The St John’s women’s volleyball team continued their hot start to the season this weekend by winning the 2016 Jack Kaiser Volleyball Classic.
The Red Storm are now 6-0 and off to their best start of the season since 2006.
The team took advantage of having the tournament on their home court and defeated Niagara, La Salle and Binghamton to win the championship.
The Red Storm beat Niagara 3-1 (27-29, 25-19, 25-13, 25-23) in the first game.
Margherita Bianchin, Gaia Traballi, and Erica Di Maulo each recorded a double-double for the Red Storm. Bianchin had 15 kills and 14 digs, and Traballi finished with 24 kills (career-high) and 11 digs for her first career double-double. Di Maulo collected a whopping 51 assists (career-high) and 14 digs.
St. John’s lost the first set 29-27, as Niagara had .277 attacking percentage.
The Johnnies won the second set by going on a 5-1 run to close it out. Di Maulo had 10 of her 51 assists and Bianchin registered two of 15 kills in the second frame.
In the third set, the Johnnies scored the first 19 of the 25 points and won 25-13. The Red Storm had a .345 attacking percentage and held the Purple Eagles to a measly .036 attacking percentage.
The fourth set was a tight one with the Purple Eagles having a 23-22 lead until kills by Julia Cast, Traballi, and Bianchin helped the Red Storm to win the set and match.
Middle blocker Danish Moss was a force on defense with seven blocks. Coming off the bench, Amanda Sanabia had a strong debut for the Johnnies with six digs and four assists.
“It feels amazing to still be undefeated,” Moss said following their victory against Niagara. “My coach always said that the star of the team is the team, so I really just have to shout out my team because we are pushing and fighting for each other on the court.”
St. John’s defeated La Salle, 3-0 (25-15, 25-22,25-22), in round 2 of the tournament.
Bianchin had another strong game for the Red Storm with 14 kills (match-high) and an impressive .571 attacking percentage. Di Maulo 34 assists (match-high) and four aces (career-high).
Cast contributed 11 kills and .400 hitting percentage, and Lexie Lobdell provided a spark off the bench with five digs and two assists.
St John’s limited La Salle to a .225 attacking percentage and had an attacking percentage of .358. On the defensive end, the Red Storm forced the Explorers into 17 errors and collected eight team blocks.
The Red Storm dominated the first set winning 25-15 behind a .423 hitting percentage. Di Maulo tallied 11 of her 34 assists in the first frame and Traballi had four kills.
Leading 23-22 in the second set, Bianchin and Traballi teamed up for the winning point. Melissa Chin had three digs (six total for the game) in the set. The Red Storm were in some trouble in the third set, losing 7-2 before going on a 6-1 run to tie the score at eight.
The ending of the third set was intriguing with St. John’s holding a small lead of 23-22 but consecutive errors by La Salle helped the Johnnies to pull away to win the match.
The final game of the 2016 Jack Kaiser Volleyball Classic, the Red Storm sweep Binghamton to win the tournament.
Di Maulo was outstanding once again with 41 assists (match-high) and 11 digs. Traballi contributed with 14 kills and 14 digs. Moss made her presence felt on the defense with four blocks.
Di Maulo was named the 2016 Jack Kaiser Volleyball Classic MVP. Bianchin and Traballi made the All-Tournament. Next up for the Red Storm is the 2016 San Francisco Invitational that will start on Friday at 9:30 p.m.