The University of Northern Iowa Panthers will return to the road for a pair of Missouri Valley Conference matches this week.  At stake, first place in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC).

The Panthers will travel to Normal, Ill., for a Friday night matchup against the Illinois State Redbirds (13-5). UNI will continue on to Terre Haute, Ind., for a Saturday night tilt with the Indiana State Sycamores (12-6).

Friday night’s matchup features a pair of unbeaten teams in MVC play so far this season.  The UNI Panthers and Illinois State Redbirds both have earned 7-0 records, the winner will take over first-place in the league standings.

UNI has won 16 consecutive matches vs. Illinois State, including the last six in a row at Redbird Arena. Illinois State’s last win over UNI came on Oct. 6, 2007, in Normal, IL.  That was a five-set marathon with the Redbirds winning 21-19 in the final game.

UNI will continue on to Terre Haute, Ind., for a Saturday night tilt with the Indiana State Sycamores (4-3 MVC).