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Kelli Browning
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

No. 19 Volleyball Sweeps UNC in Home Opener

OMAHA, Neb. -- Ninteenth-ranked Creighton Volleyball opened its home season on Friday with a 3-0 win vs. Northern Colorado as part of the Bluejay Invitational. Scores of the match in favor of CU were 25-12, 25-18, 25-16.

The Bluejays never trailed while improving to 3-0 on the year and extending its school record with its 12th straight home win. The two-time defending Big Sky Conference Tournament champions, Northern Colorado dropped to 2-2 with the setback.

Creighton showed no signs of nervousness in its home opener, racing to a 3-0 lead after a Katie Neisler service ace. Neisler's second ace made it 18-9 and forced a UNC timeout. The Bluejay block came up big down the stretch with three stuffs in the final six points to close out the first set with a 25-12 win. Creighton limited UNC to -.162 hitting in the frame thanks in part to six blocks, led by three from Kelli Browning.

CU carried over that momentum in the second set, using a 4-0 service run from Michelle Sicner to move ahead 11-6. A short time later Melanie Jereb served up a 4-0 run that featured kills from four different women to make it 18-10. A kill by Browning ended the set with CU taking a 25-18 victory. Browning had four kills in the set, while Sicner had eight assists and eight digs in the stanza.

The third set proved to be the closest one of the night, but CU would build a 17-11 lead and cruise home with a 25-16 win to secure the sweep. Jereb had six kills and Leah McNary five more as CU hit .279 in the frame.

For the night, McNary led all players with 11 kills, one more than Jereb. Sicner had a double-double with 27 assists and 15 digs, while Kate Elman paced all players with 20 digs. Neisler had a career-best three aces, as well. Creighton hit .265 and finished with 41 kills, four aces, 59 digs and 10 blocks.

UNC was led by seven kills from Kendra Cunningham and 17 digs by Merideth Johnson. UNC collected 24 kills, 55 digs and four blocks while being held without an ace.

In the first match of the day, Cal defeated South Florida by scores of 25-17, 25-20, 25-20.

Play at the Bluejay Invitational concludes on Saturday with four matches. Northern Colorado meets Cal at 10 am, followed by Creighton hosting South Florida at Noon. The evening session features South Florida vs. Northern Colorado at 5:30 pm followed by Creighton hosting Cal in the tournament finale at 7:30 pm.

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