OMAHA, Neb. — The No .12 Creighton volleyball team secured at least a share of its sixth consecutive BIG EAST regular-season title with a four-set victory over No. 9 Marquette on Friday night at D.J. Sokol Arena.
The Bluejays defeated the Golden Eagles by scores of 22-25, 25-17, 25-19 and 25-17.
The win moved Creighton to 23-4 on the season and 16-1 in BIG EAST play, while Marquette fell to 25-4 overall and 15-2 in conference action.
Jaela Zimmerman paced the Bluejays with a career-high 18 kills and added 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. Keeley Davis posted 12 kills as Creighton ended the match with a .270 hitting percentage.
The Bluejays ended the night with a season-best 15 blocks, the most by a Creighton squad since Nov. 20, 2015 against Georgetown (16). Naomi Hickman had 10 blocks, one shy of her career-high.
The Bluejays held Marquette to a season-low .078 hitting percentage. Allie Barber led the Golden Eagles with 13 kills, while Hope Werch had 12 and Hannah Vanden Berg added 11.
Marquette opened the night with a 25-22 victory. Neither team led by more than four points during the first set. The Bluejays led 12-8 after a kill by Annika Welty, before the Golden Eagles used a 6-2 spurt to pull within one (14-13). Zimmerman recorded one of her six first-set kills to make it 15-13, but Marquette gained the lead by scoring four of the next five points. Creighton tied the match at 18-18 with a block from Welty and Hickman. Marquette regained the lead with two attack errors and did not trail for the remainder of the set.
Creighton turned the tides in the second set and hit a blistering .444 on its way to a 25-17. Davis tallied eights kills and hit .700 during the Bluejays’ eight-point set win. Creighton trailed 7-6 before the Bluejays scored five consecutive points with Zimmerman behind the service line and did not trail the remainder of the frame. Megan Ballenger’s kill gave Creighton its largest lead at 24-15 and Ballenger clinched the set with a kill three points later.
The Bluejays trailed only once during the third set. Marquette led 3-1 but the Bluejays grabbed the lead with four straight points. Seven different Bluejays recorded at least one kill during the third set and Zimmerman had four. Marquette hit negative during the frame with 11 errors to only nine terminations (-.056 hitting percentage).
Creighton ended the match with a 25-17 victory in the fourth set. Once again, the Golden Eagles gained an early lead, but consecutive kills by Zimmerman quickly gave the Bluejays a 3-1 edge. Marquette tied the match at 3-3 before a Welty kill gave Creighton a 4-3 lead and the Bluejays did not relinquish their advantage. Creighton led by as many as nine and recorded five blocks in the final set.
Creighton concludes the regular season against DePaul on Sunday at 11 a.m. for the Bluejays’ Senior Night.