Johnnies Snap Losing Streak


Dark days are behind the St. John’s volleyball team.


Heavy underdogs coming in, the Red Storm, who entered the game last in the Big East, upset then-third place Villanova 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-23) on Oct. 22 to earn their first conference win  of the season.


The win also ends a nine-game losing streak that lasted over a month.

St. John’s improved to 10-15 overall and 1-7 in the Big East as it prepares to return to Queens for a four-game homestand.


“It just shows you that if you persevere, you don’t give up on each other and you keep working to get better, great things will happen,” head coach Joanne Persico said about the team’s first win since Sept. 16.


Persico said it was a tough game, especially in the last set, but the Red Storm battled and held on for the win.

Villanova (14-9. 6-3) grabbed the edge in the third set with a 15-11 lead. Senior middle hitter Darlene Ramdin said that the team was tired from the first two sets, but the Johnnies fought back to tie the game at 23 apiece.


“We had some rough points in there, but we knew we had this team in our hands and we knew that they were a good team and we couldn’t slip-up,” said Ramdin about the final set.


Ramdin gave the Johnnies the lead with a kill, and junior setterSabina Piegza assisted twin sister, senior Paulina Piegza, with the final
kill to secure the victory, whichbrought collective joy to the St. John’s players on the court and the sidelines.


Ramdin, who had 17 kills in thegame with six blocks and four block-assists, led the Red Storm, while Sabina Piegza had a double-double with 31 assists and 10 digs, and Paulina Piegza helped with nine kills.


“We know that this is the turning point in the season right now if we want to make the playoffs, so we knew we had to get a win today,” Ramdin said.


In the second set the Johnniescame out on the offensive early, leading the Wildcats 10-7 behind
three kills by  Ramdin and six assists by Sabina Piegza.


The Wildcats committed six attacking errors, which opened the door for the Johnnies to extend the lead. Seizing the chance, Ramdin had seven kills and two blocks in the second set alone to lead the Johnnies to a  25-13 win.


In the first set the Red Storm got out to an early lead because of strong attacking despite having 10 errors. The Wildcats came back to within three points of winning the set, but the Johnnies were able to hold on.


“You can’t believe if you don’t have good memories to believe in, but now they have something they can go back too,” Persico said. “Everything should move a lot better. We’re not underestimating or overestimating anyone we just need to stay healthy, have good leadership, and we need great execution.”


The Red Storm take on DePaul on Oct. 28 at Carnesecca Arena.