Sept. 10, 2011
QUEENS, N.Y. - After losing its day one matchup against eventual tournament champion Northeastern, the St. John’s volleyball team rebounded with a pair of victories on Saturday afternoon to place second at the newly named St. John’s Kaiser Classic. The Red Storm topped Brown, 3-2 (25-22, 19-25, 22-25, 25-12, 15-7), and Buffalo, 3-1 (25-10, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23), to conclude its annual home tournament.
Northeastern (7-2) finished the tournament with wins over Buffalo (4-5) and Brown (2-5) Saturday to claim the tournament trophy with a perfect 3-0 record. St. John’s (6-4) finished 2-1, while Buffalo went 1-2 and Brown lost all three matches at the classic.
Northeastern’s Kelly Bacon was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Huskies’ outside hitter Lauryn Ciszek and libero Natalia Skiba earned all-tournament honors. St. John’s senior Darlene Ramdin and junior Gabriela Petkova were also named to the team, with Buffalo’s Abby Niekamp and Brown’s Kathryn Connor rounding out the seven-member squad.
Ramdin had the third-highest kill total of the tournament with 35, while Petkova placed third in assists with 82 and fourth in digs with 34. Freshman defensive specialist Danielle Brackett led the tournament with seven service aces, and sophomore libero Korina Yee finished fifth with 33 digs.
As a team, St. John’s finished second in blocks per set (2.42), aces (17) and opponent hitting percentage (.146), third in digs per set (13.0) and hitting percentage (.148) and last in kills per set (10.08).
After Northeastern clinched the title with a 3-0 win over Buffalo this morning, St. John’s and Brown played a thrilling match, the only five-setter of the tournament. The match consisted of 24 total ties and six lead changes, but the Red Storm was able to pull out the 3-2 lead after falling behind two sets to one. Petkova recorded her third double-double of the season with a season-high 49 assists and 11 digs, while senior outside hitter Brunna Kronbauer registered her fourth double-double of the season with 10 kills and 14 digs. Ramdin picked up 15 kills in the match and Paulina Piegza added 13 kills to go with a .429 hitting percentage. St. John’s also had seven aces against the Bears, including four from the freshman Brackett. Freshman middle blocker Ashley Boursiquot also shined against the Ivy Leaguers with eight kills and a match-high eight blocks.
After witnessing Northeastern putting the finishing touches on its tournament title against Brown with a straight-set win, the Red Storm returned to action against Buffalo in the afternoon session. St. John’s dominated the first set from start to finish, winning by a decisive 25-10 margin. STJ took a 2-0 advantage on the Bulls with a 25-21 win in the second frame, but UB rallied to claim the third set, 25-21. The fourth set consisted of eight ties and four lead changes, but two late Ramdin kills gave St. John’s the match with a fourth-set score of 25-23. Ramdin was the only member of the Red Storm to tally double-digit kills against Buffalo, finishing with 14. Petkova added another double-double, her fourth of the season, with 25 assists and 15 digs. Yee contributed a career-high 16 digs in the match, while Boursiquot and Sabina Papala combined for nine blocks.
The Red Storm wastes no time before returning to action, as it will make the quick bus trip to the Bronx tomorrow to compete in the final day of Fordham’s Rose Hill Classic. St. John’s will play new Pac-12 member Colorado (3-3) at Noon before taking on tournament host Fordham (3-5) at 7 p.m. A free live video broadcast will be available for the Fordham match, and free live stats courtesy of GameTracker will be available for both contests. All matches will take place in the Rose Hill Gym and are free of charge.