Lions split day one at St. Edward's Invitational

Austin, Texas -- The Missouri Southern volleyball team split a pair of matches today in the first day of the St. Edward's Invitational in Austin, Texas, taking out Texas A&M Kingsville in five games, but falling to host St. Edward's in the night cap in three. 

The Lions started the day with a barn burner, but Southern came through and won its match against Texas A&M Kingsville in five games. Individual game scores were 25-18, 18-25, 13-25, 25-15 and 15-13. 

Brittany Vavao-Huggins led the Lions with 13 kills, while hitting .379. Ashlee Russell came just one kill from a double-double with nine kills and 19 digs. Renee Rheinecker had 13 kills, while Rachel Olinyk added nine of her own. Elin Skei dished out 42 assists and added 10 digs for her first double-double of the season. Shakila Balkhi and Kristin Hylton had 15 and 12 digs, respectively. 

Southern played well in the first game, hitting .345, but dropped the next two games, before rebounding to hit nearly .400 in game four and taking the deciding game five on a kill from Rheinecker. 

In the Lions' match with SEU, Southern and the Hilltoppers fought hard in all three games, but St. Edward's came out on top. Individual game scores were 22-25, 24-26 and 23-25.

Rheinecker had eight kills, while Vavao-Huggins and Russell had seven and six, respectively. Amelia Judge had eight kills and hit .571, while Skei added another double-double with 27 assists and ten digs. Balkhi had a match-high 18 digs. 

The Lions will be back in action tomorrow as they close out the tournament with matches against Abilene Christian and Dallas Baptist.