The Creighton volleyball team may have breathed a sigh of relief that the worst of its Big East schedule was over.
But there won’t be any coasting down the stretch — the other league teams have made sure of that.
Five-set matches have at times been the norm, showcasing the parity in the conference.
“There’s a joke amongst the coaches, everyone has to go five,” Creighton coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth said. “We need to be really ready to go.”
Creighton’s Friday night foe, St. John’s, took Butler to five in its last match. Sunday’s opponent, Seton Hall, is 5-4 in five-set matches.
CU is 3-1 in five-set matches this season.
“There is just not an easy time,’’ Booth said.
Creighton (15-5) went 6-2 against the upper echelon teams. One of those losses was to Marquette last Friday, a 3-0 reversal of an earlier CU sweep.
The Bluejays discussed that loss and the first few months of the season in a meeting Monday. Energy can wane in a long season, and Booth said the coaches and players talked about renewing their excitement as well as revisiting their goals.
Hard work has never been an issue, Booth said. However, consistently playing at a maximum level has been.
The radically different outcomes against Marquette are an example. The Jays did bounce back on Saturday against DePaul, with the offense at the best it’s been in a while, with a .372 hitting percentage, because the players were connecting better.
“We want to be playing our best and in the next few weeks we want to be peaking,” Booth said. “We talked about what we need to do to make that happen.”
They’re focusing on the process — not just wins and losses — like taking care of little things, playing with passion and having fun.
It was a good discussion that Booth said has resulted in a great week of practice.
“This group is really truly all on the same page of what they want to accomplish,” Booth said. “Now it’s a matter of stepping it up and doing it.”
St. John’s started 11-4 but is 3-7 in its last 10 matches. The Red Storm (14-11, 3-6) utilize a different style than many teams because they have players from eight countries on their roster.
Basketball fans can get in free to Friday’s 5 p.m. match if they show their ticket to the men’s game with Northern State later on Friday.
The Jays will play Seton Hall (12-12, 3-6) at noon Sunday. Fans are invited to a pregame pancake feed at Billy Blues Alumni Grill on the lower level of the Mike & Josie Harper Center on campus from 10 a.m. to noon.