Volleyball Upset in Five Sets at Bradley

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Kelli Browning
Courtesy: Scott Bruhn

PEORIA, Ill. -- The winner of the first set in the previous 15 Creighton-Bradley has gone on to win the match, and it proved true once again as the host Braves stunned Creighton on Saturday night in Peoria. The Braves overcame a 20-15 deficit in the first set and survived two set points in the opening frame before taking a 27-25 decision that sparked the upset victory for BU.

Scores of the match in favor of Bradley were 27-25, 25-18, 19-25, 24-26, 15-10.

The loss drops Creighton (16-13, 11-6 MVC) to fourth place in the MVC standings with only a road match at Drake next Saturday to play. Bradley kept its faint hopes alive for an MVC Tournament bid, improving to 11-15 (4-12 MVC).

Creighton could not hold onto a 20-15 lead late in the first set and wasted a pair of opportunities to go up 1-0 in the match before Bradley rallied with back-to-back kills by Amy Angelos to win the first frame, 27-25. Julianne Mandolfo had 11 digs in the first set to become CU's single-season digs leader.

The Jays came out slow to start the second set, falling behind 9-2 and 18-7. The deficit proved to be too much to overcome, as CU got no closer than five the rest of the way while the Braves took a 25-18 decision. Bradley hit .286 in the second set.

Creighton started the third set well, bolting to a 10-6 lead, and would go on to take a 25-19 decision.

Creighton saved a potential match point for Bradley in the fourth set. After trailing 24-23, the Jays reeled off the next three points to win, 26-24 and force a fifth set.

Creighton's only lead of the fifth set came at 1-0. With the score knotted at 7-all, BU exploded for six straight points to take a commanding 13-7 lead, before closing out a 15-10 victory.

Laurel Sanford led Creighton with 14 kills, while Natalie Hackbarth led the front line with a career-high six blocks in addition to nine kills and 10 blocks. Megan Bober set an MVC record with her eighth triple-double of the fall, going for 12 kills, 31 assists and 12 digs. It was the first triple-double in volleyball in facility history. Mandolfo added to her MVC-lead in digs with 31 more (tying a Renaissance Coliseum record), giving her CU's single-season record with 642. Kelli Browning played well off the bench with five kills in eight swings while also providing three blocks. The Jays had 60 kills, three aces, 87 digs and 12 blocks while hitting .213.

Bradley was led by 16 kills from Courtney Keefe, who also added 17 digs. Rachelle Dejean had a team-best 23 digs for the Braves, which had 69 kills, seven aces, 96 digs and 3.0 blocks while hitting .194.

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