OMAHA, Neb. -- The Creighton Volleyball team avenged its lone BIG EAST loss of the season with a 3-1 victory over Butler on Sunday afternoon at D.J. Sokol Arena.
Scores of the match in favor of Creighton were 25-22, 25-14, 20-25, 25-19.
Creighton improved to 14-4 (5-1 BIG EAST) with its season-high fifth straight win, while Butler fell to 16-5 (3-3 BIG EAST).
Creighton never trailed in the opening set. Jess Bird had a pair of kills in a 3-0 burst that helped Creighton open up a 19-16 lead. Butler would close within one point at 20-19 before a BU service error and consecutive Kelli Browning kills gave CU a 23-19 cushion. A kill from Leah McNary finished off Creighton's 25-22 win. Bird had six kills and five digs to pace a CU offense that produced 17 kills in the opening frame on .286 hitting. Butler was led by seven kills from Stephanie Kranda.
Extended serving runs from Melanie Jereb and Bird helped Creighton take a 9-6 lead in the second set, and CU steadily pulled away for the 25-14 win to take a 2-up lead into the break. McNary had five kills on as many swings to highlight a Bluejay attack that hit .321. CU's block also picked up with five stuffs, including four from setter Michelle Sicner, as CU held Butler to .000 hitting in 29 swings.
Butler extended the match with a 25-20 third set victory, never trailing afer taking a 2-1 lead on a solo block from Erica Stahl. Stahl would have three of her match-high eight stuffs in the fame, while Belle Obert had four kills to pace the Bulldog attack and help hold CU to -.023 hitting. Clinging to a 15-14 lead, the Bulldogs unleashed a 5-0 run on Maggie Harbison's serve to lead to the win.
The fourth and final set featured 14 ties and seven lead changes before Creighton ultimately earned the 25-19 win. Creighton broke free from a 16-all score with three straight points and would not trail again. Butler would close to within 19-18, only to see CU come out of a timeout with Melanie Jereb's lone kill of the day followed by an Ashley Jansen service ace. Kate Elman also provided an ace to move Creighton to match point, which was capped by Browning's sixth kill of the set and match-best 15th of the day.
Browning tied her season-high with 15 kills on .385 hitting while also providing a team-best five blocks on the afternoon. McNary had 14 kills, while Bird had 10 kills and tied her season-high with 18 digs. Sicner tied a school-record with her eight straight double-double, finishing with 44 assists, 10 digs, five kills and four blocks. Elman shared match-high accolades with 18 digs and three aces. Creighton tallied 58 kills, 70 digs, five aces and nine blocks on .221 hitting.
Butler finished with 43 kills, seven aces, 50 digs and 14.0 blocks on .174 hitting. Obert topped the visitors with 13 kills, one more than Kranda. Brooke Ruffolo had 17 digs, while Morgan Peterson finished with 34 assists, eight digs, four kills and four blocks.
Creighton returns to action on Friday with a 7 pm match against second-place Marquette (12-5, 4-1 BIG EAST).
NOTES:Michelle Sicner's eighth double-double in a row tied the school-record mark first done by Melissa Walsh from Oct. 24-Nov. 17, 2000 ... Creighton has won 30 straight home matches when winning the first set ... Creighton owns 13 straight home wins in conference play ... Jess Bird's double-double was the third for the freshman ...The crowd of 1,324 was Creighton's sixth straight of 1,000 or more ...Kirsten Bernthal Booth was honored in a pre-match ceremony in recognition of her 200th win at Creighton two nights earlier.
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