WICHITA, Kan. -- The 23rd-ranked Creighton Volleyball team rallied from an
0-2 deficit, then survived a match point in the fifth set, to clinch its
first MVC outright title on Friday night before 2,725 fans at Wichita
Wichita State won the first two sets 25-22, 25-15 before Creighton won the next three, 25-16, 25-20, 16-14.
Creighton has now won 13 consecutive contests to improve to 25-3 on the
season, improving to 16-1 in league play. Wichita State fell to 19-8
overall and is 12-5 in MVC play.
Wichita State never trailed while winning the first set, 25-22. The
Shockers took advantage of some uncharacteristic errors from the
Bluejays to build a lead as large as 13-7. CU would close within 21-20,
but one of five service errors in the set squelched that momentum and
helped the Shockers close on a 4-2 run to end the frame. Kate Elman had
10 digs and Megan Bober 15 assists, but it wasn't enough to counter a
balanced attack that included seven digs, four kills and four assists by
Shocker setter Chelsey Feekin, a Papillion native.
The Shockers extended their lead in the second, once again building a
13-7 lead and keeping the Jays comeback hopes at bay. WSU hit .433 in
the second set, led by four kills in five swings from both Ashley
Andrade and Elizabeth Field, while also outblocking CU 3-0.
Two areas that plagued Creighton in the first two sets turned into
strengths in the third set, blocking and serving. Creighton had three
blocks in a five-point span to build a 7-3 lead and cruised to a 25-16
win. Creighton outblocked the Shockers 7-0, including four stuffs from
Kelli Browning, while forcing the Shockers into 11 attack errors.
Creighton also served up three aces, one each by Melanie Jereb, Bober
The fourth set was by far the most competitive of the match. Creighton
stormed to leads of 6-3 and 10-6, only to see WSU answer with a 5-1
spurt to even the score at 11-all. The Jays answered the bell out of a
timeout with four straight points, including consecutive blocks by
Browning and Bober, and would not trail again. Creighton won the set
25-20 on a block by Leah McNary and Browning. Creighton hit .173 in the
fourth set while holding WSU to .070 hitting.
The fifth set featured another comeback for the ages. Creighton fell
behind 5-2 and trailed 10-6 before calling its final timeout. The Jays
drew within 11-10 on a kill from Bober before WSU took the next two
points to lead 13-10. Creighton answered with one kill from Jereb and
two more by Bober to knot the score at 13-all, forcing WSU's final
timeout. The Shockers won a long rally with a block to earn a match
point opportunity, but Creighton then won three straight points to take
the title. Bober and Browning teamed up to fend off match point at
14-all. A kill from McNary got the Jays in position for the win, which
Bober then sealed with her 14th kill of the evening and fifth of the
Bober led Creighton with 42 assists, 14 kills, 11 digs and seven blocks
to turn in her 15th career triple-double and sixth of her senior season.
McNary added 11 kills, while Jereb, Thorson and Browning each added 10
kills. Browning also added 10 stuffs for the double-double. Creighton
had 59 kills, five aces, 93 digs and 16 blocks while hitting .184.
WSU was led by Feekin's 41 assists, 30 digs and seven kills on .636
hitting. Andrade had 13 kills, while Field and Emily Adney both had 10
kills. WSU finished wiht 62 kills, three aces, 112 digs and eight blocks
while hitting .168.
Creighton will play its final regular-season game of the season on Saturday at 7 pm when it visits Missouri State.
NOTES: Creighton now owns three wins under Kirsten Bernthal Booth
against Wichita State in which it has survived match point. The Jays
have six such wins under Booth overall ... Creighton is now 7-171 when
trailing a match 0-2. This was its first such comeback since Sept. 21,
2007 (at Northern Iowa) ... Kate Elman's 35 digs were eight more than her previous best and three shy of the school record ... Katie Neisler's 15 digs were a season-high ... Kelli Browning set Creighton single-season records for block assists (160) and total blocks (173) on the night, while Kate Elman set CU's freshman record for digs (537) ... Kate Elman owns 10 or more digs in 28 straight matches, the second-longest streak in program history.
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