Bears Snap Volleyball Win Streak, Drop Jays To Third

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Laurel Sanford
Courtesy: Scott Bruhn

OMAHA, Neb. -- Subbing for injured all-Valley performer Kelley Michnowicz, Kaitlin Jaeger had a career-high 17 kills to lead visiting Missouri State Volleyball to a 3-1 win at Creighton on Saturday evening at D.J. Sokol Arena. The victory moved Missouri State into second place in the MVC race with an 11-3 mark (18-7 overall), one-half game ahead of Creighton (16-11, 11-4 MVC).

Scores of the match in favor of the Bears were 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-17.

Jaeger had 17 kills on .355 hitting, while Calli Norman had 14 kills on .500 hitting for MSU. Carly Thomas turned in 50 assists and 22 digs as the MSU setter. The Bears finished with 63 kills, four aces, 77 digs and seven blocks while hitting .235.

Creighton was paced by 13 kills from Laurel Sanford, who also added a career-best seven digs. Heather Thorson added 10 kills and seven blocks, while Megan Bober had 25 assists, nine digs, seven kills and five blocks. Julianne Mandolfo topped CU with 27 digs. The Jays tallied 47 kills, five aces, 68 digs and 14 blocks while hitting at a .187 clip.

The first set featured 11 ties and three lead changes before MSU pulled away with a 5-0 run to end the first set, 25-21. Olivia Brand had six of MSU's 19 kills in the set, while the Bears also compiled 29 digs in the frame.

The Bears took control of the match with a 25-20 victory in the second set. The Bears  used a 6-1 spurt midway through the set to move ahead 15-10, and led the rest of the way. Jaeger had six kills in seven swings during the set.

Creighton surrendered a 5-0 blitz early in the third set to fall behind 9-5 early, only to use a 7-0 run on Natalie Hackbarth's serve to take a 13-10 advantage. The Jays would maintain that lead the rest of the set, closing things out on a Thorson kill at 25-21. The Jays had six kills by Sanford in the set while Mandolfo had nine digs.

MSU responded to the third set loss with a fury, opening a 7-2 lead to start the fourth set and never looked back. CU closed within 14-12 before Anna Burgess put the match away with a 5-0 burst to give the Bears a 19-13 cushion. A kill from Norman ended the match with MSU winning, 25-17.

Creighton will play its final three MVC matches on the road, starting next Friday with a 6 pm match at No. 12 Northern Iowa.

NOTES: Creighton honored seniors Laurel Sanford and Karisa Almgren prior to the duo's final home match ... Kaitlin Jaeger's previous career-high had been nine kills on two occasions ... Carly Thomas' 22 digs were six more than her previous career-high ... Creighton had a season-high five-match win streak snapped ... Laurel Sanford had a career-best seven digs for CU, while Heather Thorson tied a career-high with seven blocks for the fourth time.

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