Storm trumps Demons in conference opener

After losing the first set, the St. John’s volleyball team won the next three against the Blue Demons to take their Big East conference opener.

“It’s hard to come back after losing the first game, especially when it’s a Big East game you know they [DePaul] will come hard against us,” head coach Joanne Persico-Smith said. “I am very proud of them. They’re such a young team, but they’re learning how to work together very quickly.”

Sophomore Darlene Ramdin led the team with 15 kills and freshman Ashley Asing led with 16 digs. Freshman Gabriela Petkova had 38 assists and sophomore Jordan Haskins contributed with six important blocks.

In the first set, St. John’s struggled to keep pace against the Blue Demons and trailed behind in the middle with 21-14. However, they were able to close the gap with back-to-back kills by Ramdin, cutting the deficit to 24-23. The Blue Demons ended the set with a kill at 25-23.

“After the first loss we really wanted to come back,” Ramdin said. “We came together as a team. Everyone did their job,” Ramdin said. “We were able to achieve all our goals during this game.”

The second set showed a huge rebound for the Red Storm. Song put more than six points on the board, and both Haskins and Ramdin were able to block and put up points.

The Blue Demons trailed through the entirety of the set, but was unable to niche it at the end because of a net violation and a kill against them for 25-20 total.

“I didn’t play well the first set and I didn’t want to be the last one,” junior Kun Song, who had a game-high 12 kills and 14 digs, said when asked about her complete turnaround during the last three sets. “I’m a junior now and I wanted to lead on the court.”

During the third set, the Red Storm did not allow the Demons any leeway. The Johnnies brought the score up to 20-7 rapidly with heavy hits from Ramdin, Song and Scheffel. Junior Diana Banya ended the set with an ace and an attack error by De Paul at 25-11.

The fourth set did not prove to be any different. St. John’s took an early 6-2 lead, forcing DePaul to take its fifth time out of the day.

The Johnnies were able to stop the Demons from scoring at 20-9 when a pass by Haskins could not be completed. Due to an ace by Ramdin, the set ended at 25-9 with St. Johns as the victor.

The Red Storm continue Big East play against conference-rival Notre Dame Sunday.