Volleyball: Storm beats Marquette for the first time since 2007

Crystal Simmons, Staff Writer

On Saturday November 14th, St. John’s took on Marquette gaining their first victory against them since November 4th, 2007 when the storm won in three sets here in queens. The storm won 3-2 making them 17-13 overall and puts them at 7-8 in the BIG EAST. That evening was not only a big victory for the team but for several individuals as well. Shawna-Lei Santos had her 4th consecutive double-double with 50 assists and 17 digs, and Yaidy Santiago with a career high of 19 kills, as well as a double-double.

While the first set did not go in favor of the storm, they did not let that hinder their intensity. They came out with a lot of force the second set with a burst of energy that prevailed throughout the match. “I think we tried to continue to stay steady and the team was in a good rhythm so I didn’t have to make that many substitutions which I think helped them down the stretch,” said head coach Joanne Persico. Making a lot of smart plays in putting the ball where Marquette defenders were not, the Storm gained a big lead. In addition to these plays, the tough serves by Santos made it hard for Marquette to return the ball and run their offense.

On their journey to victory the storm also had several big plays from Karin Palgutova who had her 12th double-double of the season with 16 kills and 17 digs. Also, Margherita Bianchin had a great night succeeding in gaining a double-double as well with 11 kills and 17 digs. Julia Cast was also a big help to the team’s success defensively with her blocking as well as offensively with 16 kills.

In the third set, intensity was high as the third set came to a close. The storm fought point for point against the Golden Eagles, winning the set 30-28. The energy in the Arena radiated off of the team and into the crowd, which carried into the final sets. “The energy is the most important thing on the court,” says Santiago. “If we don’t have energy we can’t play and we always say we have to keep the energy up even if we’re not doing good because it will help us to get better.”

The team was really solid in their defense this match as it was something that they have really placed an emphasis on. “Defensively we’ve been getting better,” says Persico. “We knew defensively we weren’t playing the level we needed for whatever reasons in blocking and defensively together but we gave a real strong effort.” Sophomore defensive specialist Delaney D’Amore had 20 digs and 8 Assists.

In addition to a really solid defensive match, the Storm rethought their strategy with offense which was a key aspect in their success. “We kind of went back to basics,” says Santos. “We were kind of in a rut and all over the place so we went back to basics and did no free ball play. The defense stuck to their pins and the middles were just going to hit ones and it worked really well, especially in the fifth set.”

After concluding their home play this past Sunday against DePaul, the Storm will take on Seton Hall and Villanova this weekend.