Nov. 15, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. – On Friday, Nov. 16, the St. John’s volleyball team will play in its first BIG EAST Tournament match since the 2008 season, taking on No. 10 Louisville in the quarterfinals at 1:30 p.m. at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee, Wis. This will be the second time this season that eighth-seeded St. John’s (20-11, 7-8) and top-seeded Louisville (25-3, 14-1) will meet. On Oct. 12, the Cardinals edged the Red Storm, 3-2, at Taffner Field House in Queens, N.Y. All-time, St. john’s is 3-6 against Louisville, with its last win coming at home in the 2008 season.
The only time St. John’s and Louisville have met in the BIG EAST Tournament was in the 2007 championship round. The Red Storm defeated the Cardinals, 3-0, to win its first and only BIG EAST Tournament crown in program history.
The postseason tournament is made up of the league’s top eight teams in a single elimination format from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18. There will be four quarterfinal matches on Friday followed by two semifinal matches on Saturday. All six matches will be streamed live on www.bigeast.tv and the BIG EAST Championship Central page will have all the latest information throughout the tournament. The Championship match will be broadcast live on ESPNU on Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.
Below is the entire tournament field:
#4 UConn (19-11, 10-5)
#5 Cincinnati (11-18, 9-6)
#1 Louisville (25-3, 14-1)
#8 St. John’s (20-11, 7-8)
#3 Notre Dame (20-7, 13-2)
#6 USF (16-13, 7-8)
#2 Marquette (24-5, 13-2)
#7 Pittsburgh (17-13, 7-8)
HOW ST. JOHN’S RECEIVED THE NO. 8 SEED
Because Seton Hall lost to Syracuse on Sunday, Nov. 11, they were eliminated from postseason play and St. John’s, Pitt, and USF, who were all tied with 7-8 BIG EAST records, were put into a “mini-conference” to decide seeding for sixth, seventh, and eighth spots in the BIG EAST Tournament.
BIG EAST rules state: “If three or more teams finish the season tied, they are viewed as a ‘mini-conference’ when comparing head-to-head results. The team or teams with the best combined record versus the other teams in the mini-conference gains an advantage over the other teams and is removed from the ‘mini-conference’. The remaining tied teams then begin the tie-breaking procedure from the beginning.”
Below is how the mini-conference played out:
W L Details
USF 2 0 (Wins: STJ, Pitt)
Pitt 1 1 (Win: STJ; Loss: USF)
St. John’s 0 2 (Losses: PITT, USF)
USF had the best combined record in the mini-conference at 2-0 and received the sixth seed. The Bulls were then removed from the mini-conference leaving Pitt and St. John’s to start the tiebreaker over. Because the Panthers defeated the Red Storm in their only matchup of 2012, Pitt won the tiebreaker and the No. 7 seed, while St. John’s was tabbed with the No. 8 seed.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
- By finishing league play with a 14-1 record, No. 10 Louisville won the BIG EAST regular season championship for the fourth time in its eight-year history in the conference.
- The Cardinals have won five BIG EAST championship titles – the third-most of any BIG EAST program.
- Louisville has made the finals in six of the last seven BIG EAST Tournaments.
- The Cardinals enter the BIG EAST Tournament with a nine-match win streak and has swept their past five opponents.
- A five-time BIG EAST Player of the Week, senior outside hitter Lola Arslanbekova is first in the BIG EAST and third in the nation in kills per set (4.99).
- Louisville leads the BIG EAST in kills per set (14.18), assists per set (13.31), opponent hitting percentage (.160), and is second in hitting percentage (.267) and third in digs per set (16.85).
- The Cardinals are 3-2 against top-25 squads this season.
- Senior middle blocker Gwen Rucker is first in the BIG EAST in blocks per set (1.24), and second in the conference in hitting percentage (.381).
- The setting duties have been split between junior Hannah Kvitle and freshman Katie George. Kvitle has registered a 5.86 assists per set average and has made four starts, while George has recorded a 6.07 average and has made 24 starts.
SEASON RECORDS UPDATE
- With 53 service aces in 2012, freshman Karin Palgutova has the second-most service aces in a season in St. John’s history.
- Lynn Klein, who had 60 in 1994, holds the St. John’s record for most aces in a season.
- In a 3-1 win over Rutgers on Nov. 7, Palgutova recorded a pair of service aces to up her season total to 50. In doing so, she passed over Wioleta Leszczynksa and Olga Roudovski, who were previously tied for the second-most aces in a season with 49.
- With a .328 hitting percentage, Milica Krstojevic has racked up the seventh-highest hitting percentage in a season in St. John’s history.
SERVING IT UP
- With a 0.48 service aces per set average, freshman Karin Palgutova ranks eighth in the NCAA and leads the BIG EAST.
- As a team, St. John’s ranks 38th in the NCAA and first in the conference in service aces with a 1.45 per set average.
HOW ST. JOHN’S STACKS UP AGAINST THE REST
- St. John’s ranks fifth in the league with a .221 hitting percentage, while senior Milica Krstojevic has the conference’s seventh-best individual hitting percentage (.328).
- Krstojevic has tallied the second-highest single-match hitting percentage of all BIG EAST players this season. In a sweep of St. Francis on Sept. 8, she racked up 12 kills on 14 attempts with just one error for a .786 percentage.
- Freshman Karin Palgutova has compiled the eighth-best kills per set average (3.33) in the BIG EAST.
- At .181, the Red Storm is in third place in opponent hitting percentage, trailing first place Louisville (.160) by .021 points.
- With a 1.45 aces per set average, the Red Storm leads the conference and is 38th in the NCAA.
- Palgutova’s 0.48 per set average ranks eighth in the nation and ranks first in the BIG EAST.
- Senior Sabina Piegza is sixth in the BIG EAST in assists per set with a 9.66 average. Last season, Piegza finished tenth in the conference (9.19).