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Redbird Arena .... Home of the Melissa Myers Redbird Volleyball Camps
A cornerstone for the Illinois State Athletics program is beautiful Redbird Arena, which began operation in 1989. The home of Redbird volleyball, the facility also houses the Owen Strength and Conditioning Center and athletic administration offices. Many praise the arena, with a capacity of 10,200, for its excellent design, as the furthest seat from the floor is just 220 feet away.
Melissa Myers will enter her eighth season as Illinois State's head volleyball coach in 2015.
Myers led the Redbirds to a 27-6 record in 2014, which included a school-record 23-match winning streak, en route to the program's first Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles since 1997. Illinois State made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007 and won its first NCAA Tournament match since 1996, and the team's first-ever NCAA Tournament match away from Redbird Arena.
Myers was the MVC Coach of the Year and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) North Region Coach of the Year in 2014.
In her seven years at Illinois State, Myers has compiled a record of 129-91 (.586), while mentoring 18 All-MVC players, including three MVC Libero of the Year selections, one MVC Freshman of the Year, one MVC Setter of the Year and one MVC Player of the Year. She has also coached four AVCA All-Region selections and three AVCA All-Americans.
Myers' teams have also set high marks in terms of academic success and community service. The volleyball team posted the highest grade-point average (GPA) among all ISU teams in three of the past four semesters, including the Fall 2014 semester, when the team set a new in-season record with a 3.62 cumulative GPA, as every member of the team was named to the AFNI Honor Roll. The Redbird volleyball team is also active in community service, volunteering with the Special Olympics, as well as local food pantries and retirement homes.
Prior to her time at Illinois State, Myers compiled a 161-49 (.767) record over six seasons at California University (Pa.). Myers capped her tenure with three-consecutive 30-win seasons and was named both the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and AVCA Region Coach of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Myers left California University (Pa.) as the winningest coach in program history.
In 2007, Myers led the Vulcans to a 35-4 record, including a 16-0 mark in the PSAC, and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Tournament. The team rattled off 33 consecutive wins during the banner season, three players earned All-America plaudits, and the undefeated league slate was just the second in school history. In 2006, California University (Pa.) posted a 30-7 record and advanced to PSAC and NCAA Regional championship matches. In 2005, the team was 33-3 and captured its first league title in 13 years, while advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the previous four seasons.
Prior to her time at California University (Pa.), Myers served as an assistant coach for four seasons. She spent three seasons (1998-2000) at Lock Haven University, before moving on to her alma mater, Juniata College, where she served as an assistant for the men's volleyball program for one season (2001-02).
Myers was a four-year letterwinner, and three-year starter as a right-side hitter, at Juniata, where she also excelled in track and field. Myers garnered numerous individual awards and honors during her playing career, including being named the Middle Atlantic Conference Volleyball Player of the Year and an AVCA First-Team All-American in 1997. She garnered All-America status as a member of Juniata's track and field team in 1998.
Myers was inducted into the Juniata College Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 as the only two-sport All-American in school history.
Myers earned her bachelor's degree from Juniata in human behavior and communications. She later earned her master's degree in exercise science and health promotion, with an emphasis in performance enhancement, from California University (Pa.).
Eric Plunkett enters his third season as an assistant volleyball coach at Illinois State. Plunkett brings with him a wealth of coaching experience at various levels of men's and women's volleyball.
Prior to his arrival at ISU in 2012, Plunkett served as a volunteer assistant for the women's volleyball team at Mississippi. His responsibilities there included assisting with practices, scouting and recruiting procedures, and potential recruit evaluations.
Plunkett spent the two years prior to that as an assistant coach of the men's volleyball team at Clarke University, where he helped Clarke produced its first NAIA All-American. Plunkett organized recruiting efforts for the Crusaders, facilitated fundraising for club tournaments, and gained experience in both designing and executing practice plans.
Peter Netisingha will enter his first season as an assistant volleyball coach at Illinois State in 2016. Netisingha joins the staff after coaching stops at Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Netisingha most recently served as a volunteer assistant at Nebraska for two seasons, helping the Huskers to back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, culminating with the team's championship run in 2015. Among his responsibilities at Nebraska were on-court instruction, scouting, video analysis and strategic planning.
Before his time at Nebraska, Netisingha spent a year as a volunteer assistant at Ohio, where he helped the Bobcats to 2013 Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament titles, and an NCAA Tournament berth.