Xavier Volleyball Outlasted By Creighton In Exciting Five-Set Match

Sarah Brown had an all-around terrific match, registering 12 kills and 22 digs.

Sarah Brown had an all-around terrific match, registering 12 kills and 22 digs.

Oct. 18, 2013

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OMAHA, Neb. - In an exhilarating five-set match, Creighton held on to defeat Xavier and take first place in the BIG EAST. Abbey Bessler put together match-highs with 21 kills and 23 digs. The 23 digs are also a career high for the freshman outside hitter.

The win pushes Creighton into first place in the BIG EAST, with a 13-4 overall record and a 4-1 mark in the conference. Xavier fell to 12-8 overall and 4-2 in the conference.

"What a wonderful match," said head coach Mike Johnson. "Our kids fought hard and played with a ton of heart. These matches always come down to a few little plays. We have shown great improvement as this season has progressed. We are going to continue to work so that next time we are few little plays better. I'm proud of our team. We went for it."

Xavier dominated the opening frame, closing out Creighton, 25-19. The Musketeers led the set in nearly every major category, including kills (15-9) and blocks (3-0). A strong defensive effort by XU, forced nine hitting errors by CU.

Creighton picked up the offensive output in the second set, but had to go to extra points for a 26-24 win. Both teams connected on 15 kills, but Xavier had three more hitting errors in the frame.

The third set was a close affair with nine ties and four lead changes, but Creighton made a late push to grab a 25-21 win. The Bluejays blockers provided the difference in the set, as CU picked up five blocks and XU was held to none.

With their backs to the walls in a must-win game, Xavier responded with a 25-14 drubbing. The Musketeers connected on 15 kills and had only one hitting error. The tables were turned on blocks. This time XU had three, while CU was unable to pick up a block.

Xavier trailed by a point, 8-7, at the side change, but used a 3-1 run to take the lead, 10-9. However, Creighton answered with a 5-1 spurt to reach match point with a 14-11 advantage. After staving off two match points, CU finally connected to close the match, 15-13.

Sarah Brown also put up some terrific numbers, tallying 12 kills on the strength of a .310 hitting percentage and adding 22 digs. Alex Blair and Makayla Agin each added nine kills. Aubree Smith closed with 46 assists, nine digs and six kills.

Xavier led in most statistical categories, including a 65-52 advantage in kills and 86-78 in digs. However, Creighton led, 14-8, in blocks and Xavier had nine more service errors (16-7) than the Bluejays.

The Musketeers will make the short drive to UC for a Tuesday evening battle against the Bearcats. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. at Fifth Third Arena.