Volleyball Loses to Rutgers in Season Finale

The St. John’s volleyball team lost on the road to Rutgers on Nov. 13, in five sets 3-2 (14-25, 25-16, 23-25, 25-21, 11-15) in its season finale.

With the loss, the Red Storm fell to an overall record of 10-21, with just one win in Big East play (1-13), while the Scarlet Knights improved to 10-21 (3-11 in the Big East).

Senior outside hitter Brunna Kronbauer led the Red Storm with 14 kills in the game and 13 digs for her tenth double-double of the season, and senior middle hitter Darlene Ramdin helped with 11 kills and seven blocks. For Ramdin, the senior graduates ranked sixth all-time in kills (1,234) and third all-time in blocks (392).

Junior setter Gabriela Petkova had 45 assists, which etched her into Johnnies’ volleyball lore as the fifth member of the 2,000 assist club.

All season, junior Sabina Piegza and her twin sister Paulina were starters for the Johnnies, but for this game head coach Joanne Persico said she wanted to give her young players a test of the action and didn’t use either.

“Going into yesterday’s match my goal was to make sure our younger players gained some experience as we head into next year,” Perisco said.

The Red Storm lost the first set by double digits, but rebounded to take the second set. The teams split the third and fourth set, which forced a winner-take-all fifth set.

Tied at 4-4 in the final set, the Scarlet Knights took the lead behind three errors from the Johnnies and from there they completed an 11-7 run to win the set and the game.

“I think we continued to improve along the way,” Persico said. “Rutgers had beaten UConn in three [sets] the day before, so our fifth set tiebreaker was an exciting battle all the way through.”

The game capped off a season for the Red Storm that Persico said failed to meet expectations.

“The season was interesting,” she said. “We had anticipated a much, much better result and as we began to lose close matches I believed the ladies began to lose confidence.

“We had injuries at two major positions in the September right before we went into Big East and that also set us back,” Persico continued.

However, she remains confident that the team can get back to where they were from 2006-2008, when it
won three straight Big East Championships.

“Step by step I will build the program back up to compete for our fifth Big East Championship as soon as possible,” Persico said. “I’ve been at both ends of it and fighting for a championship is a ton more fun.”