OMAHA, Neb. — The 20th-ranked and 14th seeded Creighton Volleyball team had its season come to an abrupt end in the Second Round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, falling 3-1 to Kansas before a sellout crowd of 2,389 at D.J. Sokol Arena on Friday, Dec. 3.
Scores in favor of the visiting Jayhawks were 25-13, 26-24, 19-25, 25-22, who improved to 9-3 all-time against Creighton and advanced to the program’s third Sweet 16 ever.
Kansas dominated the first set to post a 25-13 victory, snapping Creighton’s streak of 22 straight set victories that dated to Nov. 7. KU hit .440 and had five blocks to limit the Bluejay attack to .100 hitting. In a battle of Conference Freshmen of the Year, both Norah SIs (CU) and Caroline Bien (KU) had five kills.
The second set included nine ties and a pair of lead changes before Kansas emerged with a 26-24 victory to take a 2-0 lead in the match. CU owned a lead as large as 10-6 before Kansas cut into the margin and eventually tied the score at 18-all. CU saved a pair of set point chances to tie the score at 24-all before Bien had a solo block followed by a kill for the 26-24 win. The Jayhawks had 20 kills in the second set despite the best efforts of a Bluejay defense that had 27 digs, including 11 from Abby Bottomley. Bien provided eight of those kills for a Jayhawk offense that hit .315.
Creighton steadily built a 15-10 lead in the third set, only to let KU get within one at 18-17. The Jays would regroup to pull away for the 25-19 victory, winning the set on a 4-0 serving run from Norah Sis that included a powerful back row kill on set point by Sis.
The Bluejays built a 15-11 lead in the fourth set, only to see Bien serve a 6-0 run to put the Jayhawks back in front 17-15. The KU lead grew to 19-16 and later 24-20. The Bluejays staved off two match points before KU ended it with a kill from Caroline Crawford.