Redbirds Host Valparaiso
Junior Matea Simovic.
Junior Matea Simovic.

March 22, 2006

NORMAL, Ill. - In the past week, Illinois State has had to deal with two match cancellations due to snow and scheduling conflicts; however, that has finally come to an end as the `Birds prepare for their first home match against Valparaiso this Saturday at 1 p.m.

The match was originally set for 10 a.m. at McCormick Courts but due to snow both coaches have agreed to reschedule the match for 1 p.m. at Evergreen Racquet Club. If the weather improves by Saturday, the match will be held at McCormick Courts.

Head coach Chris Hoover looks at the March 25 match-up against the Crusaders (4-5) as a way to prepare the team before it heads into the competitive conference season.

"We are anxious to get going again and get back on the court," said Hoover. "Valparaiso is one of the few matches that we have to get ourselves ready for the Missouri Valley Conference competition."

The Redbirds are coming off a disappointing loss against Western Michigan, 6-1. However, Illinois State used the loss to work on its weaknesses for its upcoming matches.

"The Western Michigan match showed us what we needed to work on and improve upon," said Hoover. "We are just ready to get going again."

The team has not played a competitive match in about two weeks heading into the Valparaiso match. Despite the break, the Redbirds feel confident that they are going to be successful in their match against Valparaiso. The team is eager and determined to win and practice its skills before its first conference match against Bradley.

"Even though we have not played in a while, we are going to be fine against Valparaiso," said Hoover. "We are ready to play."