Creighton Volleyball Sweeps Butler To Claim Big East Title
OMAHA, Neb. -- The No. 15 Creighton Volleyball team sent off seniors Kiana Schmitt and Ellie Bichelmeyer in style, picking up a 3-0 sweep over Butler to clinch a share of its 10th consecutive BIG EAST regular-season title.
Scores of Creighton's 13th straight win were 25-17, 25-14, 25-14 as the Bluejays improved to 25-4 and tied Marquette atop the league standings with a 16-2 conference mark. Creighton will be the No. 1 seed at next week's BIG EAST Tournament, hosted by Marquette, and begin play on Friday at 3 p.m. against the winner of Wednesday's DePaul/Xavier quarterfinal. Butler had its season end at 13-16, finishing 7-11 in league play.
Reigning BIG EAST Player of the Year Norah Sis led Creighton with 16 kills and nine digs, while Kendra Wait had 38 assists and 14 digs for the Bluejays. Bichelmeyer had 10 kills in 21 errorless swings, hitting .476 on Senior Day, and Schmitt hit .444 with nine kills in 18 swings. Creighton hit .371 and finished with 47 kills, six aces, 55 digs and five blocks overall.
Butler was paced by seven kills each from Laiya Ebo and Elise Ward, while defending BIG EAST Libero of the Year Jaymeson Kinley notched a match-leading 19 digs. The Bulldogs finished with 29 kills, three aces, 46 digs and one blocks on .114 hitting.
Creighton picked up a kill on seven straight points to turn a 7-7 tie into a 14-7 advantage in the first set, with both Sis and Schmitt owning three kills each. Schmitt's team-leading sixth kill closed out the first frame, one that saw Wait dish 16 assists as Creighton hit .413 with 21 kills.
The Bluejays had a 5-0 run on Kiara Reinhardt's serve to take a 15-9 lead in the second set, part of a set-ending 15-5 run for the Jays. A kill from Ava Martin finished off CU's 25-14 victory as the Jays took a 2-0 lead into the intermission.. Sis had six kills in the second game, which also saw CU stuff three Bulldog attacks.
Creighton led 14-12 in the third set when a challenge call was reversed in its favor, which started a 6-0 run featuring two Martin aces and three consecutive Sis kills. Creighton head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth subbed out both Schmitt and Bichelmeyer prior to match point, with freshman reserve Destiny Ndam-Simpson closing out the match with a thunderous kill in her lone swing of the match. Sis had six more kills in the finale and the Bluejay defense held Butler to .032 hitting.