ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis senior Grace Bonoma became the 15th Billiken to reach 1,000 digs, but the Billikens fell 25-21, 25-20, 25-21 Friday night against No. 18 Dayton in Atlantic 10 Conference volleyball action at Chaifetz Pavilion.
The Flyers keep their eight-match winning streak intact and improve to 16-4 overall and 8-0 in A-10 play. The Billikens dip to 7-15 and 2-6 in the league.
Bonoma, who finished with a match-high 18 digs, becomes the 15th Billiken to record at least 1,000 digs in a career. Carly Marcum paced the Billiken attack with 13 kills, while Megan Gilbert and Anna Church posted 10 kills apiece. Cassie Clarke registered a double-double with 30 assists and 10 digs.
The Billikens twice led by five points in the first set, once on a Bonoma service ace that made it 13-8 and again on a Marcum kill to make it 14-9. But Dayton slowly chipped away at its deficit and took a 17-16 lead. SLU did not go down quietly, tying the score at 20-all before Dayton went on to take set number one, 25-21.
In set two, SLU came out of the games hot, posting a lead of 6-1 thanks in part to a pair of Marcum kills. Kills by Church and Marcum make it 13-9. SLU would hold a 17-13 lead before the Flyers mounted a comeback. Three straight points tied it at 20-all, forcing a SLU timeout. Dayton would record the next five points as it took a 2-0 advantage into the break.
Once again, the Billikens got off to a strong start at the beginning of set three. A Clarke kill gave the Bills a 5-1 advantage, and they led the set for much of the early going. The remaining of the set went back-and-forth, with neither team posting an advantage of more than three points. Gilbert recorded consecutive kills late to pull the Bills within one at 22-21, but the Flyers earned the final three points for the set and match victory.
Saint Louis returns to action tomorrow, hosting Xavier at Chaifetz Pavilion at 7 p.m.