Creighton Upsets Washington to Take Husky Invite Title

  0 Wendy Mayer | August 27th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News, Pac 12


  • No. 9 Creighton def. No. 3 Washington 3-1 (25-22, 25-17, 14-25, 25-23)
  • Creighton moves to 3-0; Washington drops to 2-1
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Attendance: 2252
  • Box Score

SEATTLE – In both teams second match of the day, Creighton (VM 11/AVCA 9) edged the homestanding Washington Huskies (VM 3/AVCA 3) in four sets to take the Husky Invitational title with a 3-0 mark. The win is just the third against a Top 10 foe in program history.

The Bluejays outhit their foes .270 to .242 in the match and also edged the Huskies 58-57 in kills. UW outblocked Creighton 11-7, but it was not enough. Both teams served up four aces.

Junior outside hitter Jaali Winters and junior outside Taryn Kloth tallied 16 kills apiece, while senior middle blocker Marysa Wilkinson chipped in 11 and hit at a team-best .429 clip. Winters nearly picked up a double double, adding nine digs to her tallies. Wilkinson put up a team-best four blocks. Sophomore libero Brittany Witt paced the defense with 17 digs, while senior defensive specialist Kenzie Crawford managed 11 saves.

Four UW players posted double-digit kill tallies led by senior outside Carly DeHoog‘s 13. Sophomore outside Kara Bajema, freshman middle Lauren Sanders and senior outside Courtney Schwan notched 11 kills apiece. Schwan added 16 digs to round out a double double. Sanders and senior middle Marion Hazelwood each put up a team-best five blocks. Senior outside Tia Scambray topped the Huskies defensively with 20 digs, followed by Schwan (16) and sophomore defensive specialist Shayne McPherson (11).

Wilkinson was named MVP of the Husky Invitational, while setter Lydia Dimke and middle Megan Ballenger also received all-tournament team nods for the Bluejays. DeHoog and Sanders represented Washington on the squad.

The teams split the first 30 points of the night. A pair of Creighton erorrs and a Naomi Hickman kill made it 18-15, but Washington caught back up at 21-all including two Destiny Julye. The Bluejays took timeout and scored three straight out of the break, before ending the set on a Naomi Hickman putaway.

Creighton hit at a .424 clip in Set 2 en route to the 25-17 win. The Bluejays went up 4-1 early. The teams tied at 11 and 12, before Creighton pulled away with nine of the next 11 points. Wilkinson contributed three kills and two blocks in the stretch, which made it 21-14. The gap was just too much for the Huskies to overcome and the Bluejays went on to take the set on its second try by way of a Winters kill.

After the break, Washington came out on fire and never gave Creighton a chance, racing out to a 19-7 advantage with help from four blocks, a pair of aces and two kills each by four different players . The Bluejays did stop the bleeding momentarily with a 5-1 run, but that only narrowed the gap to eight at 20-12. The Huskies responded with five of the next seven points, capped by a Schwan/Hazelwood block to give UW the 25-14 win and extend the match. Creighton struggled in Set 3, hitting just .053 in the stanza, while Washington had its best effort at .333.

Set 4 was a back and fourth affair, featuring 15 tie scores and seven lead changes. Washington boasted the largest lead at 14-11 after back-to-back blocks by Hazelwood and a Kara Bajema kill. Creighton caught up at 14-all with help from two Husky miscues, setting off a string of four knotups, last at 17. After a tie at 19, UW again seized the advantage, with three of the next four points, two on Bajema putaways. Down 21-19, the Bluejays mounted a comeback, rallying for six of the final eight points en route to the 25-23 victory, which was clinched by a Washington service error.


Courtesy: Creighton Athletics

The No. 9 Creighton Volleyball team won the Husky Invitational on Saturday night with a 3-1 win over No. 3 Washington in the program’s biggest regular-season victory in program history.

Scores of the match in favor of Creighton were 25-22, 25-17, 14-25, 25-23.

The win over the No. 3 Huskies is the highest ranked foe that Creighton has ever beaten, topping the 3-2 win over No. 4 Kansas in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Creighton has now beaten a top-10 team in each of the last three seasons after going without a top-10 victory from 1994-2014.

Creighton led most of the first set to earn a 25-22 victory, though neither team led by more than three at any point in the set. The Bluejays’ 18-15 lead was erased was Washington tied the score at 21-all, but CU would take the lead on a kill by Taryn Kloth, earn a set point after a triple block, and win the frame when Naomi Hickman put down an overpass. The Bluejays hit .268 in the first set while forcing the Huskies into eight attack errors. Kloth and Marysa Wilkinson each had four kills for CU in the initial stanza.

