May 19, 2007
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam
The St. John’s University volleyball team became the first
collegiate women’s volleyball team to compete in Vietnam,
participating inthe Vietnam Television International
Women’s Volleyball Cup. The team’s appearance marks the second
Vietnamese trip made by a St. John’s athletics team. Last year, the
men’s soccer team was invited to the country by the Vietnamese
Sports Commission to participate in a series of exhibition matches
against local squads.
The St. John’s volleyball team will depart Ho Chi Minh City
tomorrow with silver medals around their necks as the squad took
second place at the 2007 Vietnam Television (VTV) Cup Fourth
International Women’s Volleyball Tournament. The Red Storm fell,
3-1 (26-28, 24-26, 31-29, 20-25), in a close and hard-fought match
to the national team of Vietnam Saturday evening. The two teams
battled it out in front of a crowd of 2,500 spectators.
Three members of the Red Storm earned all-tournament honors for
their impressive efforts this week. Libero Kathleen Yee (Honolulu,
Hawaii) received the most accolades as she was named the
tournament’s best receiver, best digger and best libero. Hui Ping
Huang (Shanghai, China) was named best spiker, while Wioleta
Leszczynska (Bielsko-Biala, Poland) received best setter
Vietnam quickly took control of the first game, 4-1, on points
from Nguyen Hoa, Le Muoi and Pham Trang. The Red Storm kept the
score close with solid offense from Huang and Latoya Blunt
(Vacaville, Calif.) and strong defense from Yee. A block from Huang
and a kill from Valeria Kovaleva (Moscow, Russia) brought the Red
Storm within one, 22-21, and three straight kills from Dana DeMayo
(Ra’anana, Israel) tied the game, 24-24. The two teams then went
head-to-head through the next five rallies, but Ha Hoa put the ball
down to give Vietnam a 28-26 game one victory.
St. John’s and Vietnam started off game two just where they left
off, battling point-for-point. St. John’s tied the score, 7-7, on a
kill from Patti Hardimon (Honolulu, Hawaii) and a block from Blunt
gave the Red Storm the one-point advantage. St. John’s then grabbed
a three-point lead on a block from Kovaleva and Huang, but Vietnam
knotted the score once again, 14-14, and then proceeded to take the
advantage. However, the Red Storm was not ready to give up and
rallied back to tied the score, 23-23, on a kill from Blunt. A kill
from Ha Hoa helped Vietnam win the second game, 26-24.
In game three, Vietnam pushed ahead on points from Muoi and Hoa.
A kill from Bui Thi Hue gave Vietnam a four-point lead and, once
again, St. John’s kept the score tight with successful attacks from
Leszczynska, DeMayo, Hardimon and Blunt. The Red Storm battled back
to knot the score, 21-21, on a kill from Blunt and then steadily
climbed to game point, 24-22. But back-to-back service aces from
Dinh Thi Dieu Chau tied the score, 24-24. With the score knotted
five more times after that, the Red Storm finally broke away on a
block from Blunt and Hardimon slammed the ball down to give St.
John’s a 31-29 third game win.
With Vietnam leading 2-1, St. John’s tried to take an early lead
but Vietnam was right behind them as the team’s fought through 14
rallies before Vietnam was able to pull ahead on a kill from Trang.
The Red Storm was not willing to give up yet and knotted the score,
15-15, on a service ace from Blunt. Shortly after, Vietnam created
a six-point gap for itself on points from Muoi and Hoa. The
Vietnamese national team closed out the match with a 25-20 fourth
After the awards ceremony, taking pictures with fans and signing
autographs, the Red Storm returned to the hotel for a buffet dinner
with the national teams of Japan and Kazakhstan. St. John’s
presented their tournament host, Nguyen Le Thao, with an
autographed volleyball and bouquet of flowers to thank her for her
untiring help and support this week.
St. John’s Psychology Department Partners
with Vietnamese University, Introduces Academic Service-Learning
Along with the volleyball team, a group of faculty members,
graduate students and undergraduates from St. John’s Department of
Psychology traveled to Vietnam on May 13 to take part in a two-week
academic service-learning program that will introduce an American
model of psychology to a leading university in Hanoi.
Learn More >