OMAHA, Neb. — The ninth-ranked Creighton volleyball team closed out a flawless BIG EAST season with a sweep of Providence on Saturday, Nov. 17. Set scores for the match were 25-15, 25-18 and 25-18.
The win pushed the Bluejays to 26-4 on the season and 18-0 in BIG EAST play, while Providence closed its season at 8-21 overall and 2-16 in conference action.
The opening set saw Creighton seize control from the start as the Bluejays opened the match on a 5-2 run, led by three kills from senior Taryn Kloth and a service ace by junior Madelyn Cole. The Friars climbed back within striking distance at 9-7, but a string of five straight points on the serve of senior Samantha Bohnet allowed the Bluejays to breeze to the 25-15 opening set victory. The Bluejays served six aces in the opening frame, getting two from Cole and two more by junior Brittany Witt.
Creighton stepped up its defense in set number two as the Bluejays forced Providence into nine attack errors as the Friars closed the frame with a -.030 hitting percentage. One key swing of momentum came with Creighton down 4-3. A Friar service error knotted the score at 4-4, and the Bluejays went on to claim three additional points on consecutive hitting errors by Providence and Witt’s third ace of the match to make it 7-4. The two sides exchanged short bursts to move the set to 9-7, but another 3-0 run for the Bluejays gave Creighton all the momentum it needed. Once more Creighton took advantage of Friar miscues, scoring on consecutive unforced errors, then capping the run with a block from senior Jaali Winters and sophomore Naomi Hickman. The Bluejays didn’t look back, taking the second set 25-18.
The third and final set saw the Bluejays bounce out to another early edge, capturing the four points thanks to two kills by Kloth, a service ace from Winters and a kill from junior Megan Ballenger. The service line was critical in the third frame as Creighton collected four points on aces, but gave away six points from the service line. Leading 21-18 late in the set, the Bluejays closed the match out with four straight on kills from Cole and Kloth, an ace from Winters and a Providence error.
Kloth led Creighton with 13 kills in the match, while Ballenger finished with nine. Both Cole and Witt each closed the match with three aces, as the Bluejays as team matched its total from Friday’s contest with 13 aces.
Following the match seniors Samantha Bohnet, Taryn Kloth, Kelsey O’Connell and Jaali Winters were honored. The quartet has posted two undefeated BIG EAST seasons, led Creighton to one Elite Eight and two Sweet 16 appearances, hosted an NCAA First and Second Round last season and are in position to host once more in 2018.
The Bluejays return to action on Friday, Nov. 23 as Creighton faces Villanova in a 4:30 p.m. semifinal matchup in the BIG EAST Championship, presented by Jeep. Creighton is the tournament host and the top seed in the BIG EAST. The first match on Friday will pit the second seeded Marquette versus third seeded St. John’s at 2:00 p.m.