The Creighton Volleyball team improved to 6-1 on the young season with a 3-0 win over Ball State in the opening match of the Northern Colorado Classic. Scores in the favor of Creighton were 25-22, 25-14, 25-21.
The Jays came from behind late in the first set to pull out the win, then controlled the final two frames to sweep a MAC contender that earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
Leah McNary led the Jays with 13 kills, with Melanie Jereb (12) and Heather Thorson (11) also reaching double-figures in kills. The Jays hit .373 on the evening, but their biggest production came at the net, where CU outblocked BSU 13-3. Creighton finished with 48 kills, two aces, 30 digs and 13 blocks.
Ball State was led by eight kills from All-MAC selection Kara Bates, but limited the senior to .143 hitting. The Cardinals had 39 kills, three aces, 40 digs and three blocks on .158 hitting.
The first set was the turning point and led to the sweep, as Creighton fell behind 5-1 early and didn’t take its first lead until 22-21. The Jays claimed the set 25-22 thanks to an 11-5 run, closing it with a double-block by Thorson and Savannah Smith.
The momentum carried over in the second set. The Jays got three blocks in the first four points to take a quick 4-0 lead and were never threatened after that. The Jays hit .548 in the second set, with 18 kills on 31 swings, to go up 2-0 at the break.
The Jays went to McNary early and often in the third set, and used a 5-0 run to take an 11-7 lead they would never surrender. BSU got within 22-20 late before a Jereb kill would eventually hand CU a 25-21 victory.
Creighton returns to action on Saturday with a pair of contests. The Jays take on Tulsa at 11 am (Central) before closing the tournament with an 8 pm (Central) match against host Northern Colorado.