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Creighton Volleyball clinches share of Big East Title with sweep of Villanova | Rural Radio Network

Creighton Volleyball clinches share of Big East Title with sweep of Villanova

Creighton Volleyball clinches share of Big East Title with sweep of Villanova
OMAHA, Neb. — The No. 9 Creighton Volleyball team clinched at least a share of its fifth straight BIG EAST regular-season title with a 3-0 win over visiting Villanova on Sunday, Nov. 11.

Scores of the match in favor of CU were 29-27, 25-11, 25-21.

Creighton improved to 16-0 in BIG EAST play and 24-4 on season with its 16th consecutive victory. Villanova dropped into a three-way tie for fourth place in the BIG EAST with the loss, falling to 15-13 overall and 8-8 in league play.

Taryn Kloth had 14 kills and Jaali Winters added 12 kills and 10 digs to lead Creighton’s attack, while Madelyn Cole delivered her 10th double-double of the fall with 29 assists and a season-best 16 digs. Kari Zumach and Megan Ballenger each recorded five blocks. CU finished with 42 kills, seven aces, 53 digs and nine blocks on .230 hitting.

Sanaa Barnes led Villanova with 11 kills on .348 hitting, and Regan Lough added 11 digs. The Wildcats had 33 kills, one ace, 48 digs and six blocks on .144 hitting.

The first set would prove to be the closest of the day, as the Bluejays had to fend off a set point opportunity for Villanova at 25-24. The Wildcats trailed 23-18 before a 7-1 run to get to that point, but a serving error robbed the Wildcats of their chance to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Creighton would recover, converting its fifth set point opportunity on an error by star Villanova freshman Clare Delaplane. Kloth had five kills and Cole contributed eight assists and six digs to help CU take the first frame.

Cole served CU to a 7-0 lead to open the second set as the Bluejays never trailed. The lead grew to 15-5 and 20-7 before a kill from Winters handed CU a 2-0 lead headed to intermission. Cole had 10 assists and nine digs, and Kloth slammed six kills on 10 swings to help CU to the win. Creighton also had three blocks, limiting the Wildcats to just three kills and -.062 hitting.

In the finale, Creighton broke free from a 17-17 deadlock with three straight points on Naomi Hickman’s serve to break free from the Wildcats. An ace from Cole, her third of the day, closed out the match. Six different women had a kill for Creighton in the third set, including four by Winters.

Creighton closes the regular-season next weekend with 7 p.m. matches against Providence on both Friday and Saturday at D.J. Sokol Arena.

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