VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Saint Louis (9-12, 6-2 Atlantic 10) at VCU (23-2, 9-0) and Davidson (9-13, 2-7)
SAINT LOUIS at VCU
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 • 6 p.m. CDT
WHERE: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)
LIVE STATS: StatBroadcast
SAINT LOUIS at DAVIDSON
WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017 • Noon CDT
WHERE: Davidson, N.C. (Belk Arena)
LIVE STATS: SIDEARM
A LOOK AT THE BILLIKENS
• Saint Louis is on the road for two Atlantic 10 Conference matches this weekend, taking on conference leader VCU and Davidson.
• SLU trails the series with VCU 5-3 and leads Davidson 5-1.
• Saint Louis played both teams twice in the 2016 regular season and went 4-0. The Billikens won 25-16, 29-27, 25-14 at Davidson and prevailed 13-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-15 at VCU. Later at Chaifetz Pavilion, SLU swept VCU 25-20, 25-15, 25-14 and got past Davidson 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-13.
• In the 2016 A-10 Championship first round, the Bills downed Davidson 25-17, 25-23, 21-25, 25-14.
• With six matches remaining, Saint Louis is in third place in the A-10 behind VCU (9-0) and Dayton (8-0).
• The Billikens are second in the A-10 in kills (12.82/set) and also rank in the top half of the league in assists (third, 11.92/set), service aces (fourth, 1.56/set) and hitting percentage (fifth, .200).
• Sien Gallop is once again the national leader in service aces (0.67/set). The Billikens are 36th nationally in the team rankings.
• Lauren Leverenz stands fourth in the A-10 in hitting percentage (.328).
• Maya Taylor ranks fifth in the league in kills (3.39/set).
• Mackenzie Long’s 3.47 digs-per-set average is good for 10th in the conference.
• Lauren Leverenz and Lauren Mershon are battling for the team lead in blocks. Leverenz enters the weekend with a 62-57 edge.
• In conference matches only, the Billikens rank third in hitting percentage (.240) while allowing their opponents to hit just .186.
• SLU is the only team with three players in the top 10 in kills in A-10 matches. Maya Taylor (3.73/set) leads the league, Sien Gallop (3.27/set) is third and Lauren Leverenz (3.10/set) is sixth.
• Lauren Leverenz owns a .368 hitting mark vs. A-10 opponents, good for fifth in the league. Leverenz also is eighth in blocks (1.07/set).
• Mackenzie Long has moved into fourth place on Saint Louis’ career digs list with 1,326. Long needs 131 digs to pass Kim Moorleghen (1987-90) for third place.
• Billiken players have earned three A-10 weekly awards this season. Maya Taylor is a two-time Rookie of the Week (Sept. 18, Oct. 23), while Lauren Leverenz earned Player of the Week accolades Oct. 9.
• 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.
A LOOK AT VCU
• VCU has won 20 consecutive matches and is receiving votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association national poll.
• The Rams rank second in the nation in blocks (3.23/set) and opponents’ hitting percentage (.125) and are sixth in service aces (1.76/set).
• Junior middle blocker Tori Baldwin (1.49/set) and sophomore middle blocker Jasmin Sneed (1.48/set) rank 1-2 in the A-10 and 12-13 in the nation, respectively, in blocks. Baldwin also is second in the conference in hitting percentage (.375).
• Senior libero Rebekah Strange is second in the conference in digs (4.71/set).
• VCU carries a solid .265 hitting percentage and tallies a league-best 13.59 kills per set vs. A-10 opponents.
A LOOK AT DAVIDSON
• Davidson won in four sets at Rhode Island and dropped a five-set contest at Fordham last weekend.
• In conference matches only, the Wildcats are third in the A-10 in digs (14.63/set).
• Senior outside hitter Kelly Friers leads the A-10 in all matches with 3.57 kills per set and is sixth in hitting percentage (.306).
• Freshman middle hitter Ellie Crosley stands fifth in the conference in hitting percentage (.328), while junior opposite Katharine Franz is 10th (.279).
• Sophomore libero Elise Edman’s 3.84 digs-per-set mark ranks seventh in the A-10.