Conference Contenders

The St. John’s Volleyball team is in fourth place after going 1-1 in their two-game road trip with a 3-1 win (23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-15) against DePaul and a 3-1 (25-19, 25-13, 17-25, 25-17) loss against Notre Dame.

Before playing the Fighting Irish, the Red Storm were in first place in the Big East conference.

The last time the Red Storm (17-4, 4-1) began conference play with a 4-0 record was in 2007 (33-4, 13-1) when they won the regular season, Big East conference tournament and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA tournament.

Whether or not the team will have a repeat of the 2007 success, St. John’s head coach Joanne Persico is still in high spirits.

“We’re really proud of our team,” said Persico. “We’re taking it one game at a time.”

This season has been competitive, but new faces are emerging within the top five teams in the Big East. St. John’s is one of those surprising teams, especially coming off of a losing record (10-21, 1-13) last season.

Last season’s BIG EAST tournament champions, Cincinnati (6-13, 4-2) are currently in fifth place, while regular season title winners, Louisville, (16-2, 5-1) remain a top team to beat.

“Well, at this point, the top ranked teams (Notre Dame, Louisville, and Marquette) are our biggest competition,” Persico. “We must keep the team healthy to achieve those wins.”

Marquette (14-3, 5-0) is currently in first place in the conference with Louisville, Notre Dame and the Red Storm close behind. Persico feels like the momentum for the Johnnies is in good shape.

“It’s been building great,” said Persico. “Our record reflects our momentum. We are a young team with eight new players. We are proud of them and our young players especially. With winning comes momentum.”

The Red Storm have two, crucial Big East home matches against Louisville on Oct. 12 and Cincinnati on Oct. 14.