VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Sycamore Invitational
WHEN: Friday-Saturday, Sept. 7-8, 2018
WHERE: Terre Haute, Ind. (ISU Arena)
PARTICIPATING TEAMS: Saint Louis (0-6), Central Michigan (2-4), Green Bay (3-4), Indiana State (4-2)
BILLIKEN MATCHES (all times Central)
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A LOOK AT THE BILLIKENS
• Saint Louis plays the third of its four tournaments when the Billikens travel to Terre Haute, Indiana, for Indiana State’s Sycamore Invitational Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7-8. SLU takes on Central Michigan of the Mid-American Conference, Green Bay of the Horizon League and Indiana State of the Missouri Valley Conference.
• Junior OH Sien Gallop earned All-Tournament honors at SLU’s Marcia E. Hamilton Classic last week. In three matches, Gallop averaged 2.7 kills and 2.7 digs per set, posted a .239 attack percentage and added two service aces.
• Through matches of Sept. 5, sophomore OH Maya Taylor ranks among the top 50 in the nation in two categories. Taylor is 40th in kills per set (4.21) and 49th in points per set (4.58). She leads the Atlantic 10 Conference in kills per set and ranks third in points per set.
• Taylor garnered All-Tournament plaudits at the season-opening Miami Best Western Sycamore Inn Invitational. She had 39 kills (4.33/set), registered a .275 attack percentage and added nine digs and two blocks in three matches.
• Cayce Chaykowsky ranks ninth in the A-10 in digs per set (3.53).
• Click here for the Billikens’ statistics.
• SLU was tabbed for a third-place Atlantic 10 Conference finish by the league’s coaches in their preseason poll. Click here for the story.
• The Billikens returned four starters and seven additional players from last year’s team that finished third in the Atlantic 10 Conference with a 10-4 record. Five freshmen join four seniors, two juniors and five sophomores. Click here for the complete 2018 roster.
• Leading the returning group are junior OH Sien Gallop, sophomore OH Maya Taylor and sophomore S Kennedy Cordia.
• Gallop, who led NCAA Division I in service aces per set (0.67) and total service aces (67), was selected to the 2017 Atlantic 10 All-Conference first team. She tallied 2.99 kills per set and 2.34 digs per set.
• Taylor was tabbed A-10 Rookie of the Year. Her 3.51 kills per set ranked second in the A-10, and she led SLU hitters with a .245 attack percentage.
• Cordia joined Taylor on the league’s All-Rookie team. She registered a team-high 7.17 assists per set and added 2.16 digs per set.
• Head coach Kent Miller is in his eighth season on the Saint Louis sideline.
• Up next, Saint Louis concludes regular-season tournament play by hosting the Billiken Invitational Sept. 14-15. SLU will take on Kansas City, Murray State and UNLV.
• Click here for the complete 2018 schedule.
A LOOK AT THIS WEEKEND’S OPPONENTS
• Central Michigan returned three starters from last year’s team that went 15-14 overall and 7-9 (tied for third, West Division) in the MAC. One of the Chippewas’ two wins this season was a 3-1 victory over La Salle, which competes with Saint Louis in the A-10. Sophomore OH Kalina Smith has a team-high 3.00 kills per set, while junior L Megan Kern leads CMU with 3.96 digs per set. STATISTICS
• After reaching the Horizon League tournament final in 2017, Green Bay made it to the third round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship. The Phoenix were 17-16 overall and 9-7 (fourth) in the conference a year ago. Among the returning players are sophomore RS Taylor Wolf (Horizon Freshman of the Year and first-team All-Conference) and junior S Maddie Yoss (Horizon honorable mention). Wolf averages just shy of five kills per set. STATISTICS
• Indiana State was 11-21 overall and 8-10 (fifth) in the MVC last season. The Sycamores receive a team-high 3.09 kills per set and 4.05 digs per set from senior OH Laura Gross, a second-team All-Conference selection a year ago. Freshman MB/OH Madeline Williams and junior MB Damadj Johnson carry attack percentages of .345 and .322, respectively, and Johnson turns in 1.32 blocks per set. Junior DS/L Jade York records a team-high 4.09 digs per set. STATISTICS