Volleyball stays hot

The No. 19 St. John’s volleyball team took little time trying to remind the Big East that last year was no fluke.

In its first conference match of the year, the Red Storm rolled over the Seton Hall Pirates with a 3-0 victory (30-18, 30-16, 30-23).

Last season, the team was 14-0 against Big East competition on the way to its first regular season championship.

“As any Big East veteran coach will tell you, it is very difficult to get road wins in the Big East Conference,” head coach Joanne Persico-Smith said. “We are happy with our results to start our Big East road conference schedule.”

A trio of seniors led the way for the Johnnies. Hui Ping Haung registered 12 kills and five total blocks.

Wioleta Leszczynska contributed a double-double with a match high 46 assists, 11 digs and four kills. LaToya Blunt added 10 key kills.

“We are very proud of Hui Ping Haung and Wioletta on not only their ability to come up big for us in crucial situations, but to play consistent volleyball throughout the match,” Persico-Smith said.

“As two players who have started every game for us, it is important that they lead by example and continue to be leaders on and off the court.

“Things did not start out easily for the Red Storm, as the Pirates quickly gained a 6-1 lead in the first game.

But a kill by Blunt to get the Red Storm within 10-7 turned the tide in the Johnnies’ favor for the rest of the first game as St. John’s won game one 30-18.

“After LaToya stepped it up, the team really caught rhythm and gained momentum to take control of the match,” Perisco-Smith said.

Game two featured continued dominance by the Red Storm as they jumped out to a 12-2 lead.

The team’s hitting percentage was .485 compared to a paltry .065 for the Pirates, which allowed St. John’s to cruise to a 30-16 game two win.

However, the Pirates continued to battle hard in the third game, getting within two points of the Red Storm three times.

Despite their determination the Pirates were never able to catch up, falling 30-23 in game three.

With the sweep, the Red Storm’s record now stands at 16-2, with a 1-0 mark in Big East play.

St. John’s will be back in action this weekend against Pittsburgh on Saturday and West Virginia on Sunday where it will look to extend upon its successful season.