Records fall in loss to Xavier

Sydney Johnson, Staff Writer

The women’s volleyball team lost an in-conference game on Friday night against Big East rival Xavier. Despite the 3-1 loss, there were a few members of the team who set new records. The team did not perform as well as it did the last time it met Xavier, but the teams put on a competitive show for an excited crowd in Carnesecca Arena.

Senior Yaidy Santiago earned her second double-double of the season with 12 kills and 19 digs, her career-high. Three other Red Storm players ended the game with a double-double.

Both sophomore Julia Cast and junior Mona Karkkainen helped lead the team in scoring by earning 10 kills each.

Senior Karin Palgutova earned her ninth double-double of the season and made history by tying the Kristy Mercein’s record for career service aces. Palgutova served two aces on Friday night which brought her to 132 career aces. “I always try to do my best so I know I left everything I have on the court,” Palgutova said.

The Johnnies had more digs than the Musketeers (77-65), but after winning the first set 29-27, the Storm lost three sets in a row. The set scores were 29-27, 21-25, 23-25, 21-25, respectively.

Both Palgutova and head coach Joanne Persico said blocking was the biggest reason for the tough loss the team suffered. “We just couldn’t block them as well,” Persico said. “We blocked them well the first time we played them.” On Sept. 25, the last time these teams met, the Storm lost after the game went to a close fifth set. Blocks played a major role in the competitive first matchup of the season. In the first game, St. John’s had a total of 12 team blocks, whereas in Friday’s game they recorded a total of 5.5.

Leading the team in blocks was sophomore Danisha Moss and she recorded four more blocks in the September game versus the Musketeers. Last game against Xavier, Palgutova blocked the Musketeers three times. On Friday, she had one successful block. “We had a little bit of trouble stopping their best players, so I think that was our weakness,” Palgutova said.

For most of the fourth and final set of the game, the Red Storm was able to keep the Xavier lead from extending beyond two points. The largest difference in the set was when the score reached 16-20 in favor of the Musketeers. The Johnnies went on a 4-2 run to come within one point, but were answered by an Xavier 4-1 run. The Musketeers won the last set 25-21.

Looking forward, team has five more games in its regular season. In order to secure a spot in the postseason tournament, the team must finish within the top four of the conference. According to Persico, “We gotta win and keep it going.”

After this game St. John’s record dropped to 15-12 overall and 5-7 in conference play.