SJU falls short against No. 7 Cards

Heading into this weekend, St. John’s was riding an eight- match winning streak, and had not lost since Sept. 9, at the William and Mary invitational.

The team hadn’t played a Big East foe, and boasted an impressive record of 14-3.

With all of those factors going in its favor, the team headed into Cincinnati on Friday night in hot pursuit of its ninth straight win, first win over Cincinnati, and its first Big East victory of the year.

The road game started out well enough for the Red Storm as they took the first game of the match by a score of 30-28. The good times for the Storm, however, ended there. Incessant jeering by what has been affectionately called the Alley Cats – a group of fans strategically placed around the Red Storm bench – caused what St. John’s coach Joanne Persico-Smith described as “purely mental mistakes.”

“It got to the point where everyone had an error at some point in the game,” Persico- Smith said. “Our women need to be so focused in the moment that all they see is the game-that didn’t happen during the Cincinnati game.”

The eventual outcome of the game led to St. John’s dropping the next three matches by scores of, 30-21, 30-26, and 30-22. The aftermath of the game was that the team had lost for only the fourth time of the year, but faced them with another daunting task of facing No. 7 Louisville.

Although the Storm lost to Louisville by the scores of 30-28, 27-30, 30-21, 30-17, they pushed them hard in every game. The team was led in the match by Latoya Blunt (19 kills), Shameka Mitchell (12), and Hui Ping Huang (15), who combined for 46 total kills.

“While we are obviously not happy with the results,” Persico-Smith said. “We are very happy about the effort. After this weekend’s games, we feel that we can play with almost anyone in the nation. We’re pushing forward.”