Going into the game with Seton Hall Friday, this year’s volleyball team was only one win away from matching last year’s total of 15, and is a much-improved model of last year’s team that went 15-16.
One of the major improvements to the squad wasn’t necessarily the fact that it had a mostly new team, but that it added so much experience to its already improving roster.
St. John’s deafeated Seton Hall, marking the team’s first Big East victory of the 2005 season by the scores of 30-25, 30-25, and 30-21. With the win, the team improved to 15-5 (1-2 Big East).
Friday night’s 3-0 win at Seton Hall proved to be a vivid reminder of why it is that good teams have a mix of both youth, and experience.
Freshman Hui Ping Huang a native of China came up big and helped to take care of what was shaping up to be a very rough stretch for the team.
Huang tied a career-high, with a game-high 18 kills, to go along with a hitting percentage of .361.
She also had four service aces, which was the second highest total from either side of the floor.
“From watching the film, you get to see exactly what you are doing,” Huang said through an interpreter. “You get to see what your faults are, and it gives you a better chance to improve what you are doing.”
For the first-year player from the Shanghai, the game is becoming more and more manageable, and she is becoming steadily more comfortable.
“I feel that my relationship with my setter is getting better,” she said. “I feel that I am playing better with my teammates.”
The weekend prior saw the volleyball team suffer two tough Big East losses to both Cincinnati and No. 7 Louisville, and with the next scheduled game against Seton Hall almost an entire week off, afforded the team plenty of time for reflection.
Sophomore Latoya Blunt was second on the team with 12 kills and graduate student Shameka Mitchell added 11.
Freshman Casie Brooks tallied a match-high 47 assists and freshman Patti Hardiman notched 12 digs.
Up next for the Red Storm is Notre Dame Saturday and DePaul Sunday.
Both games are at Carnesecca Arena at 2 p.m.
Notre Dame (11-0, 3-1) is coming into Queens with an impressive record.
This will be St. John’s fourth Big East game, and their third match against a top-notch conference opponent.
“We approach each game with an attitude that we are going to win,” Huang said. “We always look for the positive.”