WICHITA, Kan. - Wichita State dropped a five-set heartbreaker to conference leader No. 23 Creighton on Friday evening in Charles Koch Arena by scores of 25-22, 25-15, 16-25, 20-25, 14-16.
Ashley Andrade's 13 kills anchored Wichita State with Emily Adney and Ashlyn Driskill adding 10 each. Chelsey Feekin added 41 assists and 30 digs for WSU.
Megan Bober led five Bluejays with double digit kills with 14, including five in the fifth set to secure the victory.
In the first set Wichita State scored five points in a row and opened up a six-point advantage, 13-7, getting three consecutive kills from Adney. The Shockers maintained a steady three-point advantage until a ball-handling error from WSU got the visiting Bluejays within one, 21-20. Wichita State regained momentum and won four of the final six points of the set including the game-winning kill from Feekin. Andrade and Feekin led Wichita State with four kills each with Feekin and Kelsey Banwart adding four digs for WSU.
Another fast start to the second set allowed Wichita State to dictate the flow of action forcing Creighton into an early timeout after Elizabeth Field's kill gave the Shockers a 6-2 lead. The timeout did little to halt the Shocker momentum as Creighton was forced to use their second and final timeout after a kill by freshman Katie Reilly and an attack error from the Jays on consecutive plays capped a 5-2 run to give the Shockers a 16-8 lead. Creighton would get no closer than seven the rest of the way. Wichita State finished the set on a 7-3 run punctuated by Adney's kill to end it. Field and Andrade each had four kills to lead WSU. The Shockers outhit the Bluejays .433-.091 in the set.
It was a reversal of fortunes in the third set as Creighton charged out to a 6-2 lead on a Megan Bober kill. The Bluejays later extended their advantage to 15-7, finishing a 7-1 run after WSU had cut the lead to 8-6 on a kill by Adney. Creighton won five of the final eight points of the set to close the Shocker lead to 2-1. Bober led Creighton with four kills including the set clincher. Three kills from Field paced Wichita State, who was held to a hitting percentage of .000.
Creighton got a service ace from Katie Nesler to push the Bluejays to a 10-6 lead midway through the fourth set. Following Nesler's ace the Shockers put together a 5-1 run with a pair of kills from Sam Sanders, who returned after missing the past three games with an injury, to even the set, 11-11, forcing a Creighton timeout. Out of the timeout Creighton scored dour consecutive points to regain and extend the lead, 15-11. Wichita State was unable to close any closer than three as Creighton forced a fifth and decisive set on a block assist by Kelli Browning and Leah McNary. McNary had four kills for Creighton while Ashlyn Driskill led Wichita State with four kills as well.
With momentum critically in Creighton's favor heading into the fifth set Wichita State head coach Chris Lamb was able to gather his team as the Shockers raced out to a 5-2 lead on a pair of kills by Reilly. Creighton closed the Shocker lead to one, 5-4, before Wichita State went on a 5-2 run to gain a 10-6 advantage. The Bluejays scored three of the next four points prompting Lamb to use his first time out clinging to a two-point lead, 11-9. Creighton continued their comeback tying the set, 13-13, on consecutive kills by Bober. Wichita State regained the lead, 14-13, and served for the match but was unable to capitalize as Creighton won the final three points to secure the set and match.
Wichita State closes out regular season play at home tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. with a visit from Drake. The Shockers will then move on to play in the opening round of the MVC Championship, Thu., Nov. 22 in Springfield, Mo.