Dream season comes to an end

GAINESVILLE, Fla.- The dream season for St. John’s volleyball came to an end this weekend, as the Red Storm lost a heartbreaker to USC in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, 3-2.

“We really had a great experience,” said St. John’s head coach Joanne Persico-Smith. “It’s disappointing that we didn’t win, but we created great memories.”

After allowing USC to jump out with an early 2-0 lead in the match, St. John’s bore down in game three and took a hard fought 30-26 lead into game four.

Game four once again proved to be an exciting contest, as both teams went back in forth in exchanging the lead early. St. John’s would finally get a chance to break away late in the game, as the Johnnies recorded a 9-3 run en route to a 30-24 win, tying the match at two games apiece.

Whatever momentum St. John’s had going into the fifth and deciding game was squashed by USC when the Women of Troy came out determined. USC jumped out to a quick 8-1 lead in the contest. However, St. John’s once again fought itself back into the match with seven consecutive points to tie the score at eight. But USC again proved was able to overcome momentum the St. John’s energy, going on a 7-2 run to close out the game and the Red Storm’s season.

“You need to appreciate how good St. John’s is,” said USC head coach Mick Haley.

St. John’s set various records this year in what was its best season ever. It recorded he most wins in program history, had its highest national ranking of No. 13, and won the Big East Tournament for the first time.

For complete coverage of St. John’s historic 2007 volleyball season pick up The Torch’s first print copy of the second semester January 23, 2008.