By: Evan Lachnit, KCOU Sports
Danielle Rygelski was the Atlantic-10 rookie of the year in 2013 and she showed why on Tuesday night.
With 23 kills, including one on the winning point, and 10 digs, Rygelski led the St. Louis Billikens to a 3-2 set victory over the Missouri Tigers in a thrilling match at the Hearnes Center in the in-state match up. The loss drops Mizzou to 4-4 on the season.
Both teams struggled with errors through the first three sets with each team struggling to hold on to a lead. Mizzou blew a seven-point lead in the first set which SLU won 27-25. The second set the Tigers again pulled out to an early lead and struggled to hang on eventually winning the set 25-23.
After both teams split the third and fourth set, SLU defeated Mizzou 15-11 in the fifth set to take the victory. It was SLU’s first victory over the Tigers since they last met in 1995 and the first time they had won in Columbia since 1989.
Carly Kan led the Tigers with 14 kills. Loxley Keala had her sixth double-double in a row with 22 assists and 13 digs. For the Billikens, along with the dominating performance from Rygelski, Megan Gilbert played extremely well with 18 kills to her credit. The Tigers had no answer for Rygelski and Gilbert who had their way with the Tigers. Nenye Okoro and Anna Church came up big in clutch situations helping Rygelski and Gilbert lead the Bilikens to victory.
Mizzou will now travel to Idaho for the Idaho Invitational where they will take on Idaho, Boise St., Portland, and Eastern Washington. The Tigers first game will be Thursday evening against Idaho at 7 p.m.