While there are plenty of short- and long-term projects to tinker with over the next three months for the Creighton volleyball team, there's also a solid base for another successful season.
The Bluejays offered fans a glimpse of what's sturdy and what needs work Friday in their annual Blue-White scrimmage in front of 345 at Sokol Arena.
For the most part, players on the blue team likely will be starters when the regular season begins next week. The Blues won the first two sets 25-20 and 25-22 before their third-set rally fell short in a 27-25 win for the Whites. The blue team won game four 15-11.
Overall, Creighton coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth was pleased with what she saw from a team that begins the season ranked No. 25 after posting a 29-4 record and finishing 24th in 2012.
“I thought the night went well,” Booth said. “I have a long list of things we need to work on before the opener. Some will be a process. Others I think we can get fixed by then.”
Creighton opens the regular season Aug. 30 against No. 13 Brigham Young at the Hampton Inn Invitational in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Bluejays then will face the host Falcons the following day before hosting Northern Colorado, South Florida and California in the Sept. 6-7 Bluejay Invitational.
The highlight of Friday night's scrimmage for Booth was the way the Bluejays flew around the floor on defense. Both sides had 82 digs, including a match-high 19 by Michelle Sicner.
“Defensively on both sides we were flying all over the place,” Booth said. “There are some things we have to shore up offensively, but I like our tenacity.”
The starts to games two and three caused Booth the most concern. The white squad jumped on top 7-0 in the second game and 18-9 in game three.
A kill by Leah McNary — who led all players with 14 kills — gave the Blues their first lead of the second set at 22-21. The blues trailed 12-3 and 20-10 in game three before rallying to tie the score 24-24 and 25-25 before the Whites scored the final two points.
“The white team did a great job of starting fast, but obviously those slow starts are something we'll be working on this week,” Booth said. “We won't win many matches if we dig those kinds of holes.”