OMAHA, Neb. — The No. 17 Creighton Volleyball team opened its 2019 home schedule with a 3-0 sweep crosstown rival Nebraska-Omaha at the Bluejay Invitational Presented by Embassy Suites – Old Market/Downtown. The win was Kirsten Bernthal Booth‘s 350th as Creighton head coach, and the 88th different school she’s beaten as coach of the Bluejays.
Scores of the match were 25-15, 25-15, 25-22.
Erica Kostelac had 10 kills in her home debut to lead all players, while Brittany Witt finished with 10 digs. Reigning BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week Naomi Hickman had three service aces and Megan Ballenger led CU with three blocks. The Bluejays had 34 kills, eight aces, 37 digs and five blocks on .262 hitting.
UNO was led by nine kills by Claire Leonard. Claire Mountjoy added 10 digs and Rylee Marshall finished with a match-high six blocks. The Mavericks had 24 kills, four aces, 33 digs and six blocks on .023 hitting.
Creighton wasted no time building a lead in its home opener. Back-to-back kills by Kostelac started the match, and Hickman served consecutive aces as CU quickly went ahead 4-0. The lead reached 10-3 as Creighton never trailed in the 25-15 victory. Kostelac and Jaela Zimmerman each had four kills in the opening set, and Creighton held UNO to four kills and -.056 hitting.
Creighton would build a 10-4 lead in the second set and hit .400 to win an identical 25-15 frame.
The Mavericks led most of the third set before a late Bluejay rally. Creighton overcame an 18-14 deficit with a 5-0 run on Brittany Witt’s serve to take a 19-18 lead. The Mavericks got a sideout before three straight UNO errors pushed the Bluejay margin to 22-19. Kostelac closed out the match the same way she started it, with a kill.
Creighton has a pair of matches on Saturday. The Jays host Drake at Noon before welcoming No. 12 Washington at 7:30 p.m.