May 18, 2007
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam
The St. John’s volleyball team served up its fifth three game
sweep of the 2007 Vietnam Television (VTV) Cup Fourth International
Women’s Volleyball Tournament as it defeated Shikoku Eighty 8 Queen
from Japan, 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-22) Friday evening.
With the win the Red Storm advances to the final match of the
2007 VTV Cup and will battle the national team of Vietnam for the
championship. First serve is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. local time,
6:30 a.m. in New York. Vietnam advanced to the final match with a
3-0 victory over Zetyssu of Kazakhstan.
St. John’s and Japan went head-to-head in the beginning of the
first game before Shikoku Eighty 8 Queen took the lead on a block
from Ayana Ida. Japan continued to push ahead but the Red Storm
remained close and tied the game, 11-11, on a block from Hui Ping
Huang (Shanghai, China) and Valeria Kovaleva (Moscow, Russia). A
kill from Dana DeMayo (Ra’anana, Israel) gave St. John’s a
one-point lead, 13-12, and the squad never looked back and they
cruised to a 25-17 victory on a kill from Patti Hardimon (Honolulu,
In the second game, Japan tried to take control quickly with a
3-0 lead on points from Mari Hirayama and Megumi Otsuki. St. John’s
answered back tying the score, 4-4, on Japanese errors.
Back-to-back points from Latoya Blunt (Vacaville, Calif.) gave the
Red Storm a three-point advantage, 7-4. St. John’s continued to
control the game on successful attacks from Hardimon, Huang and
Kovaleva. A block from Kovaleva ended game two, 25-13, in the Red
Hardimon slammed the ball down to open game three in St. John’s
favor. However, Japan was not going to give up quite yet and
battled point-for-point with St. John’s. A kill from Blunt tied the
score, 6-6, and a block from Huang put the Red Storm up by two,
8-6. Japan kept the score close but was unable to tie the score.
The squad came within one five times before knotting the score,
18-18. Once again the two teams went head-to-head. A kill from
DeMayo finally put the Red Storm up by one, 23-22, and a kill from
Hardimon brought the game to a close, 25-22.
Huang led the Red Storm with 16 total points (nine kills, six
blocks, one ace); while Blunt tallied 13 points (eight kills, five
blocks). Libero Kathleen Yee (Honolulu, Hawaii) posted a match-high
nine digs, while Leszczynska dished out an impressive match-high 30
For Shikoku Eighty 8 Queen, Hirayama registered nine points
(eight kills, one block); while Otsuki recorded seven digs and
Marina Kasamatsu posted five kills.
At the end of day six, St. John’s had five athletes ranked on
the tournament’s best scorers list (No. 3 Huang, No. 8 Blunt, No.
11 Hardimon, No. 29 Kovaleva, No. 30 DeMayo). Huang continues to
hold onto the No. 2 spot on the best spikers list, while also
entering the best blockers list at No. 5.
The 2006 BIG EAST Libero of the Year Yee remains the No. 1 best
digger and No. 1 best libero of the tournament, while Hardimon
moves up one stop on the best receivers list (No. 2). On the best
setters list, Leszczynska maintains her status at the tournament’s
No. 1 setter.
Before heading to bed, sophomore Yee checked in with
RedStormSports.com to post the team’s eighth daily journal entry.
To view her postcard, click here.