DePaul volleyball gets swept by Creighton to end Big East play


Marquette Athletics

DePaul freshman Hanna Karl goes to serve the ball in the Blue Demons’ match against Marquette.

DePaul’s women’s volleyball team fell on the road to No. 23 Creighton twice in their Big East regular season finale series on Friday and Saturday morning. 

DePaul (3-5, 3-5) was tied with No. 23 Creighton (6-2, 3-1) for second place in the Midwest division going into series and needed to win at least one of the two matches to remain in prime position for a spot in the Big East tournament, awarded to the top two teams in the division. 

Instead, DePaul fell short, losing both Friday’s match in five sets and Saturday’s match in a straight-sets defeat. For the Blue Demons, Creighton has been a historically unbeatable force and following the weekend’s sweep, DePaul is now 0-16 all-time against them. 

On Friday, though, DePaul nearly pulled off the upset. The Blue Demons lost the first set 18-25 but rallied to win the second and third sets with a consistent onslaught of attacks, winning first 25-19, and then 25-20. 

Creighton stymied DePaul’s momentum in the fourth set however, as they took advantage of DePaul’s worst sequence of the season, taking it 25-11. When it came to the final set, the Blue Demons were still in shambles and faltered, losing the set 9-15 and the match 2-3. 

DePaul sophomore Bailey Nelson and junior Allison Denneman led the Blue Demons with nine kills each. Junior Donna Brown led the front-line in blocks with four while freshman Phoenix Lee had 21 assists for DePaul in the loss. 

Crieghton sophomores Ally Van Eekeren and Keeley Davis showed up big for the Bluejays, with Van Eekeren leading with 29 assists and Davis dominating with 17 kills on 40 attacks. 

While Creighton pulled out the victory in five sets, they did not play their most crisp game. Serving was a big advantage for DePaul who beat Creighton in aces 7-2, and only committed two service errors in comparison to Creighton’s abominable 13.

Blocks and kills helped Creighton, who had a tremendous height advantage over DePaul’s front line, greatly in their victory as the Bluejays had six more blocks and 17 more kills than DePaul. 

The two met again Saturday morning on Creighton’s senior day. It was another opportunity for Creighton coach Kirsten Booth to extend her winning streak against DePaul and its coach, Marie Zidek, as well as send her seniors out with a statement win. 

DePaul had a far more difficult time hanging with Crieghton in their second match as Creighton made quick work of the Blue Demons to secure the sweep in a seamless domination. 

After scoring the first point of the first set, DePaul never had the lead again until the very beginning of the third set where they only held it briefly before losing it again. DePaul never led by more than a single point in any set throughout the match Saturday.  

Creighton took the first set, 25-22, the second set, 25-20, and the final set, 25-13. DePaul’s size advantage was exploited as Crieghton out-blocked DePaul 15-2 and had a kill advantage of 47-31. Creighton junior Jaela Zimmerman aided in their victory with 13 kills on 27 attacks. 

DePaul freshman Rachel Krasowski led the Blue Demons in digs with 10. Additionally, junior Meredith Wallace, who did not play in Friday’s match, led DePaul in kills with eight, on a day where no Blue Demons reached double-figures in scoring. 

Following the sweep, DePaul fell back down to second-to-last in the Big East standings for the Midwest division while No. 23 Creighton ascended to first place, following an upset loss for No. 24 Marquette (9-3, 4-2) at the hands of Butler (4-6, 1-3).