No. 9 Creighton sweeps Villanova to advance to Big East volleyball championship

No. 9 Creighton sweeps Villanova to advance to Big East volleyball championship
From left: Creighton's Jaali Winters, Madelyn Cole, Taryn Kloth, Naomi Hickman and Kari Zumach celebrate the 24th point in the first set. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD

The No. 9 Creighton Bluejays earned a spot in the Big East championship with a 25-17, 25-17, 25-19 sweep of Villanova in a Big East Tournament semifinal at D.J. Sokol Arena.

Jaali Winters had 13 kills and Taryn Kloth added 12 for the Bluejays, who will play Marquette in Saturday’s final.

Creighton defeated Marquette twice during the regular season, handing the Eagles their only league losses.

With the opening set tied at 3-3, the Jays went on a 6-1 run to go up 9-4. The Bluejays led by as many as 10 points at 17-7 on the way to a 25-17 win.

Winters had six kills, and the Bluejays outblocked Villanova 6-1 in the set.

The Jays jumped to an 8-1 lead in the second set before the Wildcats won nine of the next 14 points to trim their deficit to 13-10.

But that was as close as Villanova would get as the Bluejays posted a 25-17 win to take a commanding 2-0 lead.

Kloth paced Creighton with five kills in the set.

Creighton had a 7-4 advantage in the third set before the Wildcats put together a 6-2 run to go up 10-9.

But the Bluejays responded with three straight winners with Brittany Witt serving to retake the lead.

The Bluejays never trailed again, winning the set 25-19 to seal the sweep.

Marquette 3, St. John’s 1

Allie Barber had 23 kills, and Hope Werch tallied a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs to lead No. 16 Marquette to a 3-1 win over St. John’s in the first Big East Tournament semifinal at D.J. Sokol Arena.

Marquette (26-5 overall) dropped the first set 25-16 before rebounding to take the next three 25-23, 25-16, 25-19 and earn the Golden Eagles a berth in the Big East championship Saturday.

The Red Storm (23-11) hit a scorching .429 in the opening set behind Efrosini Alexadou’s seven kills on the way to a 25-16 lead.

But St. John’s was only able to hit .216 the rest of the way in dropping the final three sets.

Alexadou finished with 19 kills and 11 digs.

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