Nov. 9, 2008
QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John's volleyball team defeated the Georgetown Hoyas, 3-0, on Sunday on Senior Day at Carnesecca Arena. With the 25-17, 25-20, 25-13 win, the Red Storm improved to 20-7 overall and remained in first place in the BIG EAST with an 11-1 conference record. The Hoyas fell to an even 13-13 overall (5-7 BIG EAST) with the loss.
Prior to the match the team held a special Senior Day ceremony that recognized St. John's five graduating seniors and it was senior Lena Yee that led the Red Storm and all players on the court with 14 digs. Fellow classmate Valeria Kovaleva contributed with nine kills, four digs, four aces and two blocks. Sophomore Kun Song was the only player in the match to record double-digit kills with 10, while senior Casie Brooks was solid with nine digs, seven kills, six assists and two blocks.
Senior Chen Chen had nine kills on a match-high .529 hitting percentage and recorded a match-best four total blocks, while classmate Wioleta Leszczynska led all players with 36 assists. Freshman Darlene Ramdin chipped in with six kills, a .429 hitting percentage and two blocks. The Red Storm also got contributions from the bench as junior Ruisa Scheffel and sophomores Kayla Motoyama and Diana Banya all had a hand in the victory.
The Red Storm took control of the first set early, building up a 6-3 lead and extending it to 14-10 on a service ace by Kovaleva before Georgetown used its first timeout. Back in action, STJ grabbed four of the next five points to take an 18-11 lead and the Hoyas burnt their second and final timeout. St. John's would hold on for the victory getting two kills each from Kovaleva and Ramdin and one from Chen to take the set, 25-17. The Red Storm held Georgetown to a .000 hitting percentage in the set.
St. John's had to play catch-up in the second set, falling behind 8-4 early. When Georgetown went up by four points, 13-7, on a block, STJ used its second timeout. After a kill by Ramdin made the score 16-12, GU, Motoyama went back to serve and on one rotation the Red Storm tied the set at 16-16 with four consecutive points. A kill by Song gave St. John's its first lead of the set, 20-19, and after a Hoyas kill tied it at 20-all, the Red Storm scored five straight points to take the set, 20-15, and took a 2-0 match lead into the locker room.
STJ came out of the ten-minute break on fire, building up a 9-5 lead and forcing Georgetown to call an early timeout. After the breather, the Red Storm expanded its lead to ten points, 19-9, after a service ace by Scheffel and the Hoyas burnt their second and final timeout. Back in action, the Red Storm ended the set on a 6-4 run, 25-13, led by two kills by Banya including the set- and match-clincher.
For the Hoyas, junior Jessica Hardy recorded team-highs with nine kills and a .364 hitting percentage while picking up six digs. Senior Caitlin Boland registered the match's only double-double with 29 assists and 10 digs, while freshman Victoria Rezin recorded a team-high 11 digs.
The Red Storm returns to action on Friday, Nov. 14, when the team travels to Notre Dame, Ind. to take on the Fighting Irish. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. Then the team will travel to Chicago, Ill. for a matchup with the Blue Demons of DePaul on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 3 p.m. EST. One more victory for St. John's will clinch the program's third consecutive BIG EAST regular season championship.