Nov. 9 5:00 pm Indiana State at #25 Creighton (1180 AM) Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)
Nov. 10 6:00 pm Illinois State at #25 Creighton (1290 AM) Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)
No. 25 Creighton Volleyball (22-3, 13-1 MVC) continues the chase for its first MVC title in program history when it hosts Indiana State (3-21, 1-13 MVC) and Illinois State (14-10, 8-6 MVC) in its final two regular-season home matches of the fall.
Friday’s match vs. the Sycamores has been moved up to a 5 pm start to avoid a conflict with Creighton’s men’s basketball season-opener two hours later.
Saturday’s contest vs. the Redbirds is set for a 6 pm start. Megan Bober, Brooke Boggs, Brittany Moon, Heather Thorson, Natalie Hackbarth and manager Brittany Wing will be honored after the match as part of Senior Night festivities.
Both contests will be held at D.J. Sokol Arena (2,500) in Omaha, Neb.
Both Creighton matches this weekend will air on Omaha radio.
Friday’s match will air on KZOT (1180 AM), with Brad Burwell and Erin Swanson on the call. That match will be streamed free of charge on the internet at http://www.1180zone2.com and clicking on the Listen Live button on the right side of the page.
Saturday's’s match will air on KOIL (1290 AM), with Brad Burwell and Amanda Cvejdlik on the call. That match will be streamed free of charge on
the internet at www.mighty1290koil.com and clicking on the Listen Live
Saturday’s match will be televised by Cox 2 and carried in Omaha. Jon Schriner and Erin Swanson will handle announcing duties. A replay of the match will also be available On DEMAND in the “Freezone” section of Cox Channel 1.
Both matches this weekend will be video webcast. To sign up, visit www.gocreighton.com and click on the Live Video tab on the top of the page. A 4-month subscription costs $34.95, while a monthly subscription costs $10.95 per month.
Fans can also purchase a 24-hour pass ($4.99) or a 48-hour pass ($5.99) that begins the moment you sign up.
Live Stats Information
Both matches this weekend will have free live stats. Visit www.gocreighton.com and click on the Live Stats graphic at the top of the page for the exact link.
Live stats from all Creighton home events are also available on your mobile phone by clicking on www.gocreightonstats.com.
Scouting No. 25 Creighton
Creighton (22-3, 13-1 MVC) has set a school-record with 10 straight wins and owns a 1.5 game lead in the MVC standings with four matches to play. Ranked for the first time in program history this week, the Jays are coming off a huge road weekend where it defeated Bradley (3-1) on Friday night, then snapped Northern Iowa’s 34-match home win streak in MVC play in five sets on Saturday evening.
Creighton’s has won seven matches against NCAA Tournament qualifiers from a year ago (Tulsa, Northern Colorado, Ball State, Wichita State, Missouri State once and Northern Iowa twice), and its only losses have come to Kansas State, Kansas and Southern Illinois.
Two-time First-Team All-MVC pick Megan Bober (9.74 aps., 3.01 dps., 1.82 kps., 0.95 bps., .300%) is coming off back-to-back triple-doubles and in line for All-America honors for the second time in three seasons. She was the lone Bluejay to earn Preseason All-MVC accolades this fall, has started all 120 matches in a Creighton uniform, and is the team’s active leader in assists, blocks, digs, kills and aces.
Creighton’s leading attackers have been sophomores Leah McNary (2.97 kps., .234%) and Kelli Browning (2.83 kps., 1.66 bps., .396%). McNary owns 10 or more kills in 11 of CU’s last 17 matches, while Browning tied an MVC record with 15 block assists vs. Tulsa (Sept. 8th) and ranks fourth in the nation in blocking.
Creighton’s freshman class is also making an impact, as Kate Elman (5.00 dps.), Ashley Jansen (2.22 dps.), Melanie Jereb (2.39 kps., 2.90 dps.) and Lizzy Stivers (0.17 saps.) own 60 of the team’s 118 aces thus far.
As a team, Creighton averages 13.43 kills, 1.27 aces, 17.54 digs and 3.05 blocks per set while hitting .253.
