Recapping the Denver Invitational

The No. 23 ranked Bluejays went 2-1 on the weekend.

Last weekend the No. 24 ranked Creighton volleyball team competed in the Denver Invitational where they took on unbeaten Cal State Northridge, Denver and No. 11 UCLA. The Jays made it through the weekend 2-1 with a four set defeat against the Bruins to end the tournament.

Friday, September 13
No. 24 Creighton (6-1) 3 v. Cal State Northridge (6-1) 0: Northridge came into the tournament unbeaten at 6-0, but CU needed just an hour and 18 minutes to hand the Matadors their first loss of 2013. Lauren Smith led the team with 10 kills, while Michelle Sicner had 31 assists. Creighton won by scores of 25-20, 25-27 and 25-12, moving to 6-1 on the young season. In the match, the Jays offense hit .382, .387 and .438.

No. 24 Creighton (7-1) 3 v. Denver (5-4) 2: The second match on Friday proved to be the tougher test against the hosts. After winning the first two sets 25-22 and 25-18, CU dropped the next two sets 21-25, 23-25 before winning the final set 15-11. Four Jays had 10 or more kills with Leah McNary leading the way with 15. Smith added 13, while Kelli Browning and Jess Bird contributed 10 apiece. Sicner dished out 49 assists while Kate Elman had a team high 17 digs.

Saturday, September 14
No. 24 Creighton (7-2) 1 v. No. 11 UCLA (8-1) 3: Creighton's final match of the weekend was against PAC-12 power UCLA. After tying the match in the second set with a 25-23 win, CU took the lead, winning the third set 25-22, but the Bruins proved to be too much, taking the next two 25-23 and 25-19. McNary led the Bluejays for the second match in a row in kills with 19. Melanie Jereb finished with 12, and Browning recorded 10 kills. UCLA had three players in double figure kills, but had two players with 27 assists, guiding the offense.

Honors: McNary and Sicner represented CU on the All-Tournament team. McNary had 42 kills while averaging three-and-a-half kills and one block per set over the weekend, while Sicner averaged 10.42 assists and hit .393. Another honor bestowed upon the team went to Smith, who was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week. In four games last week, Smith hit .406 against Kansas, Cal State Northridge, Denver and UCLA, including 2.50 kills and 1.44 blocks per set.

Polls: After a 3-1 week, with the only loss coming to No. 11 UCLA, the Jays moved up to 23 in the AVCA poll. CU already has four wins over teams that made the NCAA tournament a season ago.

Next: The Bluejays finish the non-conference slate at the Shocker Volleyball Classic, in Wichita. Creighton opens on Friday night against No. 7 Hawai'I at 5 p.m., then plays South Dakota Saturday at 5 p.m., and finishes the tournament Sunday against old rival Wichita State at 2 pm.

Creighton vs. CSU Northridge Box

Creighton vs. Denver Box

Creighton vs. UCLA Box


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