Red Storm waste late leads

October 4, 2008

The St. John’s volleyball team suffered their first conference loss last night at the hands of a feisty Marquette squad Friday night, 3-1.

The Golden Eagles came out of the gates with guns blazing, recorded the first five points of the match and forced the Red Storm into an early timeout. After regrouping, and battling back from deficits as large as seven points, the Johnnies were able to tie the score at 17.

But that’s as close as the Storm would come. Marquette recovered the lead and eventually put St. John’s away 25-21.

St. John’s didn’t back down an inch in the second set. Led by Casie Brooks, who finished with a match-high 16 kills, the Red Storm held down the Golden Eagles and kept a comfortable margin with timely points. St. John’s eventually prevailed 25-17.

But the Red Storm could not hold a six point-lead late in the third set, despite having set point following a block by Ramdin. A Brett Favre-ian late rally by the team from Wisconsin was too much for St. John’s and they dropped the game 26-24.

The final set was a similar story. Like in the third, the Red Storm held a lead late in the game – this time it was seven points. But getting out in front simply meant the losing pill was a harder one to swallow for the defending Big East champions. An 8-0 run for Marquette put the score at 21-19 and St. John’s could not respond. Marquette held off the Red Storm to win the fourth set, 25-21.

Strong performances for the Storm were turned in by senior Wioleta Leszczynska, whose 42 assists led all players, and Chen Chen, who contributed nine kills and a team-high four blocks.

The Red Storm plays Syracuse, a team without a conference loss on Sunday at Manley Field House in Syracuse.