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Michelle Sicner with a set for Jess Bird.
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

Sicner's Triple-Double Highlights Volleyball's First BIG EAST Home Win

OMAHA, Neb. -- Michelle Sicner had a triple-double as the Creighton Volleyball team won its first BIG EAST home match with a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over DePaul on Friday night.

Scores of the match in favor of Creighton were 25-27, 25-18, 25-14, 25-16.

Creighton improved to 11-4 (2-1 BIG EAST), while DePaul fell to 14-3 (1-3 BIG EAST).

Sicner did a little bit of everything to collect her second career triple-double. The junior from Omaha had 39 assists, 12 digs and a career-best 12 kills. Her .579 hitting in 33 swings was easily a season-best, as well.

Kelli Browning topped CU with match-bests of 14 kills and eight blocks, while freshman Jess Bird came on late to finish with 12 kills, seven digs and five blocks. Creighton finished with 58 kills, 58 digs and 13 blocks while adding a season-high 11 aces. CU hit .233 for the match, including a .344 mark in the final set.

DePaul was led by 12 kills ffrom Abbie Fleener, while Vesela Zapryanova had 10 kills. Allyson Rooks topped the Blue Demons with 18 digs, while Colleen Smith had 28 assists and 13 digs while splitting time at setter with Laura Witt. DePaul had 41 kills, three aces, 53 digs and 10 blocks.

Creighton led most of the first set, but DePaul rallied late to earn the early lead in the match with a 27-25 victory. The Blue Demons saved a pair of set points before a 3-0 run to close it out. Zapryanova had a kill and an ace to set up a DePaul double-block to ice the victory.  Fleener had five kills and Natalie Rizzo three blocks to pace DPU in the first set, while CU was led by four kills and two blocks.

Creighton led for all but one point of the second set. Bird and Lizzy Stivers both had aces in seperate 4-0 serving runs that helped the Jays to a 9-3 lead, and CU led by three or more the rest of the way.  Browning had six kills in seven swings during the set, as CU hit .324.

Creighton controlled the third set after DePaul quickly struck to a 3-0 lead. Melanie Jereb made a rare appearance off the bench to serve up a 6-0 run as CU reclaimed a 10-7 lead. Browning had a hand in two blocks as CU gained momentum, and Sicner ended any doubt of a comeback by unleashing a seven-point scoring run to make it 23-13. Creighton limited DePaul to four kills in the set, as the Bluejay block had six stuffs and held the Blue Demons to -.172 hitting. Sicner had seven assists, five digs, three kills and two blocks in the third set as CU took a 2-1 lead after a 25-14 win.

Another extended serving run from Jereb in the fourth set helped close out the match. Trailing 6-4, Jereb served up a 7-0 run that featured two kills from Sicner and two kills and two blocks by Bird. CU would steadily pull away in the 25-16 victory. Sicner and Bird both had four kills in the last set.

Creighton returns to action on Sunday with a 1 pm match against league-leading Marquette (11-4, 3-0 BIG EAST). Creighton was picked to win the BIG EAST, with Marquette second, in a preseason poll of league coaches. It will be the team's first meeting since CU's 3-0 NCAA Tournament victory last November.

NOTES: Michelle Sicner's triple-double was the second of her career, and first since she had 22 assists, 17 digs and 11 kills vs. UAB on Sept. 17, 2011 ... Sicner is one of five Bluejays in program history to own a triple-double ...Sicner now owns a team-best eight double-doubles this season, including five in a row ...Jess Bird's 12 kills were two shy of the freshman's season-high ... Creighton's 11 aces were its most since 13 aces vs. McNeese State on Sept. 17, 2011 ...Ashley Jansen had her first kill of the season and fifth of her career with a back-row attack in the third set.

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