The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Storm snags Big East berth

The St. John’s volleyball team not only celebrated their athletes during senior night at Carnesecca Arena but also flaunted a 3-0 sweep over Pittsburgh.

The win gives St. John’s the fifth seed in its first Big East Tournament since 1996.

A brief award ceremony jump started the night. Senior Anicia Wood and graduate student Shameka Mitchell, who were congratulated, did not disappoint their fans Saturday night.

Both players helped St. John’s (23-8, 9-5) conclude its regular season with a 30-18, 30-27, 30-21 win over the Pittsburgh (16-11, 9-5). The Red Storm dominated the struggling Pittsburgh offense as the Panthers held only one lead during the entire match.

Double-doubles were picked up by Hui Ping Huang, who had 12 kills and 20 digs, and Patti Hardiman who had 11 kills and 18 digs. Wood added four blocks.

Huang received rookie of the week honors on Monday and picked up a double-double in the Storm’s Friday game against West Virginia.

“She is hard-working,” St. John’s coach Joanne Persico-Smith. “She is getting used to and trying to adjust to a new culture, weather, language, and different volleyball techniques here and she’s doing a tremendous job trying to make it work for her.”

Co-captain Mitchell displayed her leadership skills and proved that she was a tough competitor as well.

“She seems to bring that extra spark and that extra energy,” Persico-Smith said.

Mitchell was a dominant force on the court as she showcased 14 kills which went well with the senior award she received.

“I know that people look at us and think we are a really good offensive team,” Mitchell said, “because we have people who can put the ball down, but we also have very consistent passers in the back row.”

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