OMAHA, Neb. — The five-time defending BIG EAST champion Creighton Volleyball team opened league play in 2019 with a convincing 3-0 sweep over visiting Villanova on Friday, Sept. 27.
Scores of the match were 25-16, 25-16, 25-19, as Creighton trailed just once the entire match.
Creighton (8-3, 1-0 BIG EAST) dominated the stats, owning a 50-33 lead in kills, a 9-0 edge in aces and a 49-35 edge in digs. Both teams had two blocks, and Creighton hit a season-best.365 compared to ‘Nova’s .223.
Jaela Zimmerman, MVP last weekend of the Creighton Classic, had another big performance, finishing with a match-high 13 kills and hitting .312. Erica Kostelac hit .529 and had 11 kills in 17 swings. Madelyn Cole turned in a double-double with 32 assists and 12 digs, while Brittany Witt upped a match-high 14 digs.
Villanova (9-3, 0-1 BIG EAST) was paced by eight kills and .533 hitting by Sophia Howling, who also had a hand in both Wildcat blocks.
Creighton had 18 kills and hit .405 in the opening set of a 25-16 victory. The Jays pulled away with a 6-0 run on Keeley Davis’ serve to push the lead to 20-11. Five Bluejays had multiple kills, led by five from Zimmerman, and Witt contributed nine digs.
The second set saw the Bluejays blast the Wildcats from the start by scoring seven of the first eight points and 16 of the first 20 points. CU led 22-9 at one point and ended the set on a kill from Zimmerman. Creighton served up six aces in the frame as the Villanova defense managed just a single dig in the entire frame.
The third set was the closest of the night, and featured Villanova’s lone lead at 7-6. The momentum swung when Zimmerman finished off a long rally with a solo block to move CU’s lead to 10-9 and the Jays would not trail again. Cole had 12 assists, seven digs and a pair of kills in the final set, and Davis ended the match with consecutive kills.
Creighton returns to action on Sunday at 1 p.m. when it hosts Georgetown (11-4, 1-0 BIG EAST) at D.J. Sokol Arena. The Hoyas rallied from an 0-2 deficit to win at Providence on Friday evening.