CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The No. 10 Creighton Volleyball team improved to 7-3 on the season with a 3-0 win over Lipscomb on Friday evening at the Illini Classic in Champaign, Ill.
Scores of the match in favor of CU were 25-23, 25-19, 25-23.
“Lipscomb’s a great team and we knew we would be in for a dogfight,” said Creighton head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth. “They’re undersized but have some really high IQ players and we’re fortunate to come out with a victory. They had us in a big hole in set three, and it was good to see us respond. We certainly don’t want to be in those situations but it’s good to find a way to get out of that predicament and come back to finish off the win.”
Creighton (7-3) led most of the first set, but would find itself on the short end of a 19-17 score late in the frame. A 3-0 run that featured a Taryn Kloth block and kills by Jaali Winters and Kari Zumach put CU back in front, and an Annika Welty ace a short time later gave CU a 24-22 lead. The Bisons held off one set point before a kill from Winters closed out the 25-23 victory. Both Winters and Kloth had five kills to pace the Bluejay offense, while Madelyn Cole had nine of CU’s 31 digs in the opening set.
The Bluejays never trailed in the second set, holding Lipscomb to .098 hitting to post a 25-19 win and take a 2-0 lead into intermission. CU led 9-8 when it challenged a touch call that was reversed, pushing the lead to 10-8. Creighton took advantage of that momentum to stretch its lead to as large as 24-16 before Winters converted CU’s fourth set point chance with her 10th kill of the contest.
Creighton faced its largest deficit of the night in the third set after falling behind 16-10, but would end the match on a 19-7 run to complete the sweep. The Bluejays actually led 24-20 and squandered three match points before finally sealing the victory on Naomi Hickman’s first kill of the night.
Winters led CU with 12 kills and added 12 digs, while Cole tallied 38 assists and 13 digs for a double-double of her own. Taryn Kloth had a career-high 12 digs, and Megan Ballenger hit .579 and had all 11 of her kills in the final two sets. The Bluejays hit .230 and had 43 kills, three aces, 70 digs and eight blocks.
Lipscomb had 39 kills, two aces, 60 digs and six blocks on .158 hitting. Megan Kuper topped the Bisons with 11 kills. Carlyle Nusbaum, who trained with CU’s Kloth on the U.S. Collegiate National Team in China in May, was held to -.097 hitting and finished with four kills and seven errors on 31 swings.
Creighton returns to the court for a pair of challenging matches on Saturday. The Bluejays meet Northern Iowa at 10 a.m. before closing out non-conference play with a 7 p.m. contest against No. 8 Illinois.