A lot of positives for St. John's in 2019-2020 season
Apr 15, 2020 | 2271 views | 0 0 comments | 234 234 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Julian Champagnie got his St. John's career off to a good start with a standout freshman year. (Photo: STJ Athletics)
Julian Champagnie got his St. John's career off to a good start with a standout freshman year. (Photo: STJ Athletics)
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Highlighted by a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, a Big East Championship and six individual major conference awards, St. John’s 17 varsity programs put forth yet another successful campaign in 2019-20 before the year prematurely came to a close on March 12.

St. John’s tallied 14 All-Big East selections with five student-athletes earning first team nods. The Red Storm compiled three Athlete of the Year awards and a trio of positional accolades to end the year’s slate.

The St. John’s volleyball team earned its second-ever Big East Tournament title after becoming the first fourth-seeded team to win the tournament since the conference’s reconfiguration in 2013. The Red Storm secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and capped off the season with a 22-12 overall record.

Erica Di Maulo, Efrosini Alexakou and Rachele Rastelli all received unanimous selection to the All-Big East Team, while Di Maulo and Alexakou became the first pair of Johnnies to earn a spot on the AVCA All-East Coast Region Team in the same season.

The St. John’s men’s soccer team returned to the NCAA Tournament for the 21st time in program history this past fall. The Red Storm earned a national seed for the ninth time and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the 12th time in the last 25 years.

Led by Dr. David Masur’s Big East Coaching Staff of the Year, the Red Storm turned in an overall record of 14-5-1, including a 6-2-1 mark in conference action, good enough for a second place finish in the conference’s regular season standings.

The Red Storm placed six student-athletes on All- Big East teams for the first time since 2003, including two that earned major end-of-season awards.

Tani Oluwaseyi, who scored 11 goals, became the first Johnnie since 1996 to be named Big East Offensive Player of the Year while Jan Hoffelner took home Big East Co-Goalkeeper of the Year accolades.

The men’s basketball team enjoyed a memorable first year under the direction of coach Mike Anderson, who completed his 18th season at the helm of a Division I program without ever suffering a losing campaign.

The Red Storm picked up two top-25 wins and were in line for a postseason berth after winning three of their final four decisions, including an historic comeback against Georgetown in the opening game of the Big East Tournament that featured a 23-0 run to close the contest.

Freshman Julian Champagnie, a local product out of Brooklyn, was named to the Big East All-Freshman Team after averaging 9.9 points and a team-best 6.5 rebounds per game.

He ranked in the top three among Big East freshmen in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks while recording four double-doubles, the highest such total by a St. John’s freshman since Moe Harkless had 11 before being taken with the 15th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Led by All- Big East Second Team selection Qadashah Hoppie and the league’s Sixth Woman of the Year Leilani Correa, the Red Storm enjoyed its highest scoring output since the 1994-95 season, averaging 72.3 points per game.

In addition to being named the conference’s top reserve, Correa was also a unanimous selection to the All-Freshman Team after setting a rookie record for the Red Storm with three 30-point performances.

St. John’s was lethal from beyond the arc during the 2019-20 campaign, snapping the program’s single-season record for made three-pointers with 220. The Johnnies also knocked down 77.4 percent of their tries from the free-throw line to set a new single-season high-water mark.

Zsani Kajan became just the second player in program history to be named Big East Offensive Player of the Year, joining two-time recipient Rachel Daly (2013 and 2015). The 5-foot-7 forward also garnered unanimous selection to the All-Big East First Team after pacing the Johnnies in goals (11) and points (23).

First-year forward Isabelle Aviza also earned conference honors, as she was selected to the All-Freshman Team. In addition to individual accolades, the Johnnies were recognized for their tremendous success in the classroom.

Big East Preseason Team selection Mike Madsen proved to be one of the top scoring threats in the conference this season, leading the Red Storm lacrosse team with 25 goals in seven games.

His brother Joe Madsen had been equally as impressive, scoring 18 goals and registering 27 points.

The Red Storm was victorious in its first two contests at DaSilva Memorial Field in 2020, knocking off Hartford, 13-11, and Siena, 16-9. The Johnnies’ also picked up a road win on February 22 against local foe LIU, 17-15.

Faceoff specialist Jonathan Dugenio won 113 faceoffs through seven games, which led all freshmen and ranked second overall in the nation.

