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Junior Michelle Sicner posted a triple-double in the loss.
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

Volleyball's Furious Comeback Falls Short in 3-2 Loss to St. John's

OMAHA, Neb. - Despite a furious comeback in sets three and four, the Creighton women's volleyball team suffered a 3-2 loss to St. John's on Friday, Nov. 1.

Set scores for the match in favor of the victorious Red Storm were 25-19, 25-22, 17-25, 19-25, 17-15.

The loss dropped Creighton to 15-6 overall and 6-3 in BIG EAST play, while St. John's moved to 15-11 overall and 4-6 in BIG EAST action.

The Bluejays opened the match a little flat as Creighton quickly fell behind 10-5 in the opening set. Creighton went on to committ nine errors in the first set to hit .037, dropping the set 25-19.  

Set number two followed a similar path as the Bluejays dug an early 9-3 hole with four attack errors in the opening 12 points.  Down 14-7, Creighton rattled off seven of the next eight points to pull within one at 15-14.  The Bluejays, however, were unable to get over the hump as Creighton dropped the set, 25-22.  Once again hitting errors played a critical role in the Bluejays loss as Creighton gave away nine points. By contrast, the Red Storm committed just two errors.  St. John's hit a match-high .419 in the second set.

Down 2-0 at the break, it was Creighton's turn to bolt out to a lead in the third set.  The Bluejays jumped out to a 13-3 edge, then cruised to a 25-17 win.  Freshman Jess Bird shined in the third set, delivering five kills on 12 swings.  

Juniors Kelli Browning and Michelle Sicner took control of the fourth set with a combined seven kills on eight swings and five blocks as Creighton sent the match to a deciding fifth set with a 25-19 win. Up 16-13, the Bluejays sealed the set with four straight points via a St. John's service error, back-to-back blocks by Browning and junior Leah McNary, followed by a block from Browning and sophomore Melanie Jereb. As a team the Bluejays hit .440 in set four, smacking down 12 kills and committing just one error on 25 swings.

The decisive set was back-and-forth as St. John's built an 9-6 edge, but Creighton rallied to claim the next four points to take a 10-9 advantage.  Knotted at 11-11, consecutive kills from Jereb and Sicner put the Bluejays in the driver's seat.  After a St. John's tally, Creighton earned two match points via a kill from freshman Lauren Smith.  The Bluejays, however, were unable to close out a pair of match point opportunities as St. John's nabbed five of the final six points to take the match, 17-15.

Bird led the way for Creighton with 15 kills in the match, while Sicner posted a triple-double (44 assists, 10 kills and 10 blocks).  St. John's was led by a match-high 19 kills from Karin Palgutova. 

Creighton returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 3 as the Bluejays host Seton Hall at 12 pm.

NOTES: Creighton fell to 6-1 all-time in five-set matches at D.J. Sokol Arena ...The triple-double was Michelle Sicner's third of the season. She joins Megan Bober as the second Creighton player with three triple-doubles in one season ...Creighton fell to 0-60 all-time when falling behind 0-2 at home ...Creighton had been 202-1 under Kirsten Bernthal Booth when earning a match point opportunity ...Creighton had won 13 straight conference home matches before the setback ...This was the first meeting between the schools ...Jess Bird's 15 kills were a career-high.

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