Scouting Indiana State
Indiana State is 3-21 this season, including 11 straight losses since a 3-1 victory over Bradley on Sept. 21st. ISU has also beaten Butler and Chicago State this fall.
Shea Doran is fifth in the MVC and leads ISU with 3.42 kills per set, while also hitting a team-high .232. Christie Fullenkamp owns 153 kills this season (2.35 kps.), while Molly Murphy (1.94 kps.) is another top offensive option.
Loni Mackinson (7.58 aps.) has seen most of the action at setter recently, while Ashlen Buck leads ISU with 3.61 digs per set.
As a team, ISU averages 11.45 kills, 1.23 aces, 13.62 digs and 1.64 blocks per set while hitting .169.
Scouting Illinois State
Illinois State is 14-10 on the season, which includes an 8-6 MVC mark. The Redbirds suffered a tough five-set loss last Friday vs. Missouri State before toppling Wichita State in four sets on Saturday evening.
Freshman Ashley Rosch (3.15 kps., 3.05 dps.) is one of the league’s best freshmen and tops the squad in kills. Also averaging multiple kills per set are Shannon McLaughlin (2.36), Brooklyn Hlafka (2.27) and Stacey Niao (2.22).
Leigh Ann Hranka (1.36 bps., 2.10 kps., 0.23 saps.) tops the club in blocks per set, while libero Jenny Menendez (5.17 dps.) leads the team in digs.
Illinois State averages 12.67 kills, 1.30 aces, 17.13 digs and 2.63 blocks per set while hitting .188 as a team.
Creighton is coached by Kirsten Bernthal Booth (Truman State, 1997), who owns a 180-118 record in her 10th season with the Bluejays. She became the program’s all-time winningest coach on Aug. 25, 2007 with a 3-0 win over Stephen F. Austin and joined the 100-win club with an Oct. 31, 2008 win at Drake. She was named the 2010 CVU.com National Coach of the Year after leading Creighton to the second round during its first NCAA Tournament appearance.
Booth came to Creighton after going 112-41 in three years at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A native of Lincoln, Neb., Booth played volleyball at Truman State, where she was named conference MVP, an Academic All-American and Missouri’s 1997 NCAA Woman of the Year. She ranked third in Division II history with 6,077 assists when she graduated.
Booth is helped by assistant coaches Tom Mendoza and Angie Oxley Behrens and volunteer assistant Amanda (Gates) Sjuts.
Traci Dahl (Long Beach State, 1997) is 43-106 in her fifth year at Indiana State, which also doubles as her career mark. Dahl had been an assistant at Cal State Fullerton and Hofstra before coming to Terre Haute. As a player, Dahl was an All-American middle blocker and a member of Long Beach State’s 1993 national championship team. She is assisted by Nicole Wilson.
Melissa Myers (Juniata College, 1998) owns a 79-70 record in her fifth season at Illinois State. That moves her 11-year career record as a head coach to 240-119 when you include her six years at California (Pa.). Myers is assisted by Eric Plunkett and Victoria Brown.
Series History vs. Indiana State
Creighton is 29-9 all-time against Indiana State, including a 14-4 record in Omaha. Creighton has won the past 15 meetings in the series, which includes 14 sweeps in that time. The team to win the first set has won the past 17 meetings.
The Jays’ 29 wins against the Sycamores matches its most against any opponent (Southern Illinois).
ISU has been swept each of its last eight trips to Omaha. The Sycamores last won a set at Creighton on Nov. 15, 2003. Kirsten Bernthal Booth is 16-3 all-time against Indiana State and 9-0 against Traci Dahl.
Series History vs. Illinois State
Though Illinois State leads the all-time series with Creighton by a 25-16 margin, it’s been mostly Bluejays of late. The Jays have won 13 of the past 15 meetings in the series since snapping an 11-match losing streak to the ‘Birds in 2006.
Creighton’s five-match win streak in the series came to an end at the 2011 MVC Tournament, when the Redbirds won 3-1 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Jays avenged that defeat with a 3-0 sweep in Normal last month, CU’s first sweep in 41 all-time meetings vs. ISU.
