Cole serves to the Hoyas

Junior setter Madelyn Cole serves against Georgetown on Friday at D.J. Sokol Arena. Cole finished with two aces and 32 assists.

No. 9 Creighton volleyball improved its win streak to 16 games with wins over Georgetown and Villanova and ensured at least a share of the Big East regular season title.

The team’s 16-0 record in the Big East put it up two games over No. 17 Marquette, of which Creighton defeated two times this season, clinching the top seed in the Big East postseason tournament.

Creighton first took on Georgetown on Friday in Omaha, beating the Hoyas by scores of 25-19, 25-20, 25-15.

The Jays acted with efficiency as they hit .394 in the first set, while the Hoyas comparatively managed only a .057 hitting percentage. After Creighton grabbed a 2-0 lead in the set, the Jays would never lose it on their way to an opening victory.

The second set of the night was more dangerous for the Bluejays as they trailed 17-19 thanks to an 8-1 run by Georgetown. However, junior defensive specialist Brittany Witt quickly went on a 6-0 serving run of her own to put Creighton back in control before the Bluejays closed it out.

Creighton jumped out to an early lead in the fourth set and never looked back, ultimately closing out the third and final set with a kill from senior outside hitter Taryn Kloth.

Kloth finished the game with a team-high 15 kills and eight digs to go along with a staggering .609 hitting percentage.

The Bluejays then took on Villanova on Sunday at home, once again coming out with a 3-0 result with scores of 29-27, 25-11, 25-21.

Creighton held a commanding lead in the first set as it went up 23-18 over the Wildcats, but a 7-1 run by the visitors gave them control of the game. The Bluejays fought off multiple set point chances before they eventually won off a Villanova hitting error.

“I thought we had control of set one, not significantly, but had the upper hand,” said coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth.

“Then suddenly we gave up a couple of points, and you can’t do that for a variety of reasons.”

The second set saw Creighton respond well to its struggles in the first set, jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead. The Jays had a hitting percentage of .344 while holding the Wildcats to -.062 hitting. They committed their lowest error total of any set with only four.

Villanova was able to slow the Jays down and fight back in the third set. The scores were all tied at 16 before the Jays went on a 4-1 run to give themselves breathing room to close out the match.

Junior setter Madelyn Cole finished the match with her third ace of the day, a strong area for the Bluejays in the match. Creighton finished with seven aces in the game compared to only one for Villanova.

“Serving was probably the biggest key to the game,” said Booth. “I thought we served really, really well and disrupted their offense a fair amount.”

Cole finished with multiple team-highs of 29 assists, 16 digs and three aces. Kloth once again led the way on offense with 14 kills.

Now at 24-4 overall, Creighton has only two regular-season games left before the Big East tournament starts: a double-header against Providence on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. both at D.J. Sokol Arena.

The Big East Championship starts on Nov. 23 with two semifinals and concludes with the finals on Nov. 24.

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