No. 10 Creighton volleyball went 2-1 over the weekend at the Illini Classic in Champaign, Illinois.
The Jays (8-4) swept Lipscomb and Northern Iowa before falling to tournament host No. 8 Illinois in four sets.
The Jays rolled to a 25-23, 25-19, 25-23 win against Lipscomb, an Atlantic Sun team that came into the tournament with a recent win over Xavier.
Senior outside hitter Jaali Winters recorded with 12 kills in the match, and senior setter Madelyn Cole added 38 assists, 13 digs, three blocks and an ace.
The Jays led most of the first set, which was highlighted by 31 digs, 9 of which came from Cole.
The Jays never trailed in the second set, holding Lipscomb to a .098 hitting percentage. Winters converted the Jays fourth set point with her 10th kill of the match.
In the third set, Creighton faced its largest deficit of the match falling behind 16-10, but went on a 19-7 run to win.
“Lipscomb’s a great team and we knew we would be in for a dogfight,” Creighton coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth said in a postgame news release.
The Jays followed with a doubleheader split on Saturday, opening the day with a 25-16, 25-21, 25-11 win against former Missouri Valley conference rival Northern Iowa (6-6). The Jays avenged an Aug. 24 loss to the Panthers, the only team who has swept CU this season.
Creighton never trailed in the first set, hitting .290, and held the Panthers to .000 hitting.
Freshmen outside hitter Jaela Zimmerman had three kills, three digs and a pair of blocks to give the Jays a 1-0 set lead.
Creighton also played well in the second set, hitting .390. The set was tied at 14-14 before two kills by freshman right side hitter Kari Zumach.
Freshman middle blocker Annika Welty served up three aces in the final set to help clinch a 25-11 win in the third set.
In the news release, Booth said she noticed the team’s intensity before the match and was happy with the sweep.
The last match of the weekend was a Top 10 matchup against No. 8 Illinois (11-0).
Illinois, who made the 2017 Sweet Sixteen, came into the match with three wins over ranked teams and grabbed a fourth on Saturday, beating the Jays 19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-23.
Creighton never fell behind in the first set, and was guided by senior outside hitter Taryn Kloth with seven kills. Creighton raced out to a 16-8 lead and capitalized on nine hitting errors by Illinois before the Illini turned around and won three straight sets (25-21,25-21,25-23).
Winters became Creighton’s all-time leader in attack attempts, 4,354, in the last set against the Illini. Winters now holds 76 individual records at Creighton University, and the Jays have at least 18 games remaining this season.
“Illinois is a great team with one of the best setters in the country and we knew that going in,” Booth said in the news release.
The Jays open Big East play this weekend. They will host DePaul (2-9) at 7 p.m. on Friday, followed by a match against No. 21 Marquette (9-3) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, both at Sokol Arena. The Golden Eagles, Big East preseason favorites, will be the Jays’ fifth ranked opponent of the season.