Creighton has won six straight home matches vs. the Redbirds, each by an identical 3-1 score. Kirsten Bernthal Booth is 11-9 against Illinois State and 6-2 versus Melissa Myers.
Last Weekend Summary
Creighton ran its school-record win streak to 10 with road wins at Bradley (3-1) and Northern Iowa (3-2) last weekend. Megan Bober had triple-doubles in both matches, while freshmen Kate Elman (46 digs) and Melanie Jereb (29 kills) led the defense and offense, respectively.
Television Turns Out
Saturday’s match is the third and final telecast on Cox 2 this season, the most in any season under Kirsten Bernthal Booth.
CU’s Sept. 19 match at Kansas was the first to air, while the second contest was CU’s Sept. 25 win over South Dakota.
Saturday’s contest vs. South Dakota will be the Jays 13th television appearance under Booth. The Jays are 4-8 in 12 previous appearances on the small screen under Booth.
Creighton Volleyball on Television, Since 2003
Date Opponent TV Coverage W-L
09/23/03 at UMKC Mediacom W 3-1
10/11/05 at #1 Nebraska Time Warner L 0-3
11/09/07 at Missouri State Mediacom W 3-1
11/10/07 at #24 Wichita State Cox Wichita L 0-3
10/05/08 at #2 Nebraska NET/CBSCS L 0-3
10/03/09 Missouri State NET-HD L 0-3
10/23/10 at #14 Northern Iowa Mediacom L 0-3
11/27/10 at #11 Northern Iowa FSN Midwest L 1-3
09/08/11 at #11 Nebraska NET-HD L 0-3
11/03/11 Wichita State Cox/Kansas 22 W 3-2
09/19/12 at Kansas MetroSports/Cox L 2-3
09/25/12 South Dakota Cox 2 W 3-1
Only two freshmen in the Missouri Valley Conference are averaging at least 2.25 kills and 2.25 digs per set, Creighton’s Melanie Jereb (2.39 kps., 2.90 dps.) and Illinois State’s Ashley Rosch (3.15 kps., 3.05 dps.).
A year ago at this time, Jereb and Rosch were prep teammates at Cary-Grove (Ill.) High School, part of a team that was state runner-up and also won the 2010 and 2011 AAU Junior National Championships at the club level.
Creighton has won 10 straight matches heading into Friday’s contest vs. Indiana State. That figure is the longest in program history.
Wins Dates Snapped By
10 Sept. 29, 2012-Pres. ? ? ?
8 Oct. 25-Nov. 22, 2008 vs. Northern Iowa, 3-2
7 Sept. 4-Sept. 17, 2004 Illinois State, 3-0
6 Sept. 21-Oct. 6, 2007 Wichita State, 3-0
6 Sept. 1-15, 2012 at Kansas, 3-2
Senior Day Saturday
Creighton will honor senior players Megan Bober, Brooke Boggs, Brittany Moon and Heather Thorson, senior manager Brittany Wing, and junior Natalie Hackbarth prior to Saturday’s match as part of Senior Day festivities.
Hailing from Murdock, Neb., Bober is a two-time all-MVC pick and will be remembered as one of the all-time greats in Bluejay history. She leads all active players in kills, digs, assists, blocks and aces, and has tied a school record with 120 starts. She was named Honorable-Mention All-American as a sophomore and last year honored as Creighton’s top female athlete.
Boggs has played in 116 career matches as a defensive specialist. She owns 870 career digs and 55 aces, and came up big with a career-best 24 digs in last Saturday’s win at UNI. Boggs was recently honored with the MVC’s Service & Leadership Award.
Moon hasn’t yet played this season due to lingering knee issues, but has remained involved in the program nonetheless. She’s played in 21 matches in her career, owning 10 digs and two assists in that time. She was named the squad’s Most Inspirational Player after the 2011 season.
Thorson has played in 108 matches in her career, amassing 633 kills and 310 blocks in her career. The Mead, Neb., native has started CU’s last 75 matches and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Northern Colorado Classic earlier this fall. She has been named to the MVC Academic Honor Roll after each of the previous three years.
