Daily Egyptian

Final weekend for MVC volleyball could be historic for SIU

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

The SIU volleyball team is second in the Missouri Valley Conference and this weekend will play the teams above and below them in the conference standings. 

The matches could be a turning point for the team, which set the goal of making the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history before the season. 

Coach Justin Ingram said the team would need to rank in the low 40s in the country to have a chance of making the NCAA tournament with an at-large bid. They are currently No. 42. 

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“The whole thing is about getting your team to play hard,” Ingram said. “We’re in a position right now where we feel good about what we’re doing. At this time in November there’s a lot of things that can happen.” 

The Salukis’ 22 wins so far this season are tied for Ingram’s most as a head coach — he finished 22-11 in 2009 with Arkansas State. 

Here are the possible outcomes for the SIU volleyball team before the MVC tournament: 

2-0

If the Salukis beat both No. 30 Wichita State and No. 43 Missouri State they will be in sole possession of first place in the MVC. 

SIU beat Missouri State and Wichita State in five sets at Davies Gym on Oct. 5 and Nov. 2, respectively. 

The Salukis and Shockers would have the same conference record, but SIU would hold the tie-breaker with two regular season wins against Wichita State.

Possible match-ups

SIU would earn a first round bye for the conference tournament.

1-1

Wichita State and Missouri State are playing Evansville which, no matter the outcome, cannot make the MVC playoffs. If both teams win against Evansville, the standings will remain as is. 

As long as the Salukis win a match, they will finish the season No. 2 in the MVC for the first time in SIU history and earn a first round bye for the conference tournament. 

Possible match-ups

SIU would earn a first round bye for the conference tournament.

0-2

The SIU volleyball team will travel 1,110 miles this weekend, according to Google Maps. Traveling the whole distance by bus and playing two top-50 teams could prove a challenge for the Salukis.

If the Salukis lose both games this weekend and Wichita State and Missouri State go 2-0, SIU will fall to No. 3 in the conference.

Possible match-ups

Loyola Ramblers (19-10, 8-8) and SIU split the season series 1-3, 3-2.

Northern Iowa Panthers (16-13, 10-6) and SIU split the season series 1-3, 3-1.

Illinois State Redbirds (21-9, 11-6) and SIU split the season series 2-3, 3-0.

Evan Jones can be reached at 618-536-3304, [email protected] or on Twitter @EvanJones_DE

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