Only playing half of its scheduled games in 2020, the St. John’s softball team captured key wins against Long Beach State and San Jose State in the team’s seven-game West Coast swing.

In its 3-2 victory over San Jose State, the Johnnies handed the Spartans their first loss in 17 tries, ending one of the country’s longest winning streaks.

The Red Storm garnered four weekly awards, led by Gretchen Bowie’s Big East Player of the Week selection at the Cardinal Classic. Kaitlin Mattera, Kaitlyn Lologo and Erin Brown also landed spots on the conference’s weekly honor roll following their standout performances.

St. John’s won its final game of the season, downing Fairleigh Dickinson, 3-2, as Kayla Kmett registered her first win in red.

The St. John’s baseball team had its season cut short after just 14 games, but showed flashes of promise in the early going of the campaign.

The Johnnies recorded three of their five wins against Power Five opponents, dominating 19th-ranked Georgia Tech, 11-1, in Atlanta before taking two out of three from Cal in Berkeley.

The Red Storm’s series victory over The Golden Bears marked the first in program history against a Pac-12 foe.

The Johnnies are primed to welcome back plenty of young talent in 2021, including freshman outfield David Glancy, who went 7-for-9 with eight RBIs, three doubles and two home runs over the final two games.

After four different Johnnies brought home medals, including one first-place finish at the NCAA Regionals on March 9, the St. John's men's and women's fencing programs earned ten bids to the 2020 NCAA Fencing Championships. Led by coach Yuri Gelman, both programs combined for 26 regular season wins.

Fifth-year fencer Katarzyna Lachman led the Red Storm with 50 regular-season victories. Sal Centanni, Jan Jurkiewicz, and Maxime Tarasiewicz each clinched their first bid to the NCAA Fencing Championships, while Ivan Zagoruiko and Nathan Vaysberg sealed spots in the men’s epee competition at nationals for a second consecutive year.

The St. John’s track & field team captured the 2020 Metropolitan Indoor Championship title after securing 12 top-three finishes. Leah Anderson racked up a trio of gold medals at the Big East Indoor Championships en route to being named the Women’s High Point Performer of the meet and the conference’s Most Outstanding Performer in track events.

The junior sprinter also broke two program records at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational on February 14 in the 200 and 400 meters.

The Red Storm’s 4x400-meter relay team of Anderson, Skyy Diop, Brianna Burkley and Avon Samuels took first place in their last five meets of the season, earning gold at both the Big East and IC4A/ECAC Championships.

Despite seeing its spring season cut short, the St. John’s women’s golf team closed out the 2019-20 campaign with three top-five finishes, claiming team titles at both the Lehigh and Benbow Invitationals.

Seniors Linda Wang and Kaitleen Shee both earned medalist honors, as Wang finished first at both the Boston College Intercollegiate and Towson Invitational, while Shee topped the field at the Lehigh Invitational.

The St. John’s men’s golf team entered its spring slate on the heels of a strong fall finish, claiming medalist honors at the inaugural Red Storm Invitational before turning in a third-place finish at the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Championship.

Senior Gerald Mackedon led the way for the Johnnies at the Red Storm Invitational, earning co-medalist honors at the 18-hole event.

Before their spring season was cut short, the Johnnies participated in a pair of tournaments, the Fort Lauderdale Intercollegiate and the Lonnie Barton Invitational. Behind a fourth-place finish from freshman Alex Kyriacou, the Johnnies wrapped up their year in a tie for third at the event.

The Red Storm men's tennis program was dominant in its Big East title defense, capping the 2020 campaign with a 13-2 record. Coach Dillon Pottish’s squad went unbeaten at home and sealed nine of its 13 wins on the road, including a crucial 4-3 triumph over Penn in its final match of the season.

Aditya Vashistha skyrocketed up the Oracle ITA Rankings this season, reaching St. John’s highest-ever position at number 40 on February 5. Ignacio Garcia and Udayan Bhakar each led the Johnnies with ten victories each in singles play.

The most decorated player in the history of St. John's women's tennis, Jessica Livianu sustained her dominance over her collegiate competition, winning all 13 of her singles matches on the number-one court.

Five of the team’s seven wins in 2020 were at home, including dominant 6-1 triumphs over Fairfield and Morgan State. Najah Dawson and Oceane Garibal each secured seven victories in singles play and collectively won eight of their nine doubles contests as coach Lauren Leo’s number-two duo.
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