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Courtesy: Scott Bruhn

Volleyball Adds Two Omaha Marian Recruits

OMAHA, Neb. -- A pair of Omaha Marian standouts will continue their volleyball careers at Creighton University, as Bluejay head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth announced the additions of Kate Elman and Ashley Jansen on the opening day of the spring signing period today.

The duo join fall signees Melanie Jereb (Cary, Ill.) and Lauren Smith (Lincoln, Neb.) as newcomers who will be freshmen in the fall and have four years of eligibility at Creighton. Elman and Jansen are expected to compete for playing time as defensive specialists or the libero spot in the fall.

"We're thrilled with the addition of Kate and Ashley," said Booth. "Both of them will be phenomenal additions to our backcourt, both serve receive and defensive-wise. Perhaps more importantly they're great young women that will bring energy to the gym and represent Creighton, the athletic department and themselves, with class and respect."

Elman was a four-year letterwinner at Marian who set a Class A state record for digs in a match (36) and digs per match (13.85) in a season. As a senior, she was named first-team all-State by the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star after totaling 554 digs, 45 aces and 100 assists. She was honored as a special-mention All-American by Volleyball Magazine, and also named to the all-tournament team at the state tournament in 2011.

Jansen averaged 6.2 assists per game as a senior to rank 11th statewide in Class A. Jansen had 25 digs in the state semifinal and 28 more assists in her final match, helping Marian to a third-place finish at state. She shared setting duties with Ohio State-bound Maggie Heim much of her senior year.

Last season, the Crusaders went 34-9 and lost in the state semifinals, but were ranked second in the state and top-50 nationally. Marian's 2009 team finished 29-1 and ranked first in the state, and No. 12 nationally by Prep.com. Both women were coached at Marian by Rochelle Rohlfs.

The 2012 season will mark the 10th straight year that CU will have at least one Marian product on the roster.

Creighton went 17-14 last season and was 12-6 in the MVC. The Bluejays are slated to return five starters in search of a second NCAA Tournament bid in the past three seasons.

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