(Courtesy Saint Louis Athletics)
Saint Louis volleyball defeated Eastern Illinois (3-1) and Western Illinois (3-0) to claim the title at the Leatherneck Invitational. Junior setter Meredith Boe was named the tournament MVP after collecting 123 assists (12.3 per set) in the tournament. Freshman Lauren Leverenz (23 kills, 15 blocks, .375 attack percentage) and sophomore Taylor Paulson (26 kills, 14 blocks) also were named to the All-Tournament team.
In the match against Eastern Illinois, the Billikens dropped the first set 24-26 despite an eight-kill performance from Danielle Rygelski. In the second, Nenye Okoro and Paulson tallied four kills apiece and the Billikens as a team had a .378 attack percentage to capture the set 25-20. Megan Gilbert paced the Billiken attack with six kills in set three. In the final set, Leverenz had six kills and Gilbert had five kills to give SLU the 25-22 win.
Gilbert led the Billikens with 17 kills and a .516 attack percentage in the match. Rygelski had her third double-double of the year with 16 kills and 15 digs. Leverenz had 11 kills, seven blocks and two aces against the Panthers. Boe had a match-high 56 assists.
In the second match of the day, the Billikens swept Western Illinois 25-20, 25-16, 25-15. As a team, the Billikens hit .337 over the match, including an impressive .714 attack percentage in the third set. Saint Louis also tallied 10 blocks over the three sets. Fifteen Billikens saw action against the Leathernecks, but Paulson led the way with a match-high nine kills and seven blocks.
The Billikens hit the road on Tuesday, Sept. 9 when they take on the Missouri Tigers in Columbia, Mo.