Volleyball extends win streak to 13 after sweeping Fordham

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Volleyball extends win streak to 13 after sweeping Fordham

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A pair of A-10 victories extended the winning streak of SLU women’s volleyball to 13 matches, while bringing their overall record to 14-5 (4-0 conference). SLU defeated Rhode Island on Friday, Oct. 2 in a 3-2 (21-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-22, 17-15) thriller after going down 2-0, while the Billikens easily swept Fordham 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-10) on Sunday, Oct. 4.

The victory against Rhode Island was SLU’s third of the season in which they came back from two sets down, with the previous two coming against Virginia and Alabama. Overall, SLU boasts a 3-1 record this season in five-set matches. The match also saw several strong individual performances from the Billikens.

Junior outside hitter Danielle Rygelski hit .339, with 28 kills, a season-high, and only eight errors off 59 attacks. Meanwhile, senior setter Meredith Boe tallied 52 assists for her third 50-plus-assist match of the season. Sophomore defensive specialist Mackenzie Long recorded 27 digs, a season-high, while junior middle blocker Taylor Paulson led the Billikens with six blocks. Rygelski added 13 digs to her 28 kills for her ninth double-double of the season, while also scoring 30 points in the match. The 30 points mark her fourth consecutive match of 20 points or more, with eight total on the season.

Rygelski’s strong performances in the Rhode Island match were only a continuation of previous weeks of strong play, which had earned her the Sports Imports/ AVCA Division I Women Player of the Week award on Sept. 29. Rygelski is the first Billiken since Sammi McCloud, on Sept. 8, 2008, to win the award, and only the fourth Billiken in program history. She also earned back-to-back A-10 Player of the Week honors.

The Fordham match saw Rygelski continue her hot streak with 13 kills, including five in the first and third sets respectively, and 10 digs, for her ninth double-double of the season. The 13 kills led all hitters in the match. The second set saw a great performance by Paulson, who had seven kills, while the third set saw Rygelski’s five kills come on only eight attacks for a .625 attack percentage. Paulson and senior middle blocker Megan Gilbert had efficient matches, as Paulson hit .462 and Gilbert hit .417. Long had 10 digs, while Gilbert and Paulson were strong defensively with four blocks apiece. Boe finished with 27 assists.

The Billikens will next try to improve their winning streak with a pair of conference matches. The first is against George Washington in the nation’s capital on Friday, Oct. 9. That match will be followed up by a short trip to Fairfax, Virginia, to play against George Mason on Saturday, Oct. 10. George Washington could prove to be a tough test as they currently stand with a 13-5 record, including a perfect 3-0 conference record and 5-1 at home. George Mason, however, will be a team that SLU will be expecting to beat, as the Patriots currently have a record of only 6-11.