The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Red Storm slip in finale

The St. John’s women’s volleyball team learned the hard way that the most dangerous team is a team with nothing
to lose.

Just two days removed from their most emotionally taxing victory at Notre Dame, the first-place Red Storm hit a speed bump when they traveled to DePaul for their final regular season outing on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Blue Demons in four sets (25-23, 21-25, 15-25, 20-25).

“I really thought that when we got to the gym and we got to the game, that we were trying,” head coach Joanne Persico-Smith said. “I just didn’t see us jumping as well as we had jumped before, I didn’t see our energy level as physical as we were before.”

With the loss, the Red Storm finished the regular season 21-8 (12-2), their only other conference loss also coming in four sets on the road against Marquette on Oct. 3.

Statistically, this was a performance that could have easily turned into a victory for the Red Storm. It was kept close until then very end, with a total of 33 tie scores and 18 lead changes through the four sets played.

And while there were bright spots for the Red Storm in the box score – such as, Darlene Ramdin’s 11 kills, five blocks and .562 hitting percentage, Valeria Koveleva’s 13 kills and two aces and Wiloleta Leszczynska’s 42 assists – the Red Storm were unable to dig deep enough to find the resiliency which they had shown all season long.

“I think, during the match, once [DePaul] started to really take a lead, mentally we didn’t have enough in us,” Persico-Smith said.
The Red Storm dropped the first set to DePaul, despite leading late by a score of 21-20. During the set, the score was tied 12 times while the lead changed hands four times.

Then, in the second set, the Red Storm looked like they were poised for another come-from-behind win, going on a late 6-1 run. They managed to squeak out a win in the set despite the lead changing seven times throughout.

However, the Red Storm found themselves trailing for most of the third set, allowing DePaul to impose their will. The Blue Demons went on an early 7-0 run, never allowing the Red Storm to get back into the set.

And in the fourth set, the Red Storm refused to go down easily. The score was tied at 15 but DePaul was able to take four of the next five points, opening up the set for good and eventually taking the match.

While the Red Storm will come home after a tough road loss and start preparing for the Big East Tournament, they are taking the same approach to this as they would a win: by searching for something to work on.

“We just need to be really steady on serve receive,” Persico-Smith said. “If we make a mistake, we’ll talk about just shaking it off, getting the next one.”

The Red Storm are not taking this lightly. They know that this is a match that they could have, and probably should have won against an opponent who finished with the third worst record in the conference.

“I think this match gave us a lot of fire,” Casie Brooks said. “It’s another reality check for us.”

The Red Storm will look to bounce back in the Big East Tournament in Pittsburgh, when they face South Florida on Friday.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *