The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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St. John’s Volleyball wraps up non-conference play at USF

After a second place finish at the Jack Kaiser Volleyball Classic last weekend, St. John’s looked to continue their strong play at the University of South Florida Invitational.

The Red Storm (10-5) lost to No. 5 Florida, 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-21) at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Freshman outside hitter Pelin Aroguz had a career high 14 kills and four digs. The Gator’s solid defense was able to hold the Red Storm to a .033 hitting percentage and they had a .338 hitting percentage.

In the first set the Johnnies were down by one (10-9) because of a service error from the Gators’ Rhamat Alhassan. Florida went on a 3-0 run which forced St John’s to call a timeout. The Johnnies only scored six more points and the Gators won the first set 25-13 with a .619 hitting clip.

In the second frame, the Red Storm and Gators were tied at 10 apiece when senior setter Deniz Mutlugil and Aroguz team up for a kill. The Gators took the lead back after a kill from Ziva Recek then an attack error by sophomore Danisha Moss to cause St John’s to call a timeout. The Gators’ defense was too much for the Johnnies, they were held to a .091 hitting clip and Florida won the second frame 25-13.

The Gators took control of the third frame early with a 3-0 but the Johnnies got some helped from their bench with senior Yaidy Santiago having two kills and freshman Lexie Lobdell finished with one kill. The Red Storm got within two (13-11) and later cut the led to one (17-16) but St. John called a timeout after the Gators got a kill from Alex Holston.

St. John’s overcame a service error by Lobdell to get within one (21-20) after

The Red Storm face a tough task in the USF Invitational Saturday afternoon game when they face No. 1 Penn State, 3-0 (25-10, 25-18, 25-19) at Sun Dome Area.

St. John had a .071 attacking percentage and for the fifth time this season the Red Storm lost in straight sets. Freshman and outside hitter Pelin Aroguz had a team-high 13 kills and Senior and setter Deniz Mutlugil had 23 assists with four digs.

Senior Karin Palgutova wind up with six kills and three digs, sophomore and middle blocker Julia Cast had three kills plus one block, senior and outside hitter Yaidy Santiago came away with three kills and six digs.

The Nittany Lions completed a .377 attacking percentage and also hit 60 percent in every set. Penn State was able to out-blocked the Red Storm 15-3. Sophomore libero Delaney D’Amore had nine digs for the Johnnies.

“It was a tremendous experience to go up against the seven-time NCAA Champions and I am proud of the way we competed as a whole. Playing three top-15 teams in our preseason, along with three talented California squads has prepared us for the BIG EAST Conference,” head coach Joanne Persico said.

After two straight losses to Florida and Penn State, the Red Storm completed their non-conference schedule with a 3-2  win (25-22, 20-25, 31-29, 15-12) over Southeastern Conference opponent Auburn. The Red Storm record is now 10-5 and Auburn is now 8-4

Senior outside hitter Karin Palgutova had an outstanding game with 26 kills and 18 digs with five blocks for her sixth double-double of the season. Setter Denzi Mutlugil had 40 assists and nine digs.

The Red Storm had a season-high 78 digs and had three players finished with double-digits digs. Sophomore libero Delaney D’Amore  collected a career-high 21 digs, freshman outside hitter Margherita Bianchin had 10, Redshirt sophomore Danisha Moss registered career-high 12 blocks (five were solo).

Five players collected five or more kills. Freshman Pelin Aroguz and Bianchin came away with eight kills, senior Yaidy Santiago had six, and redshirt junior Briana Guzman  gather up five kills.

St. John’s was charged with 24 attack errors and Auburn had 38. The Tigers had a kill advantage of 70-59 but both had a low attacking percentage with Auburn at .161 clip and Red Storm at .193 percentage.

The match was tied up 2-2 apiece going into the fifth and final set, St. John’s took a early 2-0 lead but after a service error by the Jonnies the score was tied at 10-10. Palgutova had consecutive kills, which was followed by a Tiger’s timeout. The Tiger would get two more points but an attack error and kills from Aroguz and Bianchin gave the Jonnies the final set and match victory at 15-12.

Moss and Palgutova were chosen for the All-Tournament team. Moss. Leds the Big East in blocks, averaged 2.60 blocks in the tournament and Palgutova had 4.00 kills per set and 2.62 digs per set.


St. John’s starts their BIG EAST schedule against Butler on Sept. 25 and go on the road to compete against Xavier on Sept. 26 in Cincinnati, Ohio

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