The No. 9 Creighton Volleyball team defeated South Dakota in straight sets on Friday night in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament before a boisterous 2,552 fans at sold-out D.J. Sokol Arena.
Scores of the match in favor of the hosts were 25-14, 25-14, 25-22.
Creighton's 21st win in a row helped the Bluejays (29-4) match their single-season record for wins in a season. The Coyotes finished the year 21-10 as Summit League champions after making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament at the Division I level history.
Creighton controlled the first set, taking a 25-14 decision while delivering 13 kills, four aces and five blocks. Junior Megan Ballenger had six kills and a pair of blocks to help CU take control over the Summit League champs. USD had nine kills, paced by three each from Taylor Wilson and Hayley Dotseth. Samantha Bohnet made her return from injury that cost her a chance to play in last week's BIG EAST Championship and made an immediate impact, serving a 4-0 run that helped the Jays build a 6-2 lead. Taryn Kloth later offered up consecutive aces to run the lead to 18-10. South Dakota's lone lead came at 1-0, and it would turn out to be lone lead of the evening.
Creighton never trailed in the second set, with Kari Zumach putting down three kills to help the hosts move ahead 5-1. The Jays continued to click on all cylinders, hitting .593 to cruise to a second straight 25-14 victory. Kloth hammered seven kills in as many swings in the second set while Winters had had five kills and three digs.
Brittany Witt served a 5-0 run to open the final set and the Bluejays never looked back. South Dakota narrowed the gap to 18-17 and 19-18, only to have costly service errors each time. The Coyotes had another opportunity with CU leading before Kloth and Hickman stuffed Wilson on the right side. The Jays wrapped up their 21st sweep of the year on a kill by Jaali Winters.
Kloth had 16 kills in 23 errorless swings, hitting a season-high .696. She added a pair of aces and two blocks. Winters had 12 kills and Bohnet contributed a dozen digs. Creighton hit .375 with 46 kills, four aces, 42 digs and 10 blocks.
South Dakota was led by 12 kills by Wilson, who also hit .579. Dotseth had 11 kills and Anne Rasmussen finished with a match-best 15 digs. The Coyotes had 32 kills, 45 digs and one block but did not record an ace.
With the win, Creighton will host No. 22 Washington on Saturday, with a bid to the Sweet 16 on the line. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m. Central and the match will be aired on FoxSportsGo. The Huskies defeated Saint Mary's in four sets in Friday's opening match in Omaha.
NOTES: Creighton also won 29 matches in 2012 and 2016 ... Creighton improved to 10-7 in eight all-time NCAA Tournament appearances, including a 7-1 record in the First Round ... Creighton's 21 straight wins are two shy of the school record set in 2016 ... Creighton is 5-1 all-time against South Dakota ... Creighton has won a school-record 15 straight matches at home ... Creighton owns 48 straight home wins over unranked teams ... Creighton's 111 wins in the last four years are the most by a senior class in program history ... The No. 9 national seed is now 18-0 since 2000 in the First Round with 16 sweeps ... Creighton is one of 12 teams to win an NCAA Tournament match each of the last four years, joining BYU, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue, Stanford, Texas, USC, Washington and Wisconsin ... Creighton has won 120 straight matches when hitting .300 or better ... Taryn Kloth's 479 kills after tonight are tied for third-most in Creighton single-season history and the most ever by a Bluejay senior ... Madelyn Cole had an ace, giving her a Sokol Arena single-season record 29 this fall ... Creighton's four aces give the Bluejays a school-record 197 this season, two more than the previous mark set in 2000.
#9 CREIGHTON VOLLEYBALL VS WASHINGTON NCAA SECOND ROUND TICKET INFO
The #9 Creighton Bluejays swept South Dakota 3-0 Friday night in the First Round of the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship and will host the #22 Washington Huskies in Second Round play Saturday night (Dec. 1) at D.J. Sokol Arena inside the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center (7 p.m., first-serve). A limited number of $15 reserved tickets are on sale NOW for Saturday night's match by visiting gocreighton.com/ncaavb. Fans can also purchase tickets in advance by stopping by the Creighton Athletic Ticket Office on Saturday, Dec. 1 starting 4:30 p.m. Doors to the Ryan Athletic Center (701 Florence Blvd) will open at 6 p.m. Don't miss this special opportunity to cheer on the Bluejays to the Sweet Sixteen!