INDIANAPOLIS — Creighton received an unpleasant Big East greeting Friday, as the No. 22 Bluejays dropped the first match in their new conference to Butler.
The Bulldogs won 24-26, 25-20, 25-17, 25-22 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Junior Michelle Sicner posted her third straight double-double and became the sixth player in Creighton history to surpass 1,000 career assists.
The Bluejays, preseason league favorites, fell to 9-4 overall and 0-1 in the league. Butler (14-3, 1-1) was picked sixth in the preseason, but returned all six starters from a 17-win team and entered the match at No. 53 in the RPI.
In the first set, Creighton built a 13-7 lead, only to see the Bulldogs go on a 7-1 run to tie it 14-14. Melanie Jereb’s two consecutive aces got CU to set point at 24-22. After Butler scored the next two points, CU won the set on Leah McNary’s kill and a Butler attack error.
Butler rode the right arm of Erica Stahl to win the second set. Stahl had six kills in 10 swings. During a key 4-0 run, she had two kills and a block to help BU take a 17-12 lead.
The Bulldogs continued their momentum into the third set, pulling away late for a 25-17 win. Creighton struggled to a .083 hitting percentage in the set, while Butler hit .294.
In the fourth set, the Bluejays fell behind 12-6 but battled back to knot the score 15-15. With the score deadlocked at 16-16, the host Bulldogs strung together a 5-0 run to pull away for the win.
McNary led Creighton with 15 kills, and Jereb had 10. Sicner finished with 42 assists, 14 digs and four blocks.
Stahl paced Butler with 13 kills and five blocks.
For the match, Creighton hit .157, while Butler finished at .275.
Creighton plays at 3 p.m. Saturday at Xavier, which defeated Butler last Saturday.
Creighton (9-4, 0-1) ............................ 26 20 17 22
At Butler (14-3, 1-1) ............................ 24 25 25 25
CU (kills-aces-blocks): Jereb 10-1-1, Neisler 0-0-0, Browning 8-0-2, Sicner 2-0-4, Bird 7-0-2, Stivers 0-0-0, Jansen 0-2-0, Elman 0-0-0, McNary 15-0-0, Smith 7-0-3. Totals 49-4-8.
BU: Peterson 8-0-4, Kranda 11-0-1, Harbison 7-1-3, Obert 10-0-3, Stahl 13-0-5, Striedl 10-0-2, Ruffolo 0-0-0, Yarling 0-0-0. Webb 0-0-0. Totals 59-1-9.
Set assists: CU 47 (Sicner 42, Jereb, Neisler, Bird, Jansen, Elman), BU 58 (Peterson 47, Ruffolo 4, Striedl 2, Obert 2, Kranda 2, Webb).