A late third set victory (34-32) provided life for the Red Storm (12-7), forcing Xavier (10-7) to a tightly contested fourth game that held five different lead changes. This surge would prove to little too late as the Johnnies fell victim to Xavier (25-11, 25-18, 32-34, 25-23) in four sets.
Catalysts for the Red Storm included sophomore Karin Palgutova, who recorded her sixth double-double of the season while tallying 17 kills and 11 digs. Equally as impressive on the defensive end, Palgutova added four blocks and finished with an overall .256 hitting percentage. In a close third set win, Palgutova proved to be the x-factor for St. John’s as she single handedly strung together 11 kills on 18 attempts.
Junior Ashley Boursiquot would later clinch the set for the Johnnies as she provided a much-needed block adding to her team high total of six. Boursiquot also tallied a career-high of 10 kills in the match, which resulted in a hitting percentage of .500.
Deniz Mutlugil matched a previous high of 48 assists to help the Johnnies rally late.
Finishing Mutlugil’s precise passing was junior outside hitter Aleksandra Wachowicz, who led the attack for the Red Storm with 17 kills on a career-high of 64 attempts. Reflecting on the match, Wachowicz spoke on the team’s toughness by saying, “We all feel we grew as a team, and never gave up.”
Winning the third set and making a 5-point run at the end of the fourth set shows that we have a fighting spirit.”
Defensive specialist Shawna Lei- Santos had the most digs in the match with 26; fellow teammate Amy Zimmer also contributed with a noteworthy performance of five blocks and four kills. Promising freshman Mona Karkkainen added to the Johnnies box score with four blocks and five kills on 15 attempts.
The Red Storm look to rebound with home matches against familiar Big East rivals Georgetown (Oct. 11, 7 p.m.) and Villanova (Oct. 12, 7 p.m.) this coming weekend at Carnesecca Arena.
Leaving the road trip on a positive note, Wachowicz said, “We believe that our hard work and continuous effort will pay off in the upcoming home games against Georgetown and Villanova.”