OMAHA, Neb. — The No. 10 Creighton Volleyball team opened defense of its four straight BIG EAST regular-season titles with a decisive 3-0 victory over DePaul on Friday night before 2,041 fans at D.J. Sokol Arena. It was the first match played on Creighton’s new Taraflex floor, which was installed earlier in the week thanks to fundraising solicited through private donations.
Scores of the match were 25-13, 25-12, 25-15.
Creighton (9-4, 1-0 BIG EAST) hit a season-high .437 for the match, seventh-best in program history, while walloping the team picked to finish 10th in the BIG EAST by league coaches.
CU hit .517 in the opening frame, which took just 19 minutes to complete. Creighton blitzed the Blue Demons to a 5-0 lead behind two early aces from Samantha Bohnet. An ace during a 4-0 serving run by Taryn Kloth stretched the lead to 13-5, and the margin pushed to double-figures at 18-8 after the first of five kills from Kloth down the stretch in the set.
Jaali Winters served a 9-0 run in the second set as Creighton took an 11-2 lead. Kelsey O’Connell had her first two kills of the season in the set, including the clincher in a 25-12 frame that put CU up 2-0 at the break. Creighton hit .440 in the second set and held DePaul to -.033 hitting in 30 swings.
Creighton pulled away from a 10-10 tie in the third set with an 8-3 run. Consecutive kills by Kloth ended the night after just 71 minutes. Creighton had three blocks in the final set.
Kloth led the offense with 11 kills, while Bohnet and Brittany Witt each recorded 11 digs. CU had 45 kills, seven aces, 47 digs and six blocks.
DePaul (2-10, 0-1 BIG EAST) was paced by five kills from Mattie Norris and Emma Price. DePaul finished with 24 kills, one ace, 31 digs and two blocks on .092 hitting overall.
Creighton hosts No. 21 Marquette on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the first regular-season league match between ranked volleyball teams since 2005.