CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Creighton beat three-time defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Northern Iowa for the second time this year, knocking off the Panthers 25-18, 25-23, 11-25, 17-25, 15-8 Saturday night.
The Bluejays (22-3, 13-1 Valley), who had never beaten UNI twice in the same season, now hold a 1 1⁄2-game lead in their pursuit of the program’s first Valley title.
Tied 4-4 in the fifth set, Kelli Browning and Leah McNary hit back-to-back kills to prompt a Panther timeout. It didn’t help change momentum, and Creighton cruised from there to hand UNI (21-8, 12-3) its first conference loss at home since 2008.
“I love this team because they are mentally tough,” Bluejay coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth said. “I thought we got tentative in sets three and four. We talk about being the aggressor ... and they stepped up to the challenge.”
McNary led Creighton with 19 kills followed by Melanie Jereb, who had the game-winning kill, with 15. Megan Bober notched her second consecutive triple-double with 47 assists, 14 digs and 10 kills.
The Bluejays, winners of 10 straight, improved to 7-1 against teams that made last season’s NCAA tournament.
Next up for the Creighton is Friday’s 5 p.m. match against Indiana State at Sokol Arena.