VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Saint Louis (5-11, 2-1 Atlantic 10) at Rhode Island (8-8, 3-1) and Fordham (10-7, 2-2)


SLU at Rhode Island

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 • 6 p.m. CDT

WHERE: Kingston, Rhode Island (Keaney Gymnasium)

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SLU at Fordham

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 • 6 p.m. CDT

WHERE: Bronx, New York (Rose Hill Gym)





• Saint Louis plays its first Atlantic 10 Conference road matches of the season when the Billikens take on Rhode Island and Fordham this weekend.

• Fordham hosts Dayton Friday night before facing Saint Louis Sunday afternoon.

• The Billikens own commanding series leads over both of this weekend’s opponents. SLU is 17-5 vs. Rhode Island and 17-1 vs. Fordham.

• Saint Louis split with Rhode Island and Fordham on the road a year ago. Rhode Island posted a 25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 26-24 victory over SLU. The Billikens downed Fordham 25-23, 24-26, 25-7, 25-19.

• The Billikens rank third in the A-10 in kills (12.37/set) and are fourth in the league in service aces (1.66/set).

• Sien Gallop continues to lead the nation with 0.72 service aces per set. Saint Louis is 21st in the national team rankings for aces.

• Lauren Leverenz stands seventh in the A-10 in attack percentage (.294).

• Maya Taylor (3.26/set) and Nenye Okoro (3.08/set) rank sixth and eighth in the league, respectively, in kills.

• Mackenzie Long’s 3.36 digs-per-set average is good for ninth in the conference.

• Lauren Leverenz and Lauren Mershon are battling for the team lead in blocks. Leverenz enters the weekend with a 44-41 edge.

• Mackenzie Long is fifth all-time at Saint Louis with 1,253 career digs. Long needs 72 digs to pass Jessica Sippy (1995-98) for fourth place.

• Maya Taylor was named the Sept. 18 Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week. Taylor tallied 61 kills (3.81/set) and hit .299 in four matches.

• Kent Miller collected his 100th victory as the Billikens’ head coach when SLU defeated Western Illinois Sept. 12. Miller is the third SLU skipper to achieve 100 wins, joining Marilyn Nolen and Anne Kordes.


• The Rams have rattled off three straight wins after falling at VCU to begin conference play. 
• Rhode Island is one of the strongest defensive teams in the A-10, ranking second (13th nationally) in opponents’ attack percentage (.149) and blocks (2.40/set).
• Marie Gillcrist is third in the league and 29th in the nation in blocks (1.41/set), as well as ninth in the A-10 in attack percentage (.281). Olivia Budinich is 10th in the conference in digs (3.31/set). 

• After falling twice on the road to open Atlantic 10 play, Fordham bounced back to defeat George Mason and George Washington at home. 
• Fordham tops the nation in service aces (2.36/set), led by Olivia Fairchild (0.66/set, No. 2 in the nation) and McKenna Lahr (0.63/set, No. 3 in the nation).
• The Rams are third in the A-10 in opponents’ attack percentage (.180).
• Fairchild is third in the league in kills (3.51/set) and eighth in attack percentage (.288); Morgan Williams is sixth in digs (4.14/set); and Kaitlin Morley is ninth in kills (3.06/set).