In the last regular season game of what can only be described as a magical year, the St. John’s women’s volleyball team proved their superiority and solidified their first ever ranking in the NCAA polls at No. 24. Against a hungry Villanova team, the Red Storm provided an exhilarating win for their fans on senior night with a 3-2 victory.
With the win, St. John’s capped their perfect season in the Big East, going 14-0 and 29-1 overall.
“I think this was an unbelievable year,” said head coach Joanne Persico-Smith. “It was a special season and we have special ladies on the team. We couldn’t have done it without everyone at St. John’s.”
The victory did not come without its difficulties though. After an extremely hard fought first game in which St. John’s took 30-27, Villanova came back to take the pivotal game two by a score of 32-30. With their backs to the wall, St. John’s tied the score at 29 and then took the lead 30-29 off of a controversial net violation. Villanova, however, who was in a do-or-die situation as a loss would send them home and a win would put them the Big East tournament with the final seed, rallied back with three consecutive points to take the game.
ame three was more of the same as Villanova snuck by with a 30-27 win. But facing a loss in game four, St. John’s showed why there is only one loss on their record, dominating the Wild Cats for a convincing 30-16 win.
“We needed a hard match to test our courage and confidence. Our ability to push through adversity was evident,” Persico-Smith said.
Although Villanova played hard in the rubber match, St. John’s staved off a late game rally to win the game by a score of 15-9.
Prior to the match was a ceremony for the seniors, Patti Hardimon and Jenna Schweitzer. However the Red Storm must now look ahead to the postseason and both the NCAA Tournament and Big East Tournament, in which they have secured the number one seed.
“I’m very sad about this because it’s my last game and there’s a lot of emotions running through me right now,” said Hardimon, St. John’s stand out player and two-time Big East player of the week. “But, I think this was the start of the postseason. Villanova is a good team and they came out to play. This is just the start of it.”