Oct. 3, 2008
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The St. John's volleyball team fell to Marquette, 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 24-26, 21-25), Friday night at MU's Al McGuire Center. With the loss, the Red Storm moves to 11-7 (2-1 BIG EAST), while the Golden Eagles improve to 7-7 (2-0 BIG EAST).
Leading St. John's was senior Casie Brooks, who registered a match-high 16 kills and a team-high .483 hitting percentage. Classmates Lena Yee and Valeria Kovaleva had great defensive efforts for the Red Storm, as Yee led the team with 18 digs and Kovaleva picked up 17 digs. Senior Wioleta Leszczynska led all players with 42 assists and senior Chen Chen contributed with nine kills and a team-high four blocks.
Marquette scored the first five points of the first set and forced St. John's to call an early timeout. After the break, Kovaleva got the Red Storm on the board with a kill. The Golden Eagles extended its lead to seven points at 14-7, but an 8-2 run brought STJ to within one point at 16-15. A Golden Eagle kill on the next play kept Marquette ahead, but the Red Storm would tie the score at 17-17 on a service ace by Brooks and MU called their first timeout. Marquette jumped ahead again after the breather, building the lead to 22-19 and forcing STJ to use its final timeout. Marquette held on to the lead late and two straight kills ended the set, 25-21.
The Red Storm took its first lead of the night in the second set, 4-3, on Brooks' eighth kill. St. John's went up 6-3 on another Brooks kill and Marquette called the first timeout of the set. After the breather, the Golden Eagles kept the score close until St. John's took a 17-10 lead after three straight points, forcing to MU call its second and final timeout of the set. The Red Storm reached the 20-point mark first, 20-15, on a kill by Darlene Ramdin. Three straight points ended the set, 25-17, and the two teams went into the locker room tied 1-1 in the match.
STJ scored the first three points of the third set and worked up a 12-5 lead, forcing Marquette to call the first timeout of the set. Back from the break, the Red Storm grabbed three of the next four points and again MU called a timeout, its final of the set. When St. John's took a 19-9 lead, Marquette went on an 8-1 run to bring the score to 20-17, STJ. The Red Storm earned set-point on a block by Ramdin and Kun Song, but Marquette strung together another rally and tied the score, 24-24, on a Red Storm attack error. The Golden Eagles earned set point on a kill, then an MU block on the next play ended the set, 26-24. Marquette took a 2-1 lead in the match.
St. John's opened the fourth set by grabbing a 6-2 lead and Marquette called an early timeout. The Red Storm ran the score up to 16-10 and the Golden Eagles used their second and final timeout of the set. After the break, St. John's reached 19-points again at 19-13 on a kill by Chen, but got stuck there for the second straight set. Marquette battled right back to take a 21-19 lead on an 8-0 run. MU held off the Red Storm to win the fourth set, 25-21, and take the match 3-1.
For the Golden Eagles, sophomore Leslie Bielski led the team with 14 kills, while junior Caryn Mastandrea had a match-high 19 digs as she picked up them match's only double-double with a team-high 39 assits. Freshman Tiara Russle chipped in with eight kills and a match-high nine blocks, while senior Ashlee Fisher contributed with 12 kills and eight digs.
The St. John's volleyball team returns to action on Sunday, Oct. 5, when the team visits the Syracuse Orange. First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Syracuse's Manley Field House.