The Creighton Blue Jays stormed into Walsh Gymnasium on Friday night undefeated in Big East play. The Blue Jays would leave just the same, beating Seton Hall three sets to none, off a dominant display up front by sophomore Taryn Kloth and junior Marysa Wilkinson.
The two combined for 22 kills and nine blocks, beating out the top-two Pirates in both categories by considerable margin, with Abby Thelen and Cherise Hennigan combining for only 15 kills, and the entire Seton Hall team combining for three blocks.
“We didn’t play good out of the gate, and I think that kind of set the tone for the whole match,” head coach Allison Yaeger said.
The Hall held the lead for the blink of an eye in the first set, jumping ahead 2-0 before falling behind 6-2. It would be the only lead Seton Hall had on the night.
Seton Hall then exchanged serves with Creighton for the rest of the set, as the Blue Jays slowly expanded their lead, eventually winning the first set 25-16.
In the second set, Creighton jumped out to a comfortable 19-8 lead. The Blue Jays seemed at ease during the stretch, laughing and smiling even after dropped points. The Pirates changed their demeanor quickly however with nine unanswered points that cut the once sizeable lead down to two.
The Pirates were unable to capitalize on the momentum however, and it quickly shifted back to the Blue Jays’ favor with Creighton rattling off five unanswered of their own to take a 24-17 lead. The Blue Jays would win the set 25-18.
Creighton took the early advantage once again in the third set, but there was no Seton Hall rally this time. The Blue Jays were ahead 12-6 midway through, and kept at relatively the same pace throughout, winning the decisive set 25-12.
Yaeger put the result down to something she admits the team has struggled with all season, putting pressure on teams and getting them out of system.
“We came back [in the second set] because we put them out of system, and one of the things we have really struggled with a lot this entire season is getting other teams out of system,” Yaeger said. “We are not very good at serving and putting pressure on other teams. We are last place in aces, and it is one thing that we try to work on but it is difficult to get going. They don’t want to make errors at a time when we are down and we are losing, so they are kind of scared when they are going back and serving, so it is something we have to continue to work on.”
Seton Hall will attempt to put that pressure on Providence and get back to winning ways Saturday night, once again in Walsh Gymnasium. The Pirates were able to win on the road against the Friars back on Oct. 14, three sets to one.
James Justice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MLSTakeover.