Week in Review: Fall Sports See Mixed Results in Competitive Week

Red Storm soccer and volleyball suffered from disappointing team performances, but still manage to shine through impressive individual standouts.

Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

Fall sports are back in full swing for the Red Storm, and the Johnnies are starting their non-conference schedules to prepare for a Big East slate. This week, Red Storm soccer and volleyball suffered from disappointing team performances, but still manage to shine through impressive individual standouts.

Sienkel Secures 5-0 Win Against Lehigh 

Redshirt junior Antek Sienkiel’s efforts led the Red Storm to a 5-0 victory over Lehigh on Friday, Sept. 2 at Belson Stadium. Graduate student Brandon Knapp and Senior Wesley Legget also scored goals that evening. 

Sienkiel became the first St. John’s men’s soccer player in nearly eighteen years to score three goals in a single game. The midfielder chalked up the 21st hat trick in program history, and took just 51 minutes to hit the mark. The last player to accomplish such a feat was Andrei Gotsmanov against the University of South Florida on Oct. 30, 2004. 

The Marist transfer’s efforts earned him the title of Big East Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 5, when he becomes the first Red Storm player to take home this award since recent MLS draftee Tani Oluwaseyi in 2019. He also earned a spot on TopDrawerSoccer’s Team of the Week for games played Aug. 30 through Sept. 5. 

The Johnnies first win came after a heartbreaking loss to No. 18 Florida International that saw the team cede a first-half free kick goal despite a solid defensive effort. 

Sitting at last place in the Big East rankings, the Red Storm (1-3) continued their efforts in the Hoosier State, and came up short again to No. 21 Indiana in a 1-0 loss September 6. 

St. John’s Women’s Soccer Defeats Central Connecticut State, 3-0

The Red Storm Women’s Soccer team prevailed over Central Connecticut State, 3-0, on Sept. 5 at Belson Stadium. Junior midfielder Ava Collins led the team with two goals, and graduate student Kayla Mesaros added another for insurance.. 

The Johnnies were able to hold their own against the Blue Devils, scoring in both halves of the contest. The team continues a two-game winning streak, and will try for a third Sunday Sept. 11 against Lehigh at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

St. John’s Volleyball Falls Three Times in UNLV Rebel Challenge

St. John’s Volleyball traveled to Las Vegas Sept. 1, continuing their 2022 season. The team took on RV Miami, Weber State and UNLV through Sept. 3 and fell to all, winning one set at most in each game. Despite the disappointing team result, the Volleyball team is giving fans a reason to watch with impressive individual performances. 

Standouts Wiktoria Kowalczyk, Rachele Rastelli and Giorgia Walther boast high numbers for the team. Setter Kowalczyk tops the nation in assists per set (12.85) and is ranked fourth in total assists (167).  Rastelli leads the Big East in points and sits at a 15th national rank of 4.85 kills per set. Sophomore Giorgia Walther boasts 71 points, good for third in the country, and is joined by teammate Rachele Rastelli in second with 73 points. 

The 3-3 Red Storm will continue their efforts Wednesday, Sept. 7 at Fairfield (6-4), with a chance at a winning percentage in the early season.