Oct. 6, 2017
• Box Score (PDF)
INDIANAPOLIS – Beginning its Midwest road trip in Indianapolis, the St. John’s volleyball team won the opening set against Butler, before falling, 3-1 (27-25, 21-25, 25-27, 21-25) at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday night.
The Red Storm performed admirably at the service line with a season-high nine aces, but Butler, who ranks 13th in the nation in blocks per set, tallied 16.5 blocks and hit a .259 clip in the four set victory. The Bulldogs registered 18 service errors and just four aces in the match as they relied on their defense, holding the St. John’s attack to a .108 hitting percentage.
The 2016 BIG EAST Co-Freshman of the Year, Erica Di Maulo played stellar on both ends of the court for the Red Storm with 37 assists, a career-high 21 digs, five kills and added four blocks to fill up the stat sheet against Butler. The double-double marked the eighth of the season for the sophomore setter from Italy.
The veteran Julia Cast and newcomer Kayley Wood led the Red Storm offense with 12 kills apiece, while Amanda Sanabia collected 19 digs to tie the sophomore’s career high. Cast, a senior from Westbury, N.Y., has now secured 10 or more kills 16 times this season and has 970 kills in her Red Storm career.
Four different Johnnies picked up at least two aces on the night, including Jordan McCalla with a career-high three and the freshman also added eight digs and five kills. After reaching the 400-block milestone last match against Villanova, Danisha Moss tacked on three rejections with eight kills, while Hanna Wagner tallied five kills and four blocks.
In a thrilling first set of the night in Indianapolis, the largest lead of the frame was only three points and began even at eight, followed by a tie again at 12. The Bulldogs went on a 5-2 run to take a 17-14 advantage, but the Johnnies climbed back to take a 20-19 lead. After each team exchanged some points, Di Maulo finished off the set with a kill to give the Red Storm a 27-25 triumph. Butler recorded eight service errors in a frame that featured 18 ties and 10 lead changes. Moss notched four kills and Di Maulo distributed 10 assists in the stanza.
St. John’s opened up a 3-0 lead in the second set on a pair of blocks, but Butler reeled off a 13-6 run to take a four point advantage. The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 20-12, until the Red Storm uncorked a 9-3 run to cut the deficit to 23-21, but Butler halted the Johnnies’ momentum winning the final two points of the set.
The Red Storm got right back to its winning ways in the third, winning eight of the first 11 points in the third set. The Bulldogs then took a 13-11 lead and then a 20-18 advantage, but the Johnnies fought hard once again to even the match at 25, until Butler won the last two points of the frame for a 27-25 victory and a 2-1 lead.
For the second consecutive set, the Red Storm started off playing very well with a 14-10 advantage. Butler, who was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST, would then step up its play to win 11 of the next 14 points to take a 21-17 lead. The Red Storm tried to come back to force a winner-take-all or fifth frame, but the Bulldogs held off the Johnnies to win the frame 25-21. Four different Bulldogs notched 12 or more kills and three players picked up double-doubles in the four set match.
Next up, the Red Storm will travel to Cincinnati to play Xavier tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at the Cintas Center.