Creighton Volleyball improved to 5-0 all-time in five-set matches at D.J. Sokol Arena, shaking off losses in the third and fourth sets to claim a five-set win over rival Missouri State in the MVC opener for both teams. Scores of the match in favor of CU were 25-13, 25-23, 22-25, 22-25, 15-8.
The Jays are now 9-1 on the season and 1-0 in league play, while Missouri State is 5-7 on the year and 0-1 in Valley action.
Three Creighton women had double-doubles, a group consisting of Melanie Jereb (15 kills, 10 digs), Kelli Browning (16 kills, 11 blocks) and Megan Bober (44 assists, 11 digs).
MSU was paced by 23 kills from Christine McCartney.
Creighton out-hit MSU .286 to .189, due in large part to a 16.5 – 6.0 advantage in blocks. The Jays also had a 7-1 edge in service aces, while MSU controlled the kill (69-64) and dig (80-72) categories.
Creighton wasted no time taking control in the first set. After falling behind 2-1, Ashley Jansen had two aces during a 10-0 run and would never look back in a 25-13 win. The Jays hit .483 in the first set with 15 errors in 29 swings, led by five kills by Leah McNary.
Creighton raced to a 13-6 lead in the second set, but would need to rally to take a 2-0 lead into intermission. The Bears would claw back to own leads of 19-18 and 22-21. But CU rallied Creighton late with the next three points and closed out the 25-23 set on a kill from McNary.
Creighton’s attempt for its first sweep over MSU in Omaha went by the wayside in the third frame. Creighton trailed 21-18, but fought back to knot the score at 22-all. An MSU timeout calmed down the team, as the Bears reeled off the next three points for a 25-22 victory and extend the contest. Browning had five kills in as many swings for the Jays, while McCartney and Kaitlin Jaeger each had five kills in the frame for the visitors.
The fourth set mirrored the third set in many ways, and once again MSU pulled out the set to extend the match. Creighton led 22-21 before three McCartney kills fueled a 4-0 run to give the Bears a 25-22 fourth set win. Jereb had five kills in the set for CU, while McCartney had eight in the set.
Tied at 2-all, the match headed to the fifth set. Early on the teams traded 3-0 runs as Creighton was staked to a 6-3 lead. The Jays led 8-4 when the squads changed ends, and MSU got no closer than three the rest of the night. A kill from Jereb, her season-best 15th of the night, closed out the match. Creighton hit .381 in the fifth set while MSU hit .167.
Kate Elman led CU’s defense with 16 digs and joined fellow Marian High grad Jansen with two aces.
MSU was paced by 20 digs each from Shelby Strang and Ashley Mason. All-Valley setter Carly Thomas added a double-double with 57 assists and 11 digs.
Creighton returns to action at 6 pm on Saturday night with a contest against Wichita State