Women's Volleyball |
Oct. 7, 2007
CINCINNATI---No. 18 St. John's rallied from a one game to none deficit, snapping Cincinnati's seven-match winning streak with a four-game victory over the Bearcats on Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Arena. The 26-30, 30-18, 30-28, 30-23 win for the Red Storm leaves both squads tied for second in the BIG EAST.
Cincinnati (14-5, 5-1 BIG EAST) got 12 kills each from Jessica Elley and Stephanie Niemer and received a spark off the bench from Lindsey Peterson as the junior contributed nine kills in just two games while hitting .438. UC did the job on the blocks, finishing with 11.5 as a team, including nine by Jessie Nevitt. Nevitt just missed a double-double, adding 10 kills to her nine blocks.
St. John's (20-3, 5-1 BIG EAST) got 17 kills apiece from Hui Ping Huang and Latoya Blunt with the duo also combing for 15 blocks. The Red Storm finished with 16 blocks as a team. Valeria Kovaleva tacked on 12 kills for St. John's.
Cincinnati came out firing, holding leads of 10-7 and 15-9 as St. John's exhausted both of its timeouts. Out of the second break, the Red Storm scored five of the next seven, causing Sunahara to take his first stoppage of the game with the score 17-14. Leading by an 18-16 count, the Bearcats ripped off five straight to go up by seven. UC was still holding a seven-point cushion when a Dana DeMayo error set up game point for the Bearcats at 29-21. St. John's stayed alive and stole the momentum from the Bearcats with five straight points, four coming from Blunt on kills (two) and blocks (two) to bring the Red Storm back within three. Niemer stopped the bleeding for UC with a kill giving the hosts a 1-0 advantage.
The aforementioned momentum was completely on St. John's side in game two as the Red Storm raced to a 10-3 lead, later doubling up the Bearcats at 18-9. The Red Storm was red hot in the frame, hitting .484 in the frame, behind five kills by Kovaleva and four from Casie Brooks. UC hit just .105 in game two, pushing its two-game total to .082.
Game three was a battle to the very end, featuring 15 tie scores and seven lead changes. After many tie scores early, the Bearcats held a 17-15 lead, but watched the lead disappear with a 4-0 spurt by the visitors. Cincinnati battled back, reclaiming a 22-20 lead with five of the next six points. The balance of the tight frame featured seven more ties, with a block by Blunt and Wioleta Leszczynska setting up St. John's game point. On the next play, a Niemer shot sailed long and St. John's had a two games to one lead.
The fourth and final game was tight early and was tied at 11 after a 5-0 Cincinnati run. The score remained close throughout until Huang dropped a kill to make it 23-20 in favor of the Red Storm. St. John's got within striking distance of match point on a Brooks ace that made it 27-22 and forced a UC timeout. A St. John's block and a Niemer kill were the first two points out of the break, before Kovaleva tallied a kill and an ace to close out the match for the Red Storm.
St. John's libero Lena Yee led all players with 20 digs, while Leszczynska handed out 54 assists to her teammates. Frey led the Bearcats with 13 digs, while setter Annie Fesl (43 assists, 10 digs) and Elley (12 kills, 11 digs) both had double-doubles.
The Bearcats will now take a six-day break from competition, returning to action next Saturday at Villanova. The match-up kicks off a six-match road swing for Cincinnati, which doesn't return home until Nov. 3 against Pittsburgh.