Hackbarth is just a junior, but will graduate in the spring and is not expected to return. She owns 143 kills and 158 digs while serving as an outside hitter the past three years. She was named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week once in 2011, when she started 16 matches, and remains one of the team’s vocal leaders.
Over the last four years, Creighton has gone 74-46, made the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance, set a school record for consecutive wins and wins in a season, and is on the verge of the school’s first MVC title as well. The quintet has combined for 4,194 assists, 2,190 digs, 1,569 kills, 733 blocks and 148 aces.
Creighton plays its final two home matches of the season this weekend when Indiana State and Illinois State visit Omaha. The Jays, who are currently 7-0 in league play at D.J. Sokol Arena, can close out their first 9-0 MVC home slate if it can extend the program’s record nine-match home win streak.
Creighton has swept the Sycamores each of the last eight Omaha meetings, and also owns six straight home wins over Illinois State, all by a 3-1 margin.
Records Continue To Fall
There’s a reason it seems as if with every Creighton victory, another record or two goes by the wayside. Among the marks that Creighton set or extended last week were wins in a season (22), consecutive wins (10), consecutive MVC wins (10).
Creighton is also in the midst of a program-record nine match win streak at home.
Creighton leads the MVC with a 13-1 league record, just ahead of second place Northern Iowa (12-3) and third place Wichita State (11-4).
With two wins this weekend, Creighton can clinch at least a share of its first MVC title in program history.
Creighton can also clinch a quarterfinal round bye with two victories.
Vote For CU
Creighton moved into the national rankings for the first time in program history on Monday, as it jumped to sports to move into the No. 25 spot in the poll.
Prior to this season, Creighton had only received votes in the AVCA poll once, in the year-end 2010 poll when it got three points after an NCAA Tournament victory.
This is the ninth different week this season that Creighton has received at least two votes for the top-25, and 10th time overall in school history when you count the 2010 appearance among those “also receiving votes”.
With men’s soccer and men’s basketball both ranked No. 16 nationally this week, it marks the first time in the history of Creighton Athletics that three different teams are in the top-25 at the same time.
Creighton in the AVCA Poll, All-Time
Date Votes Received Rank
12/21/10 3 36th
08/27/12 2 T-38th
09/10/12 7 T-36th
09/17/12 34 32nd
09/24/12 14 33rd
10/08/12 2 T-37th
10/15/12 22 32nd
10/22/12 35 28th
10/29/12 31 27th
11/05/12 80 25th
Some Serious Streaks
Creighton owns a 10-match win streak heading into the weekend, while also owning a nine-match home win streak. Through matches of Nov. 4th, here’s where those streaks rank nationally according to RichKern.com.
Longest Active Home Win Streaks
23 Florida State
19 North Carolina
19 Penn State
16 Miami (Fla.)
12 Morehead State
11 San Diego State
10 Idaho State
Longest Active Win Streaks
20 Morehead State
20 Western Kentucky
16 Jackson State
15 LIU Brooklyn
13 Sam Houston State
10 Maryland Eastern Shore
10 Notre Dame
Swiss Army Knife Megan Bober’s versatility was back on display last weekend, as the senior setter had consecutive triple-doubles in wins at Bradley and Northern Iowa. Bober had 45 assists, 12 digs and 11 kills at Bradley on Friday night, then added 47 assists, 14 digs and 10 kills one night later at Northern Iowa.
Bober now owns 13 career triple-doubles, second-most in league history to 2009, 2010 and 2011 MVC Player of the Year Bre Payton (UNI). Payton is also the only other MVC player to own multiple seasons of four or more triple-doubles in a career.
Bober can become the first player in Creighton with three straight triple-doubles if she does it against Indiana State on Friday.
Digging Like Crazy
Northern Iowa put senior Brooke Boggs to the test, and the senior from Wildwood, Mo., came through with a career-high effort last Saturday. Boggs digged a career-best 24 balls in CU’s 3-2 win, seven more than her previous high.
It marked the third time in her career that Boggs has led Creighton in digs during a match.
