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Creighton outlasts Golden Eagles in five sets

Creighton outlasts Golden Eagles in five sets

OMAHA, Neb. — No. 19 Creighton Volleyball used a match-ending 10-2 burst to continue its recent run of success of No. 25 Marquette with a 3-2 win on Friday night at D.J. Sokol Arena in a non-conference match between the two BIG EAST rivals.

Scores of the match in favor of Creighton were 25-13, 20-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11. Creighton is now 19-4 against Marquette with eight straight wins in the series, also improving to 5-0 all-time against the Golden Eagles in five-set contests.

Reigning BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week Jaela Zimmerman tied her career-high with 19 kills and added a career-best 15 digs for the Bluejays, while Keeley Davis (11 kills, 12 digs) and Ally Van Eekeren (20 assists, career-high 13 digs) also turned in double-doubles. Naomi Hickman had 11 blocks for the Bluejays to equal her collegiate best. CU recorded 58 kills, nine aces, 66 digs and 16.0 blocks on .231 hitting.

Marquette got a triple-double from Green Bay transfer Taylor Wolf, as the senior finished with 16 assists, 12 kills and 12 digs. Preseason All-BIG EAST choice Hope Werch had 10 kills and 12 digs for MU and Katie Schoessow added a match-high 25 digs. The Golden Eagles ended with 49 kills, nine aces, 71 digs and six blocks on .100 hitting.

The teams traded dominant wins in the first two sets. Creighton hit .440 in the opener, as Davis broke open a 5-5 deadlock with a 12-point serving run that featured four kills from Zimmerman. Kiana Schmitt and Hickman teamed up to block Kaitlyn Lines for set point.

Marquette shook off the set one defeat as Lines dealt a pair of aces while authoring a 7-0 run from the service line to put the visitors up 15-6. Creighton survived six set point chances on Van Eekeren’s serve before a serving miscue evened the match heading to intermission. Schoessow had 11 digs for the Golden Eagles in the second set.

The third set featured 10 ties and five lead changes as both Werch and Zimmerman had five kills. Creighton led 20-19 before Marquette scored five straight points on Werch’s serve. The Jays withstood a pair of set point chances before Wolf’s kill off the block gave MU a 2-1 lead in the match.

Creighton scored the first four points of the fourth set on the serve of senior Mahina Pua’a and never trailed. Marquette would draw within one at 6-5, but got no closer, as CU pulled in front 20-14 on Van Eekeren’s serve and tied the match on a Marquette attack error handed the Jays a 25-20 victory and force a decisive fifth frame. Hickman had a hand in four of CU’s seven blocks in the fourth set as the Golden Eagles hit -.098 in 41 swings.

Marquette took advantage of several Bluejay miscues early in the fifth set to move ahead 7-4 and 9-5 before the Jays rallied. Back-to-back attack errors by Werch drew CU within 9-7. The teams would trade sideouts before Reinhardt served up a 4-0 run that put the Jays in front 11-10. MU tied it at 11 with a sideout before CU’s match-clinching 4-0 run. Welty had a kill down the line that withstood a Marquette challenge, and Hickman and Schmitt blocked Wolf to give CU a 13-11 lead. Pua’s closed the match in style with consecutive aces. Davis had three kills in the final set to lead all players.

The teams will meet again on Saturday at 7 p.m. at D.J. Sokol Arena.

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