Xavier Halts Red Storm’s Comeback Attempt in 3-2 Victory

Kayley Wood
Nov. 17, 2017

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QUEENS, N.Y. – The St. John’s volleyball team rallied to even the match at one set apiece and then tied it at two, before the Xavier Musketeers edged the Red Storm in the final set for a 3-2 victory (18-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-21, 15-17) at Carnesecca Arena on Friday afternoon.

St. John’s (15-17, 7-10 BIG EAST) reached double-digits in blocks with 10 and finished with 10 service aces, but the Musketeers (12-19, 7-10 BIG EAST) hit at a .261 clip and held the Johnnies to a .212 hitting percentage. Each squad had four players with 10 or more digs and three student-athletes on each team notched 10 or more kills.

The sophomore setter Erica Di Maulo dished out a game-high 51 assists and tallied 17 digs for her 13th double-double of the season. A key component in the Red Storm’s serving game, the Milan, Italy, native recorded five service aces to tie a career-high. Danisha Moss led the team in hitting percentage on .280 clip with 10 kills and four rejections. For the third-straight match and fifth time in the last seven games, Amanda Sanabia collected 20 or more digs with 23 against the Musketeers and the sophomore also distributed five assists.

Leading the Red Storm on the offensive end was the senior Julia Cast with 16 kills and has moved into ninth place all-time for most kills in a season in St. John’s history with 463. The freshman Kayley Wood connected on 13 kills for her third-straight match of 10 or more kills and also registered five blocks.

Hanna Wagner paced the Red Storm with a team-high six blocks and also recorded nine kills. Jordan McCalla, a newcomer from Grapevine, Texas, finished with 11 digs, eight kills and two service aces. Delaney D’Amore reached double-digits in digs with 10 and notched two aces, while Lexie Lobdell collected eight digs. Samantha Foti led the Musketeers with 20 digs and 17 kills in five sets.

The Red Storm fell behind early in the match, 7-2, and climbed back within four on three separate occasions, but the Musketeers held off the Johnnies for a 25-18 victory to open up the match. Di Maulo and Sanabia each registered four digs and Wood notched four kills in the first stanza.

A tight second set to start with the score even at five and then again at 10, the Johnnies then exploded on a 10-3 run on kills by four different players. From there, the Red Storm closed out the set winning five of the next seven points for an easy 25-15 triumph to even the match. As a team, St. John’s hit at a .367 clip behind eight kills combined from Wood and Moss.

St. John’s kept the momentum afloat with a 6-2 lead to open up the set after an ace by McCalla forced the Musketeers to call a timeout. After the break, Xavier reeled off a 10-3 run and the Johnnies would never retake the lead in the set. The Red Storm cut it to 18-17, but the Musketeers won seven of the next 10 points for a 25-20 win and a 2-1 advantage.

The Red Storm continued to fight back all match and in the fourth, the Johnnies and Musketeers were even throughout with each program exchanging points with the score all tied at 18. The Red Storm turned it on at the end of the stanza to finish on a 7-3 run, including a kill by the veteran Moss to clinch a 25-21 set victory and evened the match at two apiece.

Entering its fifth five-set match of the campaign, St. John’s fell behind 9-6, until they stormed back to even the final stanza at 10 apiece after a kill from Cast. At 14-13 in favor of the Johnnies, Xavier put down a kill to tie at 14 and then at 15-all, the Musketeers won the final two points on kills by Laura Grossman to edge St. John’s, 17-15, in the fifth frame. Cast recorded 10 kills on 18 swings in the last two sets of the match combined.

Both matches this season against BIG EAST foe Xavier went to five sets with the Red Storm coming out on top earlier this season, and the last six matches between these two teams have gone at least four frames.

The Red Storm will close the 2017 regular season tomorrow night against Butler as D’Amore, Cast and Moss will be honored prior to the game for suiting up for their final match in Carnesecca Arena. The Senior Night match will begin at 5 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN3.




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