OMAHA, Neb. — The No. 17 Creighton Volleyball team won its fifth straight match on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Drake in its second match of the Bluejay Invitational Presented by Embassy Suites – Downtown/Old Market.
Scores of the match were 25-17, 25-18, 23-25, 25-9.
Junior Erica Kostelac had 15 kills and a career-high four aces to lead Creighton (5-2), which also got double-doubles from Jaela Zimmerman (13 kills, 10 digs) and Madelyn Cole (45 assists, 15 digs). Brittany Witt led CU’s defense with 27 digs. The Bluejays had 63 kills, five aces, 73 digs and nine blocks on .340 hitting.
Drake (5-4) was paced by 14 kills and 11 digs by freshman Haley Bush, while Kylee Macke added 19 digs and a pair of aces. Drake had 32 kills, six aces, 55 digs and three blocks on .058 hitting.
Creighton trailed 4-3 early in the match before a 5-0 serving run by Kostelac started a 12-3 flurry for the home squad. Kostelac and Zimmerman each had four kills in the first set, and Cole and Witt combined for 13 assists and 11 digs in the initial frame to help set up a Bluejay offense that hit .448 in 29 swings.
Kostelac added six more kills in the second frame as Cole dished 15 more assists. CU trailed 4-2 before a 7-0 run on Zimmerman’s serve that featured five Bluejay kills in a row and a solo stuff from Megan Ballenger. Drake narrowed the gap within one at 14-13 and 16-15 before CU pulled away for the 25-18 triumph.
Drake won its first set of the weekend in the third frame, holding off a late charge from the Jays to take a 25-23 contest and extend the match. CU was done in by five service errors and eight attack errors in the set. CU trailed 18-11 before narrowing the gap within one at 22-21, 23-22 and 24-23 before Emily Plock’s fifth kill of the set pushed the match to a fourth game.
Creighton never trailed in the fourth set, hitting .531 with 17 kills and no errors in 32 swings to end any hopes of an upset by its old MVC rival. Seven different Bluejays collected a kill, including the first putaway of Kiana Schmitt’s career, as the Jays cruised to the victory. Witt had 11 digs in the fourth set alone to spearhead a defense that held Drake to just five kills and -.029 hitting in 35 swings.
OMAHA, Neb. — No. 12 Washington defeated No. 17 Creighton Volleyball in four sets to win the Bluejay Invitational Presented by Embassy Suites – Downtown/Old Market, on Saturday, Sept. 14 in Omaha, Neb. The contest was a rematch of a Second Round match from the 2018 NCAA Tournament that was also played in Omaha.
Scores of the match in UW’s favor were 25-19, 25-17, 21-25, 25-19. Washington improved to 7-1, while Creighton is now 5-3.
Washington surrendered the first point of the match, but would not trail again during the first two sets. UW served up five aces in the opening frame, including two each from Samantha Drechsel and Claire Hoffman, and hit .323 with Hoffman adding five kills.
Washington opened up a 17-8 lead in the second set while siding out on 14-of-18 chances. A kill from Bajema, her fifth of the game, gave UW the 25-17 set two win to take the momentum into the locker room.
Creighton avoided the sweep by overcoming a 16-12 deficit late in the third set. Brittany Witt served up a 5-0 run, including consecutive aces, to give CU a 19-17 lead. Keeley Davis’ fourth kill of the set forced a fourth set, and came on Madelyn Cole’s 14th assist of the third game.
Washington took the lead for the final time in the fourth set, using a 4-0 surge on Bajema’s serve to open up a 7-5 lead. CU drew within two points at 14-12 before UW slowly pulled away to improve to 5-0 all-time inside D.J. Sokol Arena. Washington hit .323 in the fourth set compared to a .119 mark from the hosts.
Bajema and Hoffman each tallied 16 kills and combined for 19 digs. Ella May Powell had 45 assists and 11 digs, and Shayne McPherson added 16 digs. The Huskies hit .325 with 53 kills, nine aces, 56 digs and nine blocks.
Creighton was paced by 14 kills from Davis, 12 by Jaela Zimmerman and 11 from Kostelac. Witt topped CU with 16 digs and added three aces. Creighton had 54 kills, five aces, 49 digs and four blocks on .213 hitting.
The Bluejays remain at home next week when it hosts the Creighton Classic. The event starts on Thursday with a 6:30 p.m. match vs. Wichita State. Wichita State then faces Wyoming on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. before the tourney wraps up at 1 p.m. on Saturday when CU hosts Wyoming to close out non-conference action.