PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Nov. 6, 2012) – The Scarlet Knights host St. John’s for “Greek Knight” on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at College Ave. Gym. It is the final home match of the season for Rutgers (18-10, 4-9 BIG EAST). The squad faced the Red Storm on Oct. 28 in Queens, N.Y., and picked up a five-set victory.
St. John’s (19-10, 6-7 BIG EAST) Notes
- The Red Storm hold a 6-7 conference record and are coming off of a weekend split, downing Syracuse (Nov. 2) in four sets and falling to Marquette (Nov. 4) in four sets.
- Karin Palgutova has paced the team, tallying 3.29 kills per set this season, good for ninth overall in the conference. Sabina Piegza has provided the majority of the helpers, accumulating 9.64 per set this season, ranking seventh in the BIG EAST. Karin Palgutova is second in the league with 0.47 service aces per set and Gabriela Petkova averages 3.85 digs per set to lead St. John’s.
- As a team, St. John’s has compiled a .222 hitting percentage this season, good for fifth in the conference. The squad also plays tough defense with a .175 opponent hitting percentage mark, third-best in the league. The Red Storm lead the BIG EAST with 1.46 service aces per set.
- Joanne Persico is in her 19th season as the head coach.
Rutgers holds a 9-10 record against St. John’s in a matchup that dates back to 1994. The Scarlet Knights beat the Red Storm in five sets earlier this season on Oct. 28 in Queens, N.Y. In that match, Rutgers had three players with 17 or more kills.
Last Time Out
Rutgers defeated DePaul (Nov. 3) in five sets before falling to conference-leading Notre Dame (Nov. 4) in four games. The win over the Blue Demons (25-14, 25-17, 22-25, 21-25, 15-11) was the fourth conference victory of the season for the Scarlet Knights, the most for the program since the 2005 squad picked up six. The 18 wins are the most since the 2000 team recorded 23. Rutgers fell to the Irish by set scores of 25-23, 14-24, 21-25 and 18-25. The opening set victory for the Scarlet Knights marked the first time the squad has won a game over the Irish since Oct. 4, 1998.
With the win over DePaul (Nov. 3), Rutgers secured its most wins in a season (18) since the 2000 team recorded 23. The four conference victories are the most since the 2005 squad picked up six. Rutgers is guaranteed to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2004.
Freshman Sarah Schmid (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) has a .360 hitting percentage so far in 2012. Currently, she would rank third all-time at Rutgers on the single-season hitting percentage list. Last season, senior teammate Alex Jones (Chesapeake, Va.) compiled a mark of .383, second on the all-time list.
Setting It Up
Senior setter Stephanie Zielinski (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) moved into second place in Rutgers history in assists against Seton Hall (Oct. 19). She has 4,147 for her career. She is in third on the single-season list with 1,234 in 2012. She is 30 helpers out of second. Zielinski accumulated 1,151 last season, sixth all-time at Rutgers. The senior has also totaled 1,113 digs in her career, fifth on the program’s all-time list. With 335 this season, she is one dig out of moving into 10th on the single season list.
Senior Alex Jones (Chesapeake, Va.) has totaled 890 career kills, closing in on 10th place all-time at Rutgers, held by Courtney Mechling (1995-98), who totaled 905.
Scarlet Knights in the NCAA
Senior setter Stephanie Zielinski (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) ranked 30th in the NCAA through Nov. 4 with 11.12 assists per set.
Individual Conference Rankings
Senior setter Stephanie Zielinski (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) is second in the BIG EAST with 11.12 assists per set. Freshman Sarah Schmid (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) is fourth in the league with a .360 hitting percentage. Classmate Alex Lassa (Eagle, Colo.) is seventh in the BIG EAST with 3.39 kills per set. Overall, Rutgers is fourth in kills (13.29/s) and fourth in digs (16.86/s). In conference play, Zielinski is third in assists per set with 10.69.
Closing in on Milestones
Junior Tracy Wright (Fair Lawn, N.J.) has 356 digs this season, 13 away from sole possession of fifth place on the Rutgers single-season list. Senior Stephanie Zielinski (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) is just 30 assists away from taking over second place on Rutgers’ single-season list. She is also one dig away from 10th-place on the single-season list. Senior Alex Jones (Chesapeake, Va.) is 15 kills out of 10th place on Rutgers’ career list. Senior Kylie Orr (Kettering, Ohio) is two kills away from 500 for her career and 34 away from 300 for the season.
Rutgers is hosting a Greek Knight for the St. John’s match on Nov. 7, giving away $100 Visa Gift Cards at the end of each set to the fraternity or sorority with the most school spirit. At the end of the match, the group that showed the most school spirit overall will win a pizza party from Gerlanda’s. T-shirts will be thrown out for each block and ace recorded by Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights finish the season in Chicago, Ill., taking on DePaul on Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. Rutgers downed the Blue Demons in five sets at College Ave. Gym on Nov. 3.
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