Creighton loses in final
OMAHA, Neb. -- Cal Volleyball improved to 5-0 on the season with a 3-0 win over No. 19 Creighton in the championship match of the Bluejay Invitational on Saturday evening. Scores of the match were 26-24, 25-21, 25-14.
The loss was Creighton's (4-1) first at home since September 1, 2012, snapping a school-record 13-match home win streak.
Cal got off to strong starts in all three sets, and held off strong rallies from the hosts in the first two sets to earn its fifth consecutive sweep to open 2013.
Creighton trailed 12-5 early in the first set after Michelle Neumayr served a 6-0 run. Creighton fought back valiantly, tying the score at 16-16, 17-17, 19-19, 20-20 and 24-all before Cal got kills from Neumayr and Papillion product Lillian Schonewise to close out the 26-24 win. Adrienne Gehan, who would earn Tournament MVP accolades, had eight kills and four digs in the first frame for the Bears. CU was paced by six kills and six digs from Melanie Jereb.
Cal opened a 9-4 lead in the second set and would lead by as much as 18-12. CU would close within 21-19 and prompt a Cal timeout, but it wouldn't be enough in the Bears' 25-21 triumph. Both teams had 14 kills in the second set, but CU's uncharacteristic 11 attack errors proved too much to overcome against one of the Pac-12's traditional powers. Gehan had five kills in the second set to help Cal take a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
The third set featured sideouts on 13 of the first 14 points before Cal broke away. Extended serving runs by Joan Caloiaro and later Maddy Kerr guided the guests to a 25-14 win, closing it out on a kill from Christina Higgins. Gehan and Higgins both had five kills to lead Cal in the third set.
Gehan led all players with 18 kills while also hitting a robust .378. Higgins was the only other player in the match to reach double-figures, tallying 10 kills. Caloiaro turned in a double-double with 35 assists and 10 digs, while Kerr led the Bears with 12 digs. For the match, Cal had 49 kills, one ace, 47 digs and eight blocks on .339 hitting.
Creighton was paced by eight kills from Jereb, who also finished with 10 digs. Setter Michelle Sicner collected a double-double with 31 assists and 13 digs in addition to her seven kills, but it wasn't enough. Creighton recorded 41 kills, one ace, 50 digs and five blocks on .121 hitting.
Northern Colorado took third place in the event, finishing 1-2 after a 3-1 win vs. South Florida earlier Saturday evening.
The Bluejays return to action on Tuesday when it hosts Kansas in a 6 pm start at D.J. Sokol Arena.
NOTES: Creighton has never won the Bluejay Invitational in the nine years of the event ...Cal's Joan Caloiaro became the event's first player named All-Tourney at two different schools. She opened her career in 2010 at San Francisco and earned similar honors ... Creighton was outblocked, 8-5, for just the second time in its last 43 matches, and its 26 attack errors were its most since the final match of the 2011 campaign ...CU dropped to 0-6 all-time against the current membership in the Pacific-12 Conference, with a contest next weekend with UCLA upcoming ...Tonight was just the second time in Creighton's modern volleyball history without a service error, with the only other time coming Oct. 26, 1996 at Drake.
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