After an 11-day hiatus, the St. John’s volleyball team returned to action yesterday and were defeated by Hofstra 3-0 (30-27, 30-16, 30-21) at Alumni Hall.
Tuesday’s contest against the Pride marked the inaugural match of the newly created Division I Queens-Nassau Volleyball Cup. The Cup was created to promote an already heated local rivalry.
The winner of the match will retain the Cup and local bragging rights for one year until the two teams meet again next season.
“The two schools are so close in proximity,” St. John’s Head Coach Joanne Persico-Smith said, “that myself and Coach Kalafer of Hofstra wanted to add a little bit more to this local rivalry.”
“Every year this is a big match for us,” senior captain Meaghan Creedon said. “Obviously we’re in the same town and somebody wants to say they’re the best volleyball team.”
The Johnnies did not seem to play as a unit, and could not seem to find its rhythm.
“We never really got into a rhythm,” Persico-Smith said, “and when we did get a rhythm, somebody would make a mental error,”
“We didn’t seem to be clicking on the court,” Creedon added. “Today there was a lot of quiet people who were not making that extra play and taking that extra step.”
After a close first game, the Red Storm had their troubles losing the second game, 30-16, and the third, 30-21. Hofstra played great defense all match long. “They’re 18-4 for a reason,” Persico-Smith commented. “They are a very solid team, and sometimes a good team will make you look sloppy.”
“I didn’t feel like we came with heart today,” junior setter Robyn Kurasaki said.
“We’re not good enough to just come out and play half-heartedly,” Persico-Smith added.
The match against Hofstra was a record breaker Kurasaki, who became the first St. John’s player to record 1,000 assists in three straight seasons.
“Robyn is a great athletic setter,” Persico-Smith said. “She does a great job of keeping everyone involved.”
If she continues her strong play, she should break Connie Chae’s single-season record of 1,586 assists.
“For me, records are great, but I’d definitely rather have a win then a record,” Kurasaki said.
Jackie Ahlers recorded nine kills and tallied seven digs, Sarah McCrary chipped in with seven kills.
Hofstra was led by Stephanie Rewitz, who had 20 kills on 31 attempts.
St. John’s is now 14-11 overall, with a 3-2 mark in the Big East. The final eight games of the season are against Big East rivals, and will determine if the Johnnies earn a spot in the Big East Tournament.
“We really have a statement to make,” Kurasaki said. “We have to come in with that attitude that we’re going to kill whatever team it is.”
The next game is Friday night at Alumni Hall against Georgetown.