SJU honors cancer surviors, splits weekend matches

SJU honors cancer surviors, splits weekend matches

Crystal Simmons, Contributing Writer

This weekend St. John’s volleyball (12-7, 2-2 Big East) kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with their annual dig for a cure match at home in Carnesecca Arena against Creighton (9-7, 3-0 Big East). The Red Storm played a challenging four sets against Creighton but came up short in the end, losing 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 14-25, 20-25).

“We really tried to tell them not to dwell on the errors,” head coach Joanne Persico said. “We really want them to get to the next point and play as hard as they can, not to track the score.” Georgetown put up a good fight. In the end, St. John’s came out on top by keeping their heads in the game.

For the majority of the first two sets, the Storm and the Blue Jays were in close competition, fighting point for point. Overall, St. John’s had three players with kills in double digits. Pelin Aroguz lead the Storm with 13 kills, followed by senior Karin Palgutova and freshman Margherita Bianchin, both with 11 Kills.

Sophomore Delaney D’Amore led the team in digs with double digits having 13 digs followed by Palgutova almost having double digits in digs with nine digs total. Senior setter Deniz Mutlugil also stood out this match with 35 assists. Although this night did not go in favor of the Storm, they quickly turned that around the next day with a conference match-up against the Georgetown Hoyas (7-10, 1-3 Big East).

“It was a grind out win and I thought we were a little fatigued but we pushed through defensively and I liked what we did on defense,” Persico said. “I thought Julia Cast gave us a lot of action through the middle which helped. Georgetown is a good team and has good players, but we are happy to win at home and we want to protect Louie’s Court.”

Looking to redeem themselves of last night’s play, the Red Storm came out swinging again, taking the first, third and fourth sets for a win over the Hoyas 3-1. Middle blocker Cast had a career-high in kills, leading the team with 17 kills. Bianchin and Palgutova had 13 kills and three assists for the match. Mutlugil had 41 assists for the match and D’Amore had 16 digs.

The Red Storm really showed a turnaround in attitude and cohesiveness as a team while playing through a lot of adversity. Despite the loss the day before against Creighton, St. John’s came in with a redirected focus, shaking off anything that happened in the previous match.

“Today, we all played as a team and kept it more positive,” Cast said after the match . “We worried more about the points and not so much about the score.”

St. John’s will next be in action on Oct. 7 as they welcome Villanova to Queens.