, sits atop the list.
All-Time MVC Coaches – Wins
Coach, School (Years) W-L-T
- Linda Dollar, Missouri State (1972-95) 758-266-21
- Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, UNI (1981-96;98-00) 503-142-4
- Melissa Stokes, Missouri St. (1996-present) 502-237
UNI continues to receive votes in this week’s AVCA Top 25 poll. The Panthers are receiving 39 points in the poll and sit 26th overall entering this week’s action.
Mid-Major Top 25
The Valley has two teams ranked in the VolleyballMag.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll*. UNI sits No. 5 in this week’s poll (Oct. 9), while Illinois State appears in the poll at No. 19. Valparaiso is receiving votes for the first time this season
*Includes all teams note in the “power-five” conferences
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