Online Exclusive: Tastes Sweet

St. John’s volleyball is on its way to Gainsville.

The Johnnies escaped with a 3-1 victory over Delaware Saturday after surviving a rough start in the first game. After Delaware defeated Princeton Friday night with a sloppy performance, St. John’s head coach Joanne Persico-Smith decided to allow her team to watch video of the game for scouting purposes.

“We had to determine whether we wanted to watch [the video] last night,” Persico-Smith said. “Sometimes when you watch a team on tape they re not as good as they are when you play them in person. They were very balanced.”

St. John’s appeared to be surprised in the first game as Delaware came out hard, refusing to allow St. John’s to pull away. Delaware would ultimately win the game, 30-23.

Delaware would once again give St. John’s problems in the second game, refusing to be intimidated in its first game against a ranked opponent this season.

“As good as they are when we stayed patient we frustrated them,” said Delaware coach Bonnie Kenny.

However Delaware would let an 18-10 lead slip away, as St. John’s chipped away and got back into the game.

“We were a little rattled because they made some great plays and ended up taking the lead,” said Delaware’s Megan Welch.

St. John’s victory in game two was all the motivation it needed, as it battled for a 31-29 victory in game three and cruised to a win in game four, 30-23.

St. John’s will now set its sights on USC, a team the Johnnies lost to in its second game of the season, 3-1. USC edged Long Beach State 3-2 to gain entrance into the Sweet 16.

“It’s been a dream come true and I’m so blessed to be here,” Persico-Smith said.