The Seton Hall women’s volleyball team (9-8, 3-1) suffered a nail-biting loss to the St. John’s Red Storm (10-7, 1-3) three sets to one on Saturday afternoon. Seton Hall came into the match red-hot after three straight Big East wins against Butler, Xavier and Georgetown, while a young St. Johns team stumbled into this rivalry game after dropping three of their first four conference matches.
The first set was highly contested, but due to a strong performance by freshman Haylee Gasser, the Pirates took the first set by a score of 25-22. By attacking the middle of the court, Gasser exposed holes in the St. Johns defense with six kills, which set the tone for the rest of the match.
A few Pirate miscues, as well as strong performances from Danisha Moss and Gaia Traballi, helped the Red Storm win set number two, 25-23, and knotted up the match at 1-1. Moss, who leads the nation in blocks, was a formidable presence on the wing and was very efficient with her strikes. Set number three was back-and-forth the entire way, as both sides toiled for momentum. Down 24-21, Seton Hall fended off three straight set points to tie the score, but St. Johns won two long rallies to take the set and a 2-1 advantage.
After falling behind by as many as eight points in set four, the Red Storm went on a 13-4 run to tie the score at 21. After trading blows, St. Johns sealed the Pirates fate with a Moss spike to capture a 26-24 set win and its second conference victory.
Gasser finished the match with a career-high 11 kills and senior Danielle Schroeder shined once again, as she accumulated 13 kills and seven blocks. The effort, however, was not enough as St. Johns put together a total team victory. With 15 kills from Mona Karkkanein, 50 assists from Erica Di Maulo, and seven blocks from Julia Kast, the young team from Queens showed signs that they are gelling as they look to recover from a slow start in conference play.
Both teams will host Big East foes next, as Seton Hall will try to right the ship against DePaul at Walsh Gymnasium on Friday, Oct. 7.
James Sherry can be reached at email@example.com.