Boggs was honored on Nov. 5th with the MVC Leadership & Service Award. The award, given to one fall athlete per league school, honors student-athletes in good academic standing who demonstrate good citizenship through good sportsmanship and significant community service.
Boggs owns a 3.911 GPA in Health Administration and Policy, has been a member of the Dean’s List all six semesters in college, and has volunteered in more than a dozen community service activities.
Big Block, No Errors
Creighton has excelled in three areas in 2012, blocking the opposition, finishing with a good hitting percentage, and minimizing its attack errors. Creighton has outblocked its opponent in 24-of-25 matches this season and owned a better hitting percentage in 23-of-25 matches. In addition, Creighton has yet to have more attack errors than an opponent in 25 matches to date.
Creighton had 12 kills and hit .462 the fifth set of Saturday’s win at UNI. It was the first time since Sept. 17, 2011 that the Jays didn’t have an attack error in a set. It was just the sixth set since Kirsten Bernthal Booth took over (of 1,098 sets played to date) that the Jays didn’t have an attack error.
Creighton also didn’t have any errors (blocking, serving, attacking, ball handling, set) at all in that fifth set, a first since Booth was hired.
A pair of Creighton standouts are nearing school records, and could hit their mark this weekend. Megan Bober has played in 449 career sets, two shy of the record held by Jessica Houts (2005-09).
Bober is currently tied for the school record with 120 career starts, currently held by Allie Oelke. Kelli Browning enters the weekend with 143 block assists this season, 11 shy of the record set by Houts in 2009.
Browning is also 16 total blocks shy of the season record set by Ashley Williams in 2003.
Getting Better & Better
As Creighton nears its 300th match (Saturday) under Kirsten Bernthal Booth, it continues to thrive under her direction.
Below is a look at Creighton’s record under Booth in 50-match segments.
Match # W-L Opponent Date Result
50 25-25 Missouri State 10/22/04 L 0-3
100 56-44 So. Illinois 09/16/06 W 3-1
150 88-62 vs. So. Illinois 11/23/07 W 3-1
200 115-85 at Missouri St. 10/30/09 L 0-3
250 143-107 at #11 Nebraska 09/08/11 L 0-3
298 180-118 at Northern Iowa 11/03/12 W 3-2
Triple-Double, No Errors Megan Bober had one of her most remarkable triple-doubles on Oct. 6 vs. Bradley, finishing with 14 kills, 30 assists and 13 digs.
Her 14 kills were the most by a Bluejay setting in a 5-1 system in program history.
Remarkably, she tied a career-high by hitting .636 in the match, as she finished without an error in 22 swings.
Bober’s .636 hitting is tied for eighth-best in CU history for a single-match (minimum 12 kills) and was the best mark ever by a player who recorded a triple-double, eclipsing the .625 by Kailey Reyes at UMKC on Oct. 28, 2001.
It was also the best mark in CU history by any player for a four-set match at the time, since surpassed by Kelli Browning (.684) vs. Southern Illinois on Oct. 27.
Seven of Creighton’s wins this year have come against 2011 NCAA Tournament teams in Ball State, Tulsa, Northern Colorado, Missouri State, Wichita State and Northern Iowa (twice).
The Jays are now 7-1 against NCAA Tournament teams from 2011. That sets a program record for wins against NCAA qualifiers, as the 2008 squad that was 6-8 vs. 2007 NCAA qualifiers.
Year W-L vs. Previous Season NCAA Teams
TOTAL Under Booth 30-59
Creighton owns just 12 home matches in the last eight years in which it has 90 digs or more, but the Jays have reached that figure in each of Illinois State’s last seven trips to town.
Since 2005, Creighton has averaged 24.21 digs in those 29 sets played in Omaha against Illinois State. At all sites, Creighton has 1,497 digs in 70 sets versus the Redbirds since 2005 (21.39 dps.).
Creighton’s season-high for digs at home has come against Illinois State in four of the last six seasons. This year’s current home season high of 86 digs came vs. Evansville on Oct. 26.
The Redbirds will make their annual trip to Omaha on Saturday.
