The St. John's Volleyball team with the RedZone student fan group after the match.
Nov. 4, 2017
• Box Score (PDF)
VILLANOVA, Pa. – Looking for its third-straight victory, the St. John’s volleyball rolled to a 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-22) win over Villanova at the Jake Nevin Field House on Saturday night behind 11 blocks and six service aces for its seventh BIG EAST triumph of the season to match last year’s conference win total. The straight-set victory also snapped a nine-match home winning streak for Villanova and just their second home loss of the season.
“So very proud of my team and staff,” said Head Coach Joanne Persico. We had a great game plan and the players executed it. The ladies played with excellent focus, teamwork and execution and above all, the unrelenting desire to win. Also a special thank you to our RedZone student fan group for their amazing support tonight.”
With the sweep, the Red Storm (15-15, 7-8 BIG EAST) has now won eight-straight sets and three consecutive conference victories, including two on the road to complete a perfect 2-0 weekend at Georgetown and Villanova. St. John’s sits just two matches behind the Pirates for fourth place in the BIG EAST standings, where the top four advances to the BIG EAST Tournament and the local rivals will face off next Saturday in Queens.
St. John’s dominated the Wildcats (15-10, 8-6 BIG EAST) in front of the net with 11 blocks compared to two for Villanova and the Johnnies also notched six service aces and just one error from the service line. The student fan group for St. John’s Athletics, RedZone cheered on the Red Storm throughout the match and played an integral role in Villanova tallying nine service errors.
A terrific offensive force all season for the Johnnies, Julia Cast connected on a game-high 16 kills at a .250 clip. Classmate Danisha Moss led the Red Storm with a .429 hitting percentage with seven kills and tacked on four blocks all in the final set of the match.
A newcomer from Woodlands, Texas, Kayley Wood continues to play stellar in conference play with 10 kills at a .348 clip and a career-high three aces. Wood also added three blocks and Hanna Wagner led the Red Storm with six rejections.
Amanda Sanabia played outstanding in the back row with a team-high 20 digs, which marked the 11th-straight match of double-digit digs for the sophomore. Erica Di Maulo posted a solid all-around effort with 34 assists, eight digs, three blocks and three service aces with no errors. The 6-foot setter conducted an offense that hit at a .256 clip for the evening. The six service aces and only one error was the highest margin of aces to errors for the Red Storm this season.
Opening up its final road match of the regular season, the Red Storm started strong with a 10-6 lead, including a pair of aces by Wood. St. John’s then brought its lead to 16-12 and then to 20-16 to force the Wildcats to use its last timeout of the stanza. Villanova cut the deficit to 23-21, but the Red Storm used a kill from Cast and an ace by Di Maulo to close out a 25-21 wire-to-wire set victory.
St. John’s hit at a .333 clip with three different players tallying three or more kills and the squad registered three service aces to six service errors for the Wildcats in the opening frame. The second set of the night featured Villanova jumping out to a 10-6 lead with the Johnnies then collected three-straight points to cut the deficit to 10-9. Villanova regained the momentum for a 20-16 advantage, but once again the Red Storm fought back to even the score at 24 apiece that included an 8-2 run. Following a service error by Villanova, Moss connected on a kill assisted by Di Maulo to complete the comeback, 26-24, triumph and a 2-0 lead in the match. For the second-straight set the Red Storm hit over .300 and delivered at the service line with three aces.
In another thrilling set, each school exchanged points to bring the score even at 13. From there, the Red Storm erupted to win the next four points on an error by Emma Decker and two kills and a block from Cast. Villanova did not go down easy to even the frame at 20 and then again at 21. Wood showed poise beyond her years at the end of the match to finish with three kills and a double block with Moss to help the Red Storm win four of the final five points of the match. The triumph gave the Johnnies their 10th three-set win of the season and fifth road win of the year.
The victory marked the first road triumph over Villanova since 2011 and snapped a five-game losing streak to the Wildcats.
The Red Storm returns to Carnesecca Arena to open up a three-game home swing to close out the 2017 regular season with Seton Hall on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.