Johnnies Come Short In Five-Set Thriller

The St. Johns Volleyball team lost an intense five set thriller Friday afternoon to Big East rival Louisville (21-25, 25-19, 20-25, 9-15) at Taffner Field House.

The no. 15 Cardinals (17-3, 6-1) were helped by solid offensivee play and prolific blocking. The teams went point for point until the Cardinals eventually prevailed in the end.

“We could have done better” St. John’s sophomore Ashley Boursiqout said. “I feel like if we shut down number nine [Lola Arslanbekova] more and covered all of our spaces when we were blocking, we totally could have gotten them. We should have gotten to their open spaces and should have made them work for the ball like they were doing to us, that was really frustrating.”

The blocking and height of Louisville, in particular Gwen Rucker, posed a serious problem to the Red Storm (17-5, 4-2) offense; one they could not overcome.

“I think over time they kind of knew what we were going to do,” St. John’s head coach Joanne Persico said. “We tried to use a balanced attack, we still want to go to our best hitters. So eventually they knew [who] were going to go to.”

The loss was the second in a row for the Johnnies and their second overall in Big East play.
The Red Storm will look to get back to winning ways Sunday against conference foe Cincinnati (7-13, 5-2) at Carnesecca Arena.

“We need to bounce back, we know Cincinnati is good,” Persico said. “We happened to play two very good teams in Notre Dame and Louisville back to back, we understand that. But we also understand that we played a high level of Volleyball today, and if we continue to do that we know we are going to get the result we want. We need to get healthy and rise to the occasion Sunday.”