Illinois State at Creighton, Previous Seven Years
Date Sets CU Digs ISU Digs
09/30/11 4 92 79
10/30/10 4 90 93
10/23/09 4 92 88
11/08/08 4 106 102
09/28/07 4 114 108
10/28/06 4 111 92
10/21/05 5 97 95
Most Creighton Digs, Home Matches, Since 2005
Digs Opponent Date CU Result
114 Illinois State 09/28/07 W 3-1
111 Illinois State 10/28/06 W 3-1
106 Illinois State 11/08/08 W 3-1
103 Northern Iowa 09/17/05 L 1-3
101 Iowa 09/02/06 L 2-3
97 Illinois State 10/21/05 L 2-3
94 Missouri State 10/08/10 W 3-2
94 Wichita State 11/04/11 W 3-2
92 Illinois State 10/23/09 W 3-1
92 Illinois State 09/30/11 W 3-1
91 #25 Wichita State 10/02/09 W 3-1
90 Illinois State 10/30/10 W 3-1
Records Go Down
Creighton Volleyball continues to set numerous historical marks at an astounding pace.
Creighton’s nine straight home wins are a program record.
Creighton’s Longest Home Win Streaks
Wins Dates Snapped By
9 Sept. 1, 2012 - Present ? ? ?
8 Sept. 25-Nov. 20, 2010 Northern Illinois, 3-0
7 Oct. 17, 2008-Aug. 28, 2009 #10 Illinois, 3-0
6 Oct. 22, 2005-Sept. 2, 2006 Iowa, 3-2
Creighton has also tied a program record with 10 home victories, originally set by the 2009 club.
Most Home Victories, Season
Home Record Year
Creighton also tied the program record for wins in the month of October with seven, previously done in 2004, 2008 and 2010.
Most October Victories, Season
October Record Year
Creighton also completed the program’s third undefeated month ever (7-0), something previously done only in August of 2006 (3-0) and August of 2012 (4-0).
Undefeated Months, CU History
Undefeated Months Month, Year
7-0 October, 2012
4-0 August, 2012
3-0 August, 2006
Creighton has also now reached the 20-win milestone for the fourth time in program history. The 2006, 2007 and 2010 teams all won exactly 21 matches.
Matches Won, Season
Year MP W L Pct.
1. 2012 25 22 3 .880
2. 2006 31 21 10 .677
2007 31 21 10 .677
2010 33 21 12 .636
5. 2008 27 18 9 .667
2004 29 18 11 .621
Top Offense and Defense
Creighton ranks first in the MVC in opponent hitting percentage at .143, and also first in overall hitting percentage at .253.
Only four teams have hit .200 or better against Creighton this year, and none have hit better than .232.
CU is on pace to limit the opposition below .200 for the seventh straight campaign.
Defense Getting It Done
Creighton held Drake to -.060 hitting in an Oct. 20th match in Des Moines, the fifth-lowest mark ever by a Bluejay opponent. Creighton won the fifth set 25-11 despite just six Bluejay kills, which tied a season-low for any set.
That was possible thanks in part to forcing the Bulldogs into 17 attack errors in the third set alone. The 17 attack errors in one set tie the mark by a Bluejay opponent previously done by Indiana State on Oct. 14, 2000.
Lowest Opponent Hitting Pct. vs. CU, Match
Pct. Team K E TA Date
-.112 Jacksonville State 18 27 80 09/05/08
-.108 UMKC 19 27 74 09/15/96
-.086 Drake 15 23 93 09/22/06
-.067 Weber State 19 25 90 09/09/11
-.060 Drake 24 31 117 10/20/12
-.044 Montana State 15 19 90 08/25/07
-.024 Indiana State 29 32 125 10/24/09
Most Attack Errors vs. Creighton, Set
KE Team (Set) K TA Pct. Date
17 Indiana State (3) 33 93 .172 10/14/00
17 Drake (3) 7 39 -.256 10/20/12
16 Boise State (2) 12 50 -.080 09/04/99
15 Drake (3) 10 43 -.116 10/21/06
15 Southern Illinois (1) 15 40 .000 11/07/97
Saturday’s match-up in Omaha features the top two blocking teams in the MVC.
