The No. 22 Saint Louis Billikens (24-7, 14-1 Atlantic 10) will look to advance deep into the NCAA Tournament its third time in four years, as they get set for the first and second rounds in Ames, Iowa. SLU opens today at 5 p.m. with a match against Wichita State Friday, at Hilton Coliseum. A Billiken victory would pit SLU against the winner of the match between No. 7 seed Iowa State and George Mason Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Saint Louis defeated NCAA Tournament-bound Middle Tennessee State 3-1 last Saturday at Chaifetz Pavilion. Bridget Fonke and Sammi McCloud led all players with 19 kills apiece, while Whitney Roth collected a match-high 50 assists.
Saint Louis, which has won 11 of its last 12 contests, will make its second straight, and third overall, appearance in the NCAA Tournament this weekend. Senior outside hitter Bridget Fonke leads the Bills with 3.42 kills per set, 45 service aces and a .280 hitting percentage. Senior right-side hitter Sammi McCloud follows with 3.26 kills per set, 29 service aces and a .271 hitting percentage. Senior setter Whitney Roth directs the offense with a team-best 11.24 assists per set and is second on the team with 2.71 digs per set. Sophomore outside hitter Alyssa Deno leads SLU with 54 blocks, while McCloud trails with 53. Five Billikens are averaging at least 2.47 digs per set, with senior libero Whitney Behrens leading the way with 3.23 digs per set. Sophomore outside hitter Megan Boken, Fonke and McCloud contribute 2.50, 2.48 and 2.47 digs per set, respectively. SLU enters the tournament with the 18th-best hitting percentage (.265) in the NCAA.