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STJ Volleyball Hosts Hofstra In Seventh Annual Queens/Nassau Cup

Senior Lena Yee
Senior Lena Yee

Sept. 15, 2008


The St. John’s volleyball team will play host to the Pride of Hofstra University Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. in the 7th annual Queens/Nassau Cup. The contest will be the home opener for the Red Storm (5-5) and its first ever competition at St. John’s Taffner Field House, the squad’s temporary home during the nearly-completed renovations to Carnesecca Arena.

Tuesday’s match will be broadcasted live on as part of the Stormtracker All-Access presented by Allstate, with commentary from St. John’s own Ralph Bednarczyk. In addition, live stats will be available via St. John’s GameTracker.


  • St. John’s enters the match with a 5-5 overall record coming off a tough weekend at the Ameritas Players Challenge, hosted by the University of Nebraska. At the Challenge, the Red Storm posted a 0-2 record with loses to New Mexico (3-0) on Friday and LSU (3-1) on Saturday.
  • The Red Storm has not lost at home since Nov. 11, 2005, going 24-0 during that time. STJ has won all 10 home matches in each of the last two seasons.
  • St. John’s and head coach Joanne Persico-Smith currently sit just three victories shy of 300 wins for the program.
  • In addition to passing former St. John’s great Kristine Knoble on the all-time career digs list last weekend by notching her 1,722 dig against Missouri (Sept. 6), senior Lena Yee currently leads the 2008 Red Storm with 164 digs (4.43 per set).
  • St. John’s is led by senior Chen Chen, whose .316 hitting percentage and 0.73 blocks per set are team-bests.
  • Seniors Valeria Kovaleva leads the Red Storm with seven double-doubles on the season thus far. Classmates Wioleta Leszczynska and Casie Brooks have recorded double-doubles on six and four occasions, respectively, while sophomore Kun Song has registered a double-double in two matches.


    Where They Fare
    In the BIG EAST:

  • St. John’s currently leads all BIG EAST schools in kills per set (13.81) and digs per set (17.05).
  • The Red Storm checks in at second in the conference with 12.86 assists per set.
  • STJ ranks fifth in the BIG EAST in keeping opponents to just a .186 hitting percentage.
  • Yee and Kovaleva rank second (4.82) and fourth (4.24), respectively, in digs per set amongst all BIG EAST players.
  • Leszczysnka is the league’s fourth-best setter, recording 11.09 per set.
  • Chen currently ranks seventh in the BIG EAST with 3.35 kills per game.

    Scouting the Pride

  • Hofstra’s first-year head coach Kristina Hernandez has led the Pride to a 4-5 record thus far in 2008 and the team is coming of a 2-1 weekend at the Yale Invitational. There, the Pride picked up victories over Colgate and Boston College, but fell to the Bulldogs of Yale in the last match of the invite.

    Key contributors for Hofstra have been junior Harmonie Calinda (3.50 kills per set, 2.68 digs per set), junior Chrissey Cruz (9.34 assists per set, 2.97 dps) and sophomore Jenna Connell (3.55 dps).

    In 2007, the Pride compiled a 19-12 record and finished in third place in the Colonial Athletic Association with a 9-5 league mark.

    Tuesday’s matchup will be the 15th meeting all-time between the two schools, as the series is tied 7-7. The Red Storm has won the last three meetings over the Pride, the last being a 3-0 sweep on Sept. 11, 2007.

    On Deck

    The Red Storm will travel to Brooklyn for its final preseason tournament of the season at the Blackbird Invitational, hosted by Long Island University. On Friday, Sept. 19, St. John’s will take on Howard at 4 p.m. The next day, the Red Storm will square off against Houston Baptist at Noon before closing play at the invite against host LIU, at 5 p.m.


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