OMAHA, Neb. -- Kelli Browning had 15 kills and six blocks on .542 hitting to pace a balanced Creighton Volleyball attack in a 3-1 win over Denver on Saturday night at the Bluejay Invitational.
Scores of the match in favor of Creighton were 25-23, 25-10, 18-25, 25-15.
Creighton is now 5-1 for the first time since 2006, while Denver fell to 3-3.
Kansas State's Kaitlynn Pelger was named Tournament MVP after helping to lead the Wildcats to the Bluejay Invitational title. She was joined by KSU teammates Lilla Porubek and Caitlyn Donahue, Creighton's Kelli Browning, Syracuse's Lindsay McCabe and Denver's Colleen King.
Creighton started the match by racing to a good start, something it would do in each set it won on the night. Denver slowly crept back to take leads of 20-19 and 21-20 before the Jays got hot. A 4-0 run with Melanie Jereb at the service line propelled CU into the lead at 24-22, and a kill from Megan Bober on set point handed CU a 25-23 first set win.
The Jays hit .406 in the second set, cruising to a 25-10 win, to go ahead 2-0 at intermission. Brooke Boggs and Jereb combined to serve up a 10-1 blitz that featured three kills from Leah McNary. Jereb also served the final five points of the set.
Denver avoided the sweep with a 25-18 win in set three. The Pioneers built an early 10-6 cushion, and CU never got closer than two the rest of the way. Brea Muhle served the final four points, which ended on a solo stuff from Frances Carroll.
With Boggs back at the service line, Creighton took a 10-0 lead in the fourth set to start a 25-15 rout. CU's lead reached as large as 17-3, plenty of cushion to avoid a late DU comeback attempt. Browning and Jereb each had four kills in the final set.
In addition to Browning's night, McNary had 13 kills, while Jereb had nine kills and 10 digs. Megan Bober did a bit of everything, as the two-time All-Valley pick had 40 assists, nine digs, seven blocks and seven kills to go along with two aces. The Jays also got 20 digs from Kate Elman, while fellow freshman Ashley Jansen had 13 digs. Creighton had 52 kills, eight aces, 69 digs and eight blocks while hitting .208 overall.
Denver was led by 10 kills and .429 hitting from preseason All-WAC pick Faimie Kingsley. The Pioneers totalled 41 kills, four aces, 63 digs and six blocks on .121 hitting.
Creighton will spend next weekend in Greeley, Colo., at the Northern Colorado Classic, where it will face a trio of 2011 NCAA Tournament teams in Ball State, Tulsa and host Northern Colorado.
2012 Bluejay Invitational Summary
August 31 – September 1st, 2012 – Omaha, Neb.
Kansas State 3-0
2. Creighton 2-1
3. Denver 1-2
4. Syracuse 0-3
Friday, Aug. 31, 2012
Kansas State def. Denver, 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-19)
Creighton def. Syracuse, 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-13)
Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012
def. Syracuse, 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-13)
#21 Kansas State def. Creighton, 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-21)
#21 Kansas State def. Syracuse, 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-16)
Creighton def. Denver, 3-1 (25-23, 25-10, 18-25, 25-15)
Pelger, Kansas State (MVP)
Caitlyn Donahue, Kansas State
Lilla Porubek, Kansas State
Kelli Browning, Creighton
Colleen King, Denver
Lindsay McCabe, Syracuse
Bluejay Invitational Records Broken or Tied