MINNEAPOLIS — No. 15 Creighton hit the road and looked right at home in Friday’s opening round of the NCAA tournament.
CU hit .366 overall in rolling to a 25-22, 25-15, 25-19 win over Iowa State. The Bluejays will play host Minnesota at 7 p.m. Saturday for a spot in the Sweet 16.
In its previous match last Friday, Creighton lost in straight sets to St. John’s in the Big East tournament semifinal, a defeat that kept the Jays from possibly being a host during the NCAA’s opening weekend. Creighton hosted the past two years, but lost in the second round both times.
Now the Jays look to make a run on the road, and they were sharp in their opening match.
Keeley Davis, the Big East freshman of the year, led Creighton with 15 kills while hitting .448. Jaela Zimmerman added 10 kills and Annika Welty nine while hitting .500.
Madelyn Cole finished with 38 assists and eight digs while Brittany Witt led CU’s defense with 15 digs.
The Jays set the tone for the match with an extended run midway through the first set.
Iowa State (17-12) scored four straight to take a 14-13 lead, but Creighton answered with an 8-1 run. The Cyclones never got closer than two after that. Davis had three kills during the decisive run.
With Zimmerman serving, Creighton went on a 9-0 run in the second set for a 14-7 lead. Megan Ballenger had three kills during that stretch.
And in the third set, CU raced to leads of 7-2 and 17-10. Iowa State cut its deficit to 22-19, but the Jays won the final three points.
Creighton improved to 25-5 and became one of three Division I schools with at least 25 wins in each of the past six seasons.
Iowa State (17-12).....22 15 19
Creighton (25-5).........25 25 25
ISU (kills-aces-blocks): Herbst 9-0-0, Schuler 9-0-0, Herrera 7-0-1, Hatch 6-1-0, Rhodes 3-0-0, Mauck 1-0-0, Andersen 0-1-0. Totals 35-2-1.
CU: Davis 15-0-1, Zimmerman 10-2-0, Welty 9-0-0, Hickman 5-0-0, Ballenger 4-0-1, Cole 3-1-0. Witt 0-3-0, Krause 0-1-0. Totals 46-7-2.
Set assists: ISU 30 (Brandt 16, Mauck 12, Enna 2), CU 43 (Cole 38, Zimmerman 2, Nelson 2, Davis 2).