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Creighton volleyball gets back to winning with sweep of SMU
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VOLLEYBALL

Creighton volleyball gets back to winning with sweep of SMU

Creighton rebounded from Wednesday's three-set loss to No. 3 Nebraska by cruising through a sweep over SMU Friday afternoon.

The Jays (7-1) looked sharp from the get-go at Sokol Arena, using a 7-0 run to take an early 9-3 lead in the first set. They scored the final seven points of the first set and then opened the second on an 8-2 run.

CU was pushed a bit in the third set. The Mustangs trailed nearly the entire way but pulled within 22-20 before the Jays managed to close it out.

Senior Jaela Zimmerman led the way in the 25-13, 25-12, 25-22 win, recording 12 kills and seven digs. She had seven kills on eight swings in the first set. Senior Abby Bottomley also added 18 digs.

No. 19 Creighton really set the tone from the service line, regularly keeping the Mustangs (2-4) out of system and allowing CU to set up its defense at the net (season-high 11 blocks).

The Jays finished with a season-high nine aces (also the most by an SMU opponent this season). Five Creighton players had at least one ace.

"I thought the biggest difference was our serving," coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth said. "We knew that in system they were very good, so we needed to try to force them to have to go to the outside, and our block did their job once we got them out of system. ... I thought that was the difference in the match."

Friday marked the first of Creighton's three matches in the Bluejay Invitational. They play Illinois (10:30 a.m.) and UNO (7:30 p.m.) Saturday at Sokol. Middle blocker Kyla Swanson, who's from Wahoo, has started all six matches for the Illini this year.

The Mustangs have two local products enjoying a homecoming this weekend — former Omaha Marian setter Lily Heim (two kills and 20 assists vs. CU) and Omaha Duchesne product Kaitlyn Knobbe (three kills and one block). The Mustangs will face UNO at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.


Omaha World-Herald: Local Sports

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