The Bluejays took a 2-0 lead into the break with a convincing 25-17 victory in the second set.  The visitors hit .424 in the set thanks to 17 kills in 33 swings. The Jays broke free from 12-12 deadlock with an 8-1 run to quiet the crowd at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Washington handed CU its first set loss of 2017 in the third frame, using an 8-0 run to open up a 13-5 lead that Creighton couldn’t recover from. Washington had six blocks and hit .333 while controlling play at the net.

Creighton opens its 11-match home schedule on Friday when it hosts the Bluejay Invitational, presented by First National Bank. The event starts at 4:30 pm when Northern Iowa meets USC at 4:30 pm, followed by No. 9 Creighton hosting No. 14 Kentucky at 7 pm.

NOTES: Creighton improved to 3-27 all-time against top-10 foes, and 8-67 all-time against top-25 competition … This was Creighton’s first match in program history as a top-10 team while facing another top-10 team … Jaali Winters had double-figure kills for the 12th straight match, tying her for the sixth-longest streak in program history … The tournament title was Creighton’s first since the 2014 Bluejay Invitational, and first to open a season since 2013 when it won the Hampton Inn Invitational hosted by Bowling Green.


Courtesy: Washington Athletics

In a battle of 2016 Elite Eight participants, ninth-ranked Creighton came into Alaska Airlines Arena firing on all cylinders from the start, and then withstood a strong rally from the third-ranked Washington squad to get the victory, 25-22, 25-17, 14-25, 25-23, and win the season-opening Husky Invitational in front of 2,252 fans.

The Huskies (2-1) could never seem to inch ahead in the first two sets, especially set one where there were seven tie scores but the Huskies did not lead after 2-0. Down 0-2 at the break, Washington came back out and dominated the third set, and held a 22-20 lead late in the fourth, when both teams were playing at a level worthy of their top-10 rankings. But Creighton made the tough plays late to push back ahead and stop UW’s comeback attempt in four.

It’s the first time the Huskies have suffered a loss prior to Pac-12 play since the 2008 season when UW lost at Hawaii on Sept. 13. Creighton hit .270 on the night compared to .242 for the Dawgs, and had one more kill, 58-57. The teams were even in aces with four, while UW had the edge in blocks (11.0-7.5) and digs (66-61).

“Pretty high level of Creighton for the entire night,” said third-year Head Coach Keegan Cook. “I thought we made some changes in the third and fourth set and kind of reached their level, but they were sharp passing early on and running a nice offense and siding out at a nice rate. Pleased that we caught up eventually, but it wasn’t enough.”

Senior Carly DeHoog had a career-high 13 kills to lead the Huskies, hitting .375. She was named to the All-Tournament Team along with freshman Lauren Sanders, who had 11 kills and five blocks, hitting .348, and played especially strong in sets three and four. Courtney Schwan and Kara Bajema also had 11 kills each, with Bajema getting nine of those in the last two sets. Schwan added 16 digs for a double-double. Senior Tia Scambray led all players with 20 digs.

Despite the rare home setback, Coach Cook was happy with the opportunity to improve that the weekend will ultimately provide. Even with seven seniors and all starters returning from last year’s Pac-12 title, UW had two new starting middle blockers this week, a new starting libero, and new positions for sophomores Bajema and Shayne McPherson, and was playing without All-American Crissy Jones, out with an ankle injury.

“What I wanted most was just a clear path for the players. If you want to compete with teams like Creighton and teams that are playing in that regional round, what do we need to do? and we were going to find that out tonight win or lose, and maybe we found out a little bit more in this tough loss.”

A kill in transition from Courtney Schwan collected point one of the match. Marion Hazelwood‘s first kill behind setter Bailey Tanner made it 3-1 early. A questionable call went against the Huskies on a should’ve been block from Schwan, but UW responded with a kill from DeHoog and an ace by Schwan for a 6-4 lead. Sanders tipped over into empty space for a 7-6 lead. Creighton took five of the next six points to take the lead, 8-11. Schwan rolled one over and down after a great dig from Julye to cut the gap to one at 11-12. DeHoog put away consecutive kills from the right and left to tie it back up at 14-14. After the media timeout, Sanders hammered a quick set for 15-all, but UW hit twice out of bounds to fall back behind by three and took its first timeout. Out of the break, Julye hammered crosscourt in serve-receive for 16-18. Julye got a kill on a touch call that was overturned by replay, to make it 18-19. A block by Schwan pulled UW within a point again but Creighton sided out. The Dawgs got even again at 21 as a perfect dig from Scambray let Tanner find DeHoog on the right for a kill, and the Bluejays called timeout. Creighton got a kill on its first swing, and then Sanders missed a quick wide for 21-23 and UW used its last timeout. A Creighton block made it set point at 21-24. Sanders saved one with a tip, but the Bluejays took the next point to take the set, 22-25. The Huskies hit just .184 in the set while Creighton finished at .268 with 16 kills to 15 for UW, all assisted by Tanner.

