The No. 21 Creighton volleyball team was pushed to end during the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday in Lawrence, Kansas.
In the end, the Bluejays picked up their 21st straight victory, defeating former Missouri Valley Conference rival Northern Iowa 25-16, 25-20, 24-26, 14-25, 15-12 to advance to Friday's second round.
Creighton (27-6) will play No. 4 Kansas, a straight-set winner over Samford, at 6:30 p.m. A victory would send the Jays to their second straight Sweet 16.
Jaali Winters set a school record for kills in an NCAA Tournament match with 24. Junior and Lincoln Southwest graduate Marysa Wilkinson had 18 kills and Taryn Kloth added 12.
Senior and Lincoln Pius X graduate Lauren Smith had six kills and nine blocks.
Northern Iowa rallied by winning the third and fourth sets. The Bluejays jumped to a 3-0 lead in the fifth, and after Northern Iowa tied it at 7-7, Kloth had back-to-back kills for the Jays.
Then Wilkinson had two straight kills to break a 10-10 tie. Smith and Megan Ballenger teamed up for a block to clinch the win.