Volleyball Struggles to 1-2 Record in Spartan Showcase

The St. John’s volleyball team traveled to East Lansing, Michigan this past weekend to compete in the Spartan Showcase hosted by Michigan State.

After entering with a 3-0 record, the Red Storm went 1-2 over the weekend, suffering defeats at the hands of Michigan State and Cleveland State while beating Toledo in the middle game of the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, they closed out the weekend with a loss to Cleveland State 6-25, 23-25, and 21-25.

“Cleveland State is a solid good team, a good RPI team,” said head coach Joanne Persico. “We did some setter and some lineup changes and we’re still trying to formulate our lineup.”

The Red Storm were led on offense by outside hitters senior Brunna Kronbauer and freshman Aleksandra Wachowicz, who both contributed 9 kills and 6 digs in the match.

The St. John’s volleyball team won the second game of the showcase with a win against Toledo in four sets.

Freshman Aleksandra Wachowicz led the team as she set her season high with 17 kills and a .484 hitting percentage.

“She has been a nice addition to the team,” Persico said. “This weekend they keyed on her a lot. She needs to continue to get better and I think she will.”

Senior captain Brunna Kronbauer slammed a .300 hitting percentage and contributed her second double-double of the year with 12 kills and 10 digs. Kronbauer has played on the right side this season after playing out of position on the left last year.

“She’s better when we keep her in her place.” said Persico.

The team opened up the weekend by suffering their first loss of the season at the hands of the hosts, Michigan State.

The Red Storm fell in straight sets to the hosts with scores of 18-25, 16-25, and 20-25. Senior captain Darlene Ramdin led the team on offense with 11 kills, tying a season high and resulting in a .600 hitting percentage, falling just short of her career high .643 percentage set last season.

Junior transfer Sabina Piegza pitched in with a season high 26 assists, while her twin sister, senior Paulina Piegza and senior Brunna Kronbauer each contributed 6 kills in the loss. Michigan State held the Red Storm in check throughout the match with 12 blocks and a .557 hitting percentage, which is the second highest in program history.

Despite losing to both Cleveland State and Michigan State in straight sets, Persico saw positives in her team’s play.

“We had a chance to win every game this weekend,” she said.

St. John’s comes home after a 1-2 weekend to greet Princeton of the Ivy League on Wednesday. The action continues this coming weekend as the Red Storm plays host of the St. John’s Kaiser Classic on September 9 and 10.

Buffalo, Northeastern and Brown are the three teams that St. John’s will host in the Classic.