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

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Ramdin, Red Storm finding groove

Sophomore Darlene Ramdin has
provided the St. John’s women’s
volleyball team with the spark it was
looking for coming into the 2009 season.

Since Ramdin has returned from
representing Trinidad and Tobego at the World Championships in Mexico, the Red Storm have won three of four games, and look as though they’re settling
into a groove.

Despite missing the first three games of the season, Ramdin leads the team with 85 kills and is second on the team with a .302 attack percentage.

“I trained the whole summer,” Ramdin said.

“I worked with my team back home and made sure I kept fit and prepared to meet with my new team because I knew that we lost five players last year so I knew that we would have to fight together to be successful again.”

Red Storm head coach Joanne
Persico-Smith liked what she saw from Ramdin, and is looking for her to grow into a weapon as the season progresses.

“She’s very important, she’s really helped us in crucial situations and she’s getting better,” Persico-Smith said. “We need a big gun and were working on more people to get better at hitting and blocking.Darlene is an important component to
the team.”

Ramdin’s early success can be
attributed to growing chemistry between her and freshman setter Gabriela Petkova.

“We’ve definitely come a long way,” Ramdin said of their on-court relationship. “I wasn’t here for half the preseason so it was difficult at first, but we’ve made a lot of progression and have a long way to go for the rest of our season as well.”

The surprising play of Petkova throughout the early stages of the season has impressed Persico thus far.

“She’s all over the place,”
Persico-Smith said. “I was a little
concerned because of her height but she makes up for it, and she’s setting some very nice sets that are beautiful balls to hit, and she’s digging, and she’s
doing everything.”

Freshman libero Ashley Asing has
displayed natural leadership and is a big reason why the Red Storm have played well as of late.

“We have teammates from all over the world and it’s funny how things just mesh naturally for us,” said Asing. “My
position on the court, I feel should be a leader, but it’s always been in my personality so hopefully I keep it up
in the future.”

Persico-Smith praised Asing for rallying her teammates together whenever they faced adversity.

“She has that vocal leadership that you want from the back row, and has to just work on her defense and a little more digging,” Persico-Smith said. “She’s only been here a month, but is looking better every day and she’s very tough.”

The St. John’s Classic over the weekend provided numerous tense moments for the Red Storm. Whenever the Red Storm needed a big point in a crucial set, it seemed as though Darlene Ramdin was there to answer the call.

Persico was very pleased with the team’s effort and likes what she saw from her team in pressure situations.

“Mentally sometimes as an athlete it’s easy in sports to go back to what you didn’t do well before,” Persico said. “You’ve got to focus on that point and you can’t worry about what happened before and you have to work on that play and I think today they did a great job.”

Losing five players to graduation may have tempered the expectations of Red Storm fans but Ramdin expects big things from herself and her teammates.

“I’m hoping that we grow more together and that we win the big east again because I know that we can do it.”

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