In back-to-back seasons, No. 3 seed Illinois State University volleyball is dancing into the NCAA Volleyball Tournament.

Winning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Saturday night, this was the first time a No. 3 seed has won the MVC Tournament in conference history.

Now, the 'Birds prepare for their second NCAA berth in three seasons under head coach Leah Johnson.

The Redbirds are set to face No. 4 (national seed) Wisconsin at 7 p.m. Friday at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in their 15th program appearance at the NCAA tournament.

Johnson_Leah_cutout

Leah Johnson took over as head coach of Illinois State in 2017, replacing Melissa Meyers

  Vidette Archive

While ISU readies to rematch the Badgers, striving to avoid a repeat of 2014's second-round loss to Wisconsin, here are the Redbirds' 15 total NCAA postseason appearances, outcomes and more.

2019

Record: 22-11 (12-6 MVC)

Head Coach: Leah Johnson (2017-Present)

MVC Tournament: Valley Champions | Defeated MVC No. 1 ranked Northern Iowa in a three-set sweep for the Valley Tournament title (11th all-time), 3-0.

NCAA Outcome: TBD

 

2018

Record: 25-7 (16-2 MVC) 9-0 @ Redbird Arena

Head Coach: Leah Johnson 

MVC Tournament: T-1st | Shared Champions w/ Northern Iowa

NCAA Outcome: Lost to Cincinnati in three-set sweep in first-round matchup.

2014

Meyers_Melissa

Melissa Meyers coached Illinois State from 2008 to 2017

Record: 27-6 (18-0 MVC) 10-0 @ Redbird Arena

Head Coach: Melissa Myers (2008-2017)

MVC Tournament: Champions

NCAA Outcome: Defeated Marquette in first round 3-2 (first tournament win since 1996), lost in second round to Wisconsin-Madison 3-0.

ISU VB_2014_7.JPG

Ashley Rosch in regular-season action for the 2014 Illinois State volleyball team. The Redbirds amassed a 22-game win streak by cruising through the MVC Tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa. ISU finished the regular season undefeated in conference play at 18-0. By winning the MVC, ISU received a berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament.

2007

Dingman_Sharon.png

Sharon Dingman coached Illinois State from 2000 to 2007 and took the Redibirds to the NCAA Tournament in her final season.

Record: 21-12 (11-7 MVC) 13-7 @ Redbird Arena

Head Coach: Sharon Dingman (2000-2007)

MVC Tournament: Runner-Up

NCAA Outcome: Swept by Colorado State in first round, 3-0.

1998

Record: 22-10 (16-2 MVC)

Head Coach: Julie Morgan (1987-1999)

MVC Tournament: Runner-Up

NCAA Outcome: Defeated by Utah in first round, 3-0.

ISU VB_1997_1b

The 1997 Illinois State volleyball team would eventually qualify for the 1997 NCAA Division I Tournament. Shown here is Nikki McLeary, foreground, during regular-season action.

1997

Record: 24-9 (17-1 MVC)

Head Coach: Julie Morgan (1987-1999)

MVC Tournament: Champions

NCAA Outcome: Lost to South Carolina in first round, 3-0.

Morgan_Julie

Former ISU head coach Julie Morgan (1987-1999)

1996

Record: 29-8 (17-1 MVC)

Head Coach: Julie Morgan (1987-1999)

MVC Tournament: Champions

NCAA Outcome: Lost in second round to No. 1 Florida 3-0, defeated Miami (Ohio) 3-1 in first round.

1993

Record: 29-8 (17-1 MVC)

Head Coach: Julie Morgan (1987-1999)

MVC Tournament: T-1st | Shared Champions

NCAA Outcome: Knocked out in first round by NIU, 3-0

Morgan_Julie

Julie Morgan is the winningest coach in ISU volleyball history with 289 wins over 13 seasons. 

1992

Record: 30-4 (14-2 MVC)

Head Coach: Julie Morgan (1987-1999)

MVC Tournament: T-1st | Shared Champions

NCAA Outcome: Advanced to second round sweeping Houston 3-0 in first round, losing to No. 3 Long Beach State 3-0.

1989

Record: 21-11 (9-0 MVC)

Head Coach: Julie Morgan (1987-1999)

MVC Tournament: Champions

NCAA Outcome: Defeated by No. 5 Nebraska in first round, 3-0.

1988

Record: 25-9 (8-1 MVC)

Head Coach: Julie Morgan (1987-1999)

MVC Tournament: T-1st | Shared Champions

NCAA Outcome: Knocked out in first round by No. 4 Illinois, 3-0.

1985

Record: 31-9 (8-1 MVC)

Head Coach: Sandy Lynn (1982-1986)

MVC Tournament: T-1st | Shared Champions

NCAA Outcome: Lost to No. 10 Purdue in the first round, 3-0.

1984

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Sandy Lynn coached at ISU from 1982 to 1986 and took her teams dancin' an amazing four times.

Record: 36-6 (9-0 MVC)

Head Coach: Sandy Lynn (1982-1986)

MVC Tournament: Champions

NCAA Outcome: Beaten by No. 19 Western Michigan in first round, 3-1.

1983

Record: 29-16 (8-1 MVC)

Head Coach: Sandy Lynn (1982-1986)

MVC Tournament: Champions

NCAA Outcome: Knocked out in first round by No. 10 Purdue, 3-2.

1982

Record: 29-18 (4-1 MVC)

Head Coach: Sandy Lynn (1982-1986)

MVC Tournament: Champions

NCAA Outcome: Lost to No. 8 Arizona State in first round, 3-1.


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JONATHAN BARLAS is Sports Editor for The Vidette. He can be reached at jgbarla@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter @janveselybarlas

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