The Bluejays won four of the first five points of the second set until Schwan capped a frantic rally with a final big swing to stop the momentum. But Creighton pushed ahead to an 8-4 lead and the Huskies called an early timeout. Out of the break, DeHoog sparked UW with back-to-back kills and then Sanders roofed the Bluejays to bring it to 7-8. A third DeHoog kill kept it close at 9-11. Tanner and Hazelwood sent one back to pull within one at 10-11, then Hazelwood tied it up by spiking a Creighton overpass off a McPherson serve. After UW tied it at 12, Creighton ran off another 6-1 run to force UW’s last timeout at 13-18. Kara Bajema subbed in and ended a long rally with a kill off the block, but UW was still down 16-22. Creighton closed out the set, 25-17, to take the 2-0 lead.

Schwan started the third set with an ace, and Bajema ended a marathon rally with a crosscourt kill for 3-3. Freshman Natalie Robinson made her collegiate debut early in the frame to serve. Tanner and Hazelwood met up for a rejection and then Sanders rotated in and Tanner teamed with the freshman for another stuff to make it 7-5. A Scambray serve was overpassed and Sanders went back a step and hit it down for 8-5, forcing Creighton into a timeout. Sanders capped a long rally out of the break with a solo block of a tip, and then Scambray kept it going with an ace for 10-5. A Creighton error made it a 6-0 Husky run and the Bluejays signaled for time again. Washington kept rolling as Scambray had a perfect dig and Schwan put it away, then Sanders had a solo rejection for 13-6 before Creighton snapped the 8-0 run. Schwan tipped for a kill, and then DeHoog nailed a long distance set from Scambray for 17-7. Sanders came out of nowhere to stuff down a dig that looked to be headed for a Creighton arm swing, making it 18-7 Dawgs. The Bluejays got the lead under 10, but Sanders had a rocket out of the middle, and Hazelwood followed with a slide kill for 22-12. Tanner dumped for a kill to get to set point at 24-14, and then Schwan sent back a Bluejays swing to end it, 25-14. The Huskies heated up to .333 in the set and cooled the Bluejays down to .053. Sanders killed all four of her swings and had 4 total blocks to lead six total team blocks.

Schwan rolled one in on the first point of the fourth, and Bajema snapped one down with authority on the left for 2-1. DeHoog kept her career night going with an 11th kill from the right for 3-3. Bajema rifled one to the floor out of the back row to move the Dawgs ahead, 6-5. But the Huskies gave a couple points back by letting an overpass fall and then Creighton aced the Dawgs for 7-9 and UW took time. Schwan banged hard off the block and down out of the break to snap the run. Jade Finau laid out for a pancake, and then Hazelwood set it straight up for Bajema to knock down to tie it back up at 10-all. Hazelwood annihilated an overdig for 11’s, and then Bajema rejected a slide to inch the Huskies back on top, 12-11. Hazelwood and Tanner then stuffed a quick attempt and Creighton needed time at 13-11. Out of the break, Bajema broke through the block again in transition to cap a 4-0 run. Creighton got even, and the teams traded sideouts, with Schwan putting two away on the left for 17-16. DeHoog trickled one along the tape and down for 19-17 but Creighton fought back with the next two. Bajema crushed one off the defense and into the seats to break the tie for 20-19, and then Finau aced the Bluejays for another big point. Another clutch swing from Bajema found the floor for 22-20 but Creighton answered. The Bluejays then won a wild rally to tie it up and then the Huskies had a miscue with a tight bump set and needed timeout, down 22-23. The Dawgs had a couple swings on the next rally but Creighton dug them and ended it with a kill to reach match point at 22-24. Creighton served into the net to give one chance away, but UW returned the favor with a long serve to end it, 23-25. The Huskies hit .333 for the second set in a row, but Creighton got going again and outhit the Dawgs with a .361 mark. Bajema put away six kills in the frame and Schwan had four without a miss, but Jaali Winters had eight kills to carry Creighton.

Washington will look to bounce back at home with three more matches next weekend, starting on Friday, Sept. 1, with Santa Clara coming in for a 7 p.m. match, followed by a Saturday double-header against Seattle U. and a strong Cal Poly squad.

Husky Invitational All-Tournament Team
Marysa Wilkinson, Creighton – Most Outstanding Player
Lydia Dimke, Creighton
Megan Ballenger, Creighton
Carly DeHoog, Washington
Lauren Sanders, Washington
Nika Markovic, Pitt
Sarah Chase, Saint Mary’s

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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