NORMAL (HOI) -- For the second-straight year the Illinois State Redbirds claimed the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship and punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
Illinois State won the MVC regular season title, earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and finished it off with a 3-1 win over No. 6 seed Loyola Chicago in the finals at Redbird Arena.
"This was the one I’ve been really excited to get. To get both the regular season and tournament championships in the same year, especially in a weird year, feels so good and I’m so proud of this team. This senior class has truly taken us to new heights every year," said Illinois State Head Coach Leah Johnson.
It's the 12th MVC Tournament title for Illinois State and it will be the third-straight year they make it to the NCAA Tournament. The Redbirds will find out their opponent during the tournament selection show on Sunday at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.
Senior Kaylee Martin was named named to the MVC Tournament first team and also garnered tournament MVP honors. Fellow seniors Stef Jankiewicz and Sydney Holt earned first team honors as well.
Martin finished the game with 16 kills and 10 digs, good for a double-double. Holt added in 14 kills and a couple big blocks. Jankiewicz tallied up 39 assists, 10 digs, and 3 kills. Sophomore Sarah Kushner also registered 10 kills and 11 digs for a double-double.