The No. 10 Creighton Volleyball team swept preseason BIG EAST favorite and No. 21 Marquette on Sunday afternoon before 2,241 fans at D.J. Sokol Arena in Omaha. The match was the first regular-season meeting between league teams since 2005.
Scores of the match in favor of the four-time defending BIG EAST champion Bluejays were 25-17, 26-24, 25-20.
Taryn Kloth hit .464 and led Creighton (10-4, 2-0 BIG EAST) with 16 kills, while Jaali Winters added 15 kills and 11 digs on .300 hitting. Creighton hit .439 in the first set and .322 for the afternoon to beat the Golden Eagles for the 10th time in the last 11 meetings. Brittany Witt led all players with 19 digs and Annika Welty served up three of CU’s four aces. Creighton had 48 kills, 59 digs and 7.5 blocks overall.
Allie Barber topped Marquette (10-4, 1-1 BIG EAST) with 16 kills, and had a hand in MU’s only block, and Martha Konovodoff added 16 digs. The Golden Eagles finished with 43 kills, one ace, 53 digs and hit .210.
Creighton came out focused and firing on all cylinders in the first set, compiling 19 kills on .439 hitting while also amassing 24 digs. Kloth had eight kills on 12 swings, while Cole and Winters each had seven digs. CU broke an early 5-5 tie on a 4-0 serving run by Winters. The Bluejays would sideout at an 88 percent clip in the first frame, sealing the opening set on consecutive kills by Winters.
The Bluejays took a 2-0 lead in the match with a comeback win in the second frame, which featured 15 ties and four lead changes. MU scored back-to-back points to move ahead 23-21 and prompt a CU timeout. Out of the break, Konovodoff served one long, and Welty responded with an ace to knot the score at 23. Barber then committed her first attack error of the match when she was stuffed by CU’s Jaela Zimmerman and Megan Ballenger. After a CU serve error evened the score at 24, a Zimmerman kill gave CU a second chance at set point. This time a pancake dig by Samantha Bohnet kept a long rally alive, which went CU’s way when Marquette outside hitter Hope Werch sailed an attack wide.
Creighton scored the first four points of the third set, including a pair of blocks from Welty and Cole on Barber. MU responded with the next three points but would never tie CU as the Jays outlasted the Golden Eagles. Winters had seven kills in the final set, and Witt added seven more digs.
Creighton hits the road for a pair of matches next weekend. CU meets Butler on Friday at 5 p.m. Central before meeting Xavier on Saturday at 4 p.m. Central.