OMAHA, Neb. — Playing its first home match in nearly three weeks, the Creighton Volleyball team won its seventh straight match with a convincing 25-16, 25-13, 25-14 sweep over visiting St. John’s on Friday evening before 1,248 fans at D.J. Sokol Arena.
Creighton improved to 13-6 overall and at 7-0 in the BIG EAST remains two games up in the loss column over second-place Marquette. St. John’s dropped to 12-9 and is 3-5 in BIG EAST play.
Lauren Smith led Creighton with 11 kills and six blocks, hitting .846 on the evening. That came after she was honored in a pregame ceremony in recognition of her 1,000th career kill, which was attained last Friday at Villanova.
On this night, the Red Storm were no match for a Creighton team that ranks in the top-25 of the national RPI, and then proceeded to hit .356.
Creighton hit .552 in the opening set, putting down 18 kills in just 29 swings. Lydia Dimke dished 13 assists, as five different Bluejays had multiple kills in the frame. Five came from Jaali Winters, who added two aces during a 6-0 surge that saw the lead grow to 19-10.
Smith dominated the second set, both with her offense and defense. The honorable-mention All-American had four kills in as many swings and also had a hand in five blocks. CU turned a 10-7 lead into a 25-13 victory thanks to extended serving runs by Brittany Witt and Samantha Bohnet. CU held the Red Storm to -.028 hitting in 36 swings while amassing seven blocks as a team against one of the nation’s top blocking squads.
Creighton closed out the match with a convincing 25-14 victory that featured kills from seven different Bluejays. When the ball did go over the net, Witt was there to clean it up, collecting eight of her match-high 17 digs in the frame as the Red Storm hit -.081 in 37 swings.
Smith hit .846 with 11 kills in 13 swings, and was one kill shy of qualifying for the school-record for hitting percentage in a match. She already owns that mark, hitting .857 (12-0-14) two years ago against Providence. Dimke finished with 32 assists and 10 digs for her 10th double-double of the fall, while Winters and Megan Ballenger combined for five of CU’s six aces. Creighton hit .356 on the night and had six aces, 48 digs and 10 blocks.
St. John’s finished with 21 kills, two aces, 35 digs and five blocks on .041 hitting. Gaia Traballi led the Red Storm with six kills, while Alexandria Lobdell had a team-high 15 digs.
Creighton returns to action on Sunday at Noon for a match against Seton Hall in the program’s annual Pink Out.