Dec. 3, 2010

Courtesy of Creighton Athletics

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- The first NCAA Tournament volleyball match in Creighton history was one for the ages, as the Jays used career-nights from Karisa Almgren and Heather Thorson to post a 3-2 victory over No. 16 Iowa State. Scores of the match, played at the University of Minnesota's Sports Pavilion, favored Creighton 27-25, 16-25, 25-23, 19-25, 15-11.

Creighton is now 21-11 on the year, matching a modern record for wins in a season. Iowa State, which had reached three consecutive Sweet 16's, had its season end with a 20-9 mark.

Creighton scored three quick points to start the match while cruising to a 9-4 lead, showing no signs of NCAA Tournament jitters. The Cyclones would fight back to tie the score at 13 for the first time. Iowa State appeared in control of the frame with a 24-21 lead, but Creighton would get a kill from Oelke, and then Megan Bober and Laurel Sanford would block Cyclone All-American Victoria Henson. After an ISU timeout, Alicia Runge would put away consecutive kills, giving the Jays a set point chance up 25-24. Henson answered with a kill to knot the score at 25, before a Bober kill gave CU a second set point opportunity. This time they took advantage, as Bober and Thorson blocked Henson to give CU the set.

Runge led Creighton with six kills in the first set, while Brooke Boggs led a strong defensive showing with seven of her team's 21 digs. CU also outblocked ISU, 5-1. Henson had seven kills for ISU in the first set.

Iowa State won the second set, taking a 25-16 decision. With the Cyclones leadnig 12-9, Henson had a kill and Kelsey Petersen andDebbie Stadick teamed to blocked Runge, forcing a Bluejay timeout. ISU continued its flurry, going ahead 20-12, and winning the set 25-16 on a kill from Jamie Straube.

Creighton went ahead 2-1 in the match with a 25-23 decision. The Jays used a 5-0 spurt to go ahead 6-3 and would not trail again. Creighton steadily built its lead to 16-10. Iowa State got within one point on two occasions, but CU got a kill and a block assist from Thorson during a 3-0 run to get to 24-20. ISU got kills from Carly Jenson and Jamie Straube to get within two, then blocked Runge, to save three set points, but could not finish the job. Jenson's swing would go long, giving Creighton the set.

Iowa State was running away with the fourth set, up 17-8, before Creighton mounted a comeback. A 9-3 Bluejay run forced a pair of Cyclone timeouts as the Jays got within 20-17. ISU would pull away after that though, winning 25-19.

The fifth set featured five ties and five lead changes before Creighton pulled away midway through. Trailing 6-5, Creighton scored three straight points on a kill from Megan Bober and consecutive attack errors by Henson. Creighton would build its lead to 12-8 on back-to-back Runge kills, then got to match point on an Almgren kill off the block. Sanford, a Minnesota native, ended the upset with a kill.