After a 13-4 start to the season, the St. John’s Volleyball team has hit a bit of a wall in the Big East portion of its schedule.
The Red Storm lost their third consecutive game Sunday in straight sets against Louisville, 25-17, 25-21, 25-22.
The Big East schedule makers have not been kind to the Red Storm (13-7, 0-3). In their first three games of Big East
play, the Red Storm have had to face Cincinatti and Louisville (8-5, 3-1), who were picked to finish first and second, respectively, in the Big East Preseason Coaches Poll.
“I thought we were a bit overmatched by Louisville’s size and experience,” head coach Joanne Persico said. “I felt like at times we had good performances from different players, such as Diana (Banya), Brunna (Kronbauer), and Korina (Yee), and later in the match Darlene (Ramdin), but in order to knock off a talented team like Louisville you need those good performances to happen all at the same time as a unit, and not sporadically throughout the match by one or two people.”
Banya led the team with eleven kills, while Kronbauer led the team with a .333 attacking percentage, tallying
seven kills.Ramdin had all six of her kills in a furious third-set rally by the Red Storm.
With the Red Storm trailing 20-12 midway through the third set, Ramdin had four consecutive kills, and then had a block and another kill to pull the Red Storm to within 21-18. But the rally would end unsuccessfully for the Red Storm, as they hung around for a bit before losing on a service error by Banya.
“We knew going into the season that we had the higher ranked teams up front and we would be tested with how well we can keep our composure and just keep battling through the tough spots,” said Persico.
Persico also said that the differences between non-conference play and Big East play are so vast that she is still learning things about her team as the season progresses.
“In conference play, you will usually have more than one or two players that can hurt you,” Persico said. “Position for position, you have to do your job for the entire match.”
St. John’s will not have a much easier road ahead, as they will take on Marquette, who was ranked fourth
in the Big East preseason poll, on the road Friday night before traveling to Syracuse on Sunday afternoon.
“Going into Marquette and Syracuse will not be easy, but I do feel we have improved significantly from the beginning of the season,” said Persico. “We need to come ready to play in a very, very tough and hostile environment.”