Volleyball splits opening weekend of Big East play

Margherita Bianchin had an impressive match against Butler with 14 kills and 13 digs. (Photo: Athletic Communications)

Margherita Bianchin had an impressive match against Butler with 14 kills and 13 digs. (Photo: Athletic Communications)

Keisha Raymond, Staff Writer

St. John’s volleyball team started the Big East season with a road win against Butler in five sets (15-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-7) at the Hinkle Field House in Indianapolis on Friday.

With the score tied at 6-6 in the fifth and final set, the Red Storm recorded the final nine points to get the win against Butler. The Red Storm are now 11-5 (1-0 in Big East) and the Bulldogs are 4-10 (1-1 Big East).

Margherita Bianchin had a huge game with 14 kills (.345) and 13 digs, which was good for her third double-double of the season. Senior outside hitter Karin Palgutova once again had a superb game with 26 kills (match-high), .293 hitting clip, 13 digs and five blocks. It was Palgutova’s eighth double-double.

Both Delaney D’Amore and Melissa Chin accumulated double-double digs. D’Amore had 13 digs and Chin had 11 digs. D’Amore, Palgutova and Bianchin were tied for the team-high digs.

Senior setter Deniz Mutlugil led the offense with a team-high 47 assists, six digs and two blocks. Julia Cast tallied six kills and four blocks and Danisha Moss registered four kills and six blocks. Freshman Pelin Aroguz had an excellent game with eight kills, three digs and three blocks.

“Tonight’s match was another fantastic and gutsy performance from our team,” head coach Joanne Persico said. “I’m proud of the way our girls gave it their all, as they do each and every time they step on the court, to win another five set thriller on the road.”

Looking for their second straight win in Big  East  play, the St. John’s volleyball team fell short to Xavier in five sets 3-2 (25-17, 25-20, 22-25, 22-25, 13-15) at the Cintas Center on Saturday.

The Xavier Musketeers overcame a 2-0 Red Storm despite a great game by Mutlugil and Bianchin.

Mutlugil had an outstanding game with 57 assists and 16 digs for her fourth double-double of the year and Bianchin finished with 17 kills (.326 hitting percentage) and has recorded 10 or more kills in the past two games.

Palgutova continued her strong play and finished with a team-high 19 kills, .214 hitting clip and nine digs.

Once again, Palgutova received the Big East Weekly Award for the fourth time this season. For the week, Palgutova had 5.05 point per set and 4.50 kills per set. It was the 10th time that Palgutova was on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll.

The Red Storm Big East home opener and next game will be on Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. against last year’s Big East champion Creighton (8-7, 2-0 Big East). The home opener will be St. John’s eighth Dig for a Cure match.