No. 10 Creighton volleyball extended their win streak to four games this weekend, as the team went on the road to beat Butler on Friday and Xavier on Saturday.
The Jays’ play earned them the No. 10 spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll for the fourth week in a row. The team has posted a 6-1 record since earning the rank, losing only to No. 8 Illinois in four sets.
The winning streak has given the Bluejays a 12-4 overall record and a 4-0 start in Big East play. They remain the only undefeated team and sit in sole-possession of first place in the conference.
The team took down Butler on Friday in Indianapolis in a five-set match 25-19, 24-26, 28-30, 25-18, 15-11.
Creighton put on what was arguably their most dominate performance in the first set, as they established a lead early and held off the Bulldogs for the rest of the set.
As the set concluded, the Bulldogs racked up a team-high nine errors in the set and had a lowly -.071 hitting percentage.
The Bulldogs regained their footing in the second and third set, forcing 18 totals errors out of Creighton between the two sets compared to only seven from the home team.
Despite the struggles, Creighton made it difficult for the two sets Butler won, forcing both sets to a tie at 24 each before eventually falling behind.
The third set alone had 20 different ties as well as eight lead changes and even saw Creighton have a chance to grab set point as they led 25-24.
As the fifth and final set of the night came along, Butler took command and earned an 8-6 lead. From there, Creighton finally put together a rally to grab the victory, capped by senior outside hitter Taryn Kloth’s 26th kill of the contest.
Kloth had a team-high in kills, two aces and recorded 17 digs. Junior setter Madelyn Cole had a team-high 42 assists and added an ace of her own.
The Jays had a quick turnaround the next day, as they traveled Cincinnati, Ohio to play Xavier.
The Bluejays took care of business against the Musketeers, claiming a 3-0 win 25-13, 25-13, 25-20.
Senior outside hitter Jaali Winters was the first to serve for Creighton and opened an 11-0 lead off the bat for the Jays.
“One of the things that we thought we didn’t do our best last night [against Butler] was serving,” coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth remarked.
“We talked that even if Xavier punches us we still need to be a great serving team. Jaali’s run at the very beginning set the tone for the entire match, and I thought we served great.”
Creighton once again held an opponent to negative hitting in the first set, as Xavier posted a -.029 percentage.
The second set brought much of the same as the first, as Creighton hit .235 compared to Xavier’s .000 and won by the same score line.
Middle blocker Megan Ballenger and Madelyn Cole collected six and five blocks respectively. The Jays had twelve blocks as a team compared to just one from the Musketeers.
“Another thing we didn’t do great last night was blocking, and I thought we blocked a great match,” Booth noted.
“Specifically, it was techniques we’d been working on in practice. It was good to see some progress there.”
The third game presented more adversity for the Jays, as they played from behind early before regaining the lead at 9-8 and building on it to victory.
Winters finished with 11 kills, 15 digs and a team-high 3 aces. Kloth added four blocks of her own and a team-high 13 kills.
The Bluejays are now 14-0 all-time against Xavier.
Creighton continues its quest for a fifth-straight Big East league title in the annual Pink Out game against Seton Hall on Friday at 7 p.m. at D.J. Sokol arena. The Bluejays will then play host to St. John’s at 1 p.m. on Sunday to round out the week.