After suffering its first defeat in nearly two weeks, the No. 24 St. John’s volleyball team wasted little time in returning to its winning ways against Colgate University on Saturday at the Penn State Classic.
“It is always very important for a team to bounce back after a loss and regain its rhythm and team chemistry,” said head coach Joanne Persico-Smith.
The Red Storm swept the match, 3-0, by scores of 30-24, 30-23, and 30-15.
Seniors Dana DeMayo and LaToya Blunt set the tone, with DeMayo contributing a match high of 16 kills and 12 digs, and Blunt adding 10 kills and six blocks.
Colgate jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first game, but St. John’s fought back to tie it up at 5-5. Junior Casie Brooks then provided the turning point of the game, a service ace that broke the tie and gave the Red Storm a lead they would not relinquish.
Sophomore Alanna Rutan provided a spark that kept the momentum going in game two with three straight aces that gave the Storm an early 8-2 lead.
“Alanna has been working very hard on and off the court [and] in the classroom for two years now,” Persico-Smith said. “We are very proud of her.”
The Raiders showed some heart of their own, fighting back to a 17-17 tie in the middle of the game. But kills by seniors LaToya Blunt and Wioleta Leszczynska, in addition to three straight attack errors, abruptly eliminated any hope for a Raider comeback.
St. John’s jumped out to another quick 10-4 lead in the third game that the Raiders could not overcome, allowing the Johnnies to easily pick up the victory.
Despite the win, Coach Persico-Smith stressed the importance of continued improvement.
“It is important for the team to learn from its mistakes and keep working on achieving perfection,” Persico-Smith said.
Penn State 3, St. John’s 0The Red Storm were not quite as lucky Friday night as No. 3 Penn State swept the Johnnies, 3-0, by scores of 20-30, 14-30, and 17-30. The loss snapped an eight-game St. John’s winning streak.
St. John’s 3, Virginia Commonwealth 2The weekend began on a high note, as the Red Storm managed to outlast Virginia Commonwealth, 3-2, in a highly competitive opening match by scores 30-28, 23-30, 30-17, 27-30, and 15-8. After alternating wins through four games, St. John’s won their first fifth-and-deciding game of the season.