SJU Volleyball fall to Fighting Irish

After defeating DePaul on Friday, the St. John’s volleyball team could not have gotten off to a better start in
conference play.

But Sunday afternoon, things
seemingly could not have gone any
worse for the Red Storm, who lost in consecutive sets to Notre Dame, (25-11, 27-25, 25-19).

“It’s a disappointing loss, because we know they’re a quality opponent with a lot of seniors,” said St. John’s head coach Joanne Persico-Smith. “We had our
opportunities. Notre Dame did a great job of serving us out of our system. Their serving created a lot of miscues in
communication, and we didn’t attack the ball hard enough.”
Notre Dame’s serving was a
major part of the victory, as the Irish
tallied a total of seven service aces to the
Red Storm’s two.

“We had our ups and downs today,” said Sophomore Darlene Ramdin, who led the team with 13 kills. “We should have fought more. We showed about 70-80 percent of what we’re capable of.”
The Red Storm hope to learn from the loss to a strong Notre Dame team that improved to 8-4 on the season with the win, and had pulled off a victory over the Stanford earlier in the season, and had lost to opponents such
as Michigan and Florida State.
“We’ll have to watch the tape,” said Persico-Smith. “But this was a good
experience for us, we have to keep the ball up. We hope to use this game to
get better.”

Added freshman libero Ashley Asing, “It’s great that we fought the way we did. These are teams that we play that will only make us stronger.” Asing led the team with eight digs, along with Kayla Motoyama who also tallied eight digs. Freshman Gabriela Petkova led the team with 25 assists.
Notre Dame jumped out to an early 13-5 lead in the first set and would extend it to as many as 13, taking the first set with little
resistance, 25-11.

The second set was much morecompetitive early, but Notre Dame would lead 18-14. An ace by Kun Song would later tie it at 22, but Notre Dame finally put away the Red Storm at 27-25.
Persico-Smith said the Red Storm’s inability to come through and win the second set may have been the difference in the match.
“The second set would’ve been very important for us,” she said. “If we win that set, it would’ve really given us some momentum on our home floor.”

Added Petkova, “If we win the second game, we would’ve been more confident in our serving and attacking.”

In the third set, Notre Dame lead early, jumping out to a 14-9 lead before a Red Storm timeout. From that point, Notre Dame would be in control, leading by as many as six before finally putting the match away, 25-19.

Notre Dame out-blocked St. John’s, tallying nine blocks in the match, while St. John’s managed to only get one block in the entire match.

The Red Storm will go on the road to face Georgetown and South Florida to continue their Big East schedule
next weekend.

With the loss, St. John’s drops to 8-10 overall, and 1-1 in the Big East. Historically, St. John’s fell to 14-3 all-time against Notre Dame, who ended the Red Storm’s season in the second round of last year’s Big East tournament.