WICHITA, Kan. — A career-high 16 kills from sophomore Megan Ballenger wasn’t enough as No. 8 Creighton Volleyball lost a four-set match at Wichita State on Friday night to open play at the Shocker Volleyball Classic.
Scores in favor of the victorious hosts were 25-20, 16-25, 25-19, 25-22.
Creighton fell to 7-3 while Wichita State improved to 8-2.
Wichita State won the opening set, 25-20, as the Jays were unable to string consecutive points together for much of the frame. The Jays led 7-3 early on, only to see Wichita State take its first lead at 11-10. The Shockers would not let Creighton score consecutive points again until it had built a 24-18 margin, and eventually closed out the set with a 25-20 victory.
Creighton never trailed in the second set, rolling to a 25-16 victory. Samantha Bohnet served Creighton to a 4-0 lead to open the set and the Jays never looked back. CU would extend the lead to 18-10 and hit .381 in the set. Middle blockers Ballenger and Marysa Wilkinson each had five kills in the second set for CU.
The third set featured 11 ties by the media timeout, where Creighton owned a 15-14 lead. But the Shockers came out of the break with five straight points to jump-start an 8-2 run to move ahead by five en route to a 25-19 victory. Ballenger had four kills in the set for CU, while Tabitha Brown paced WSU with five kills and Giorgia Civita added eight digs in the third frame.
The fourth set featured nine ties and a pair of lead changes. With the score knotted at 18-all, WSU scored the next three points. The Jays got within one at 22-21 to force a Shocker timeout, but WSU would reel off three of the final four points to close out the match between the former Missouri Valley Conference rivals.
Ballenger hit .500 on 26 swings, adding three digs and two blocks. Lydia Dimke (40 assists, 15 digs, seven kills) added a double-double, while Wilkinson (11) and Jaali Winters (10) also had double-figure kills. Brittany Witt scooped 20 digs. CU hit .166 and had 53 kills, three aces, 72 digs and 7.5 blocks overall.
Tabitha Brown had 17 kills to pace WSU, with Mikaela Raudsepp adding 11 kills in a supporting role. The Shockers hit .200 and had 52 kills, two aces, 70 digs and 10 blocks. Civita had 29 digs in the contest.
Creighton returns to action on Saturday with a match against No. 19 Iowa State (7-1).