Leah McNary had 20 kills and Kelli Browning a career-high 18 kills as the Creighton Volleyball team defeated South Dakota in four sets on Tuesday night at D.J. Sokol Arena. Scores of the match were 25-18, 25-18, 21-25, 25-21.
Creighton improved to 12-2 on the season, the program's best start in modern history after 14 matches. South Dakota is now 7-9 on the season.
McNary's 20 kills were one shy of her career-high, while her seven blocks did establish a personal-best. Browning's 18 kills were two more than her previous high, and the national leader in blocks added six stuffs in the win. Megan Bober added 43 assists and 17 digs for CU, recording her ninth double-double of the campaign. For the night, CU had 56 kills, four aces, 71 digs and 12.0 blocks while hitting .233.
USD was led by Gretna native Kendall Kritenbrink's 1717 kills, while Kim Bulaga added 13 kills and 10 digs. The Coyotes finished with 45 kills, nine aces, 65 digs and 11 blocks on .110 hitting.
After falling behind 3-0 in the opening set, the Jays used an 11-1 run to build an 11-4 lead and wouldn't look back. The Jays lead eventually reached as large as 19-7, only to see Natalie Walseth serve a 6-0 run and cut the deficit in half. The teams would exchange sideouts nine of the next 10 points, as the Jays won 25-18. Browning had six kills and McNary added five more for CU in the set, as the Jays hit .359.
Creighton had to rally to win the second set, falling behind 15-10 before Browning served up a 7-0 run to give the Jays the lead for good. CU's run eventually would be 15-3 to end the frame with another 25-18 decision. Both McNary and Browning had six kills in the set for the Jays, while Bober dished out 14 assists in the frame.
USD extended the match in the third set, executing down the stretch to overcome an 18-17 deficit and win 25-21. USD got four kills from both Bulaga and Kritenbrink in the set as the visitors hit .300 in the set.
Creighton would regroup to win the match in the fourth set with a 25-21 victory. The set featured 10 ties and four lead changes before CU took the lead for good at 20-19. A kill from freshman Melanie Jereb capped the Bluejay triumph. Bober had eight digs in the set, while Browning had four blocks in the match-clincher.
Creighton returns to action this weekend with a pair of road matches. The Jays visit Southern Illinois (11-3, 2-2 MVC) on Friday night at 7 pm before concluding their trip on Saturday at 5 pm at Evansville (5-11, 1-3 MVC).
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