Nov. 7, 2017
• BIG EAST Release
QUEENS, N.Y. – After leading the Red Storm to a pair of straight-set victories on the road last weekend against Georgetown and Villanova, Julia Cast has been named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, while Kayley Wood garners the conference’s Freshman of the Week, as announced by the league offices on Tuesday afternoon.
In a perfect 2-0 week, the Red Storm stretched its winning streak to three and have now won eight-straight sets. Cast led the offense for the Johnnies with 5.50 kills per set and hit at a .266 clip combined in both conference matches.
Opening up its final road trip of the 2017 regular season, Cast dominated the offensive end with a game-high 17 kills, in a sweep over Georgetown, and also tacked on three blocks to help the Red Storm pick up its ninth-straight triumph over the Hoyas. The next night, the Westbury, N.Y., native connected on a match-high 16 kills, including seven in the final set, in a straight-set triumph over Villanova. The victory over the Wildcats snapped a nine-game home winning streak for Villanova at Jake Nevin Field House.
On the campaign, Cast ranks second in the conference with 4.06 kills and third in the league with 4.28 points per set.Nationally, the senior places inside the top 15 with 426 kills, which is the 11th most in a season in Red Storm volleyball history. The offensive player of the week honor marks just the second conference weekly accolade in the career for Cast with the last coming on Oct. 5, 2015, when the veteran earned a spot on the honor roll.
Wood, a freshman from Woodlands, Texas, earns her first BIG EAST Freshman of the Week honor after averaging 2.33 kills per set and five service aces in the two sweeps last weekend. The 6-2 right side hitter/middle blocker filled up the stat sheet in the win over the Wildcats with 10 kills, four digs, three blocks, three service aces and hit at a .348 clip to lift the Red Storm to its third-straight victory. A poised player beyond her years, Wood tallied six kills in the third set, including the final three kills of the match for the Johnnies.
In conference action, Wood ranks second on the squad with 2.30 kills per set which is good enough for second best among freshman in the BIG EAST. The weekly recognition for Wood is the second this season for the newcomer with the previous accolade coming on Sept. 12, when she was named to the honor roll after bringing home the most valuable player of the Cornell Invitational.
The Red Storm welcomes local foe Seton Hall to Queens for a crucial BIG EAST match on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Carnesecca Arena. Currently sixth in the conference standings, St. John’s sits just two games behind the Pirates for fourth place in the league, where the top four advance to the BIG EAST Tournament.