Storm blank Rams in cross-town rematch

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St. Jon's have won five of their last six matches.

St. John’s blew past cross-city rival Fordham in three sets (25-13, 25-20, 25-21) on Tuesday night. Although they were tested by the Rams (6-6) in all three sets, Red Storm (8-4) were able to step up their game when the pressure mounted.

The first set began with each team exchanging blows, but that only lasted for so long until junior Aleksandra Wachowicz turned it into a service clinic. The outside hitter was given the ball to serve down 12-13, but turned that around to win thirteen consecutive points and crush her opposition.

“Well lately I’ve practiced serving a lot,”  Wachowicz said. “I feel more comfortable now serving. We had a good rhythm as a team so I just followed the rhythm and I tried my best.”

Any attempt by Fordham to counter was squandered by junior Ashley Boursiquot. Nearing the end of the first set, the middle blocker scored two of her ten kills to set up set point, which was awarded to St. John’s after a net violation by Fordham in the middle of a long rally.

“We just play for each other,” Boursiquot said. “When we get in our huddle we give each other words of encouragement and just play our heart out.”

The Johnnies kept the momentum in their favor in the second set, quickly establishing a 21-12 lead. The Rams refused to be humbled in a crushing fashion again, as they strung off five consecutive points to be within four, until sophomore Karin Palgutova dismantled any hopes of late-rally heroics.

Palgutova, who was given a spot on the Big East Honor Roll this past week, used her versatility at the net to find the open spot in-between two Fordham blockers to set up set point, which she clinched with a kill.

“Karin’s been a go-to player and just got Big East player of the week for the first time in her career. She’s not only a great player, not only a strong student, but also a very humble person,” head coach Joanne Persico said.

St. John’s got up to another quick lead in the final set. With Palgutova continuing to score kills, the Johnnies had a 22-15 lead, but struggled to close until Wachowicz slammed the door on another failed attempt by Fordham to come back.

St. John’s now begins a four game road trip, beginning with a rematch from earlier this year against Stony Brook on Sept. 20.