Not this time

Red Storm fail to sweep No. 10 Creighton

St. John’s  fell to no. 10 Creighton (14-25, 25-22, 25-21, 29-27) Friday evening.  After beating the then no. 7 Creighton two weeks ago, St. John’s failed to pull off another Big East upset.

St. John’s (15-14) tried to prove that their win two weeks ago wasn’t a fluke by storming out of the gates taking the first set effortlessly.  Junior Aleksandra Wachowicz’s game-high seven kills in the first set proved to be the difference maker in the Red Storm’s fast start.  Wachowicz finished the match with 22 kills and 5 digs.  St. John’s failed to keep the momentum going losing the next three sets and eventually the match.  St. John’s hopes of going into the locker room up 2-0 was halted after they couldn’t pull out the second set after being tied 21-21.

“We have to have no fear at the end of the sets,” Wachowicz said.  “I guess we didn’t want to make mistakes and we allowed Creighton to finish the game.”

After the Red Storm went down 1-2 in the match, they battled in the fourth set to keep the match alive but Creighton (19-6) showed why they’re the no. 10 team in the nation by pulling off the set and the match.  The two teams battled late in the fourth set by going back and forth for 11 straight plays but in the end it wasn’t enough for St. John’s.

“They did a nice job battling the no. 10 team in the country,” Coach Joanne Persico said.  “This was a great volleyball match.  They’re an excellent team and we were right there tonight.”

Outside hitter Karin Palgutova put up another solid performance tallying 16 kills and 8 digs.  Sophomores Shawna-Lei Santos and Deniz Mutlugil had game highs in digs and assists respectively.  Santos recorded 23 digs and 4 assists while Mutlugil finished with 42 assists, 5 digs and 3 blocks.

St. John’s has been playing tough of late but their record hasn’t show for it going 1-5 in their last six games.  Injuries have hurt the Red Storm lately and it didn’t help Friday evening.

“We’ve had a few injuries this year and we’re pushing through,” Persico said.  “When I needed to make a sub I really didn’t have anyone there.”

This latest homestand which has the Red Storm playing three games in three days forces St. John’s to put this loss behind them and to focus on Saturday’s match against Big East opponent DePaul.

“We learn a lot from our losses,” Persico said.  “We’re a much better team than we were in September, and we will get ready for DePaul tomorrow.”