In all matches, Creighton leads the MVC with 3.05 stuffs per set, with Illinois State close behind at 2.78 blocks per set.
In league play only, Creighton averages 3.12 blocks per set while the Redbirds are second with 2.78 bps. Kelli Browning (1.58 bps.) leads the MVC in blocking during league play, with ISU’s LeighAnn Hranka (1.42 bps.) and Emily Schneider (1.18 bps.) close behind.
MVC Haul Continues
The MVC has honored Megan Bober and Melanie Jereb for their play last week while helping Creighton Volleyball to wins at Bradley and Northern Iowa. Bober is the MVC Player of the Week, while Jereb is the MVC Freshman of the Week. This is the third such honor this season for both women, and Bober’s sixth career MVC Player of the Week honor, fourth-most in league history.
Bober had a pair of triple-doubles and averaged 10.22 assists, 2.89 digs, 2.33 kills, 0.56 blocks and 0.22 aces per set while hitting .321. For the season, Bober remains the nation’s only player to average at least 9.50 assists, 0.90 blocks and 1.50 kills per set.
Jereb had a pair of double-doubles, averaging 3.22 kills and 3.44 digs on .300 hitting last week.
Finally Over .500
Since restarting its program in 1994, Creighton owns a 273-270 record. The Jays won their first match of that 1994 season, then proceeded to lose their next nine matches, and hadn’t been above the overall .500 mark since until winning on October 27th vs. Southern Illinois.
CU’s “low” point came on Nov. 15, 2003, when the Jays lost to drop to 103-169 and fall 66 matches below .500. Since then, Creighton has gone 170-101.
Creighton reached the midpoint of league play with an 8-1 record, the school’s best mark at the turn ever. Five Bluejay teams previously had started 7-2, most recently in the 2010 season that saw the Jays reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Creighton has matched or exceeded its first half Valley record in four of the previous five seasons during the second half of league play, going 6-3 or better each of those seasons. CU is currently 5-0 in the second half of league play.
Race To Midpoint = Regular Season Champ?
Since the inclusion of women’s sports under the Valley umbrella in 1992, teams that have reached the midpoint of the season with at least a share of first-place have gone on to claim at least a share of the regular-season championship in 18 of 19 seasons. The lone exception was the 1996 Drake team that started the season 9-0, finished in second place at 16-2, a game behind Illinois State (17-1).
This year Creighton and UNI were the midpoint leaders at 8-1. The Panthers have been the leader/co-leader at the midpoint 11 previous times, and each time UNI has won the regular-season title. Creighton has never previously been the leader at the midpoint of the league race.
Since 1992, no team has captured the MVC conference race with more than two league losses.
Creighton’s 13-1 start is the best in program history for MVC play. In the last 14 years, 18-of-22 teams to start 8-1 or better in league play have gone on to reach the NCAA Tournament.
In those same 14 seasons, teams that were in first place at the turn reached the NCAA in 15-of-17 scenarios.
Thorson Passes 300 Stuffs
Senior Heather Thorson enters this week with 310 career blocks, becoming the ninth player in school history with 300 or more stuffs.
Thorson has also put together her third consecutive season with 90 or more blocks, something only JoDe Cieloha, Laurel Sanford, Kelly Goc or Sarah Beulke have done previously in Bluejay history.
Bober Seeks Rare Double Megan Bober enters this weekend with 4,063 career assists and 1,032 career digs. She is the fourth player in school history with at least 1,000 digs and 1,000 career assists, joining Kailey Reyes (1,258 digs, 4,207 assists), Melissa Weisensee (1,223d/4,018a) and Korie Lebeda (1,130d/5,281a).
Bober’s career totals of 4,063 assists, 1,032 digs, 763 kills and 386 blocks make her the first player in MVC history with at least 4,000 assists, 1,000 digs, 750 kills and 350 career blocks.
Bober Earns Defensive Honor
Senior setter Megan Bober was named MVC Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 29th, the first time she’s won that award.
Bober averaged 11.57 assists, 4.14 digs, 1.57 blocks and 1.57 kills last week. She had 43 assists and a career-high 19 digs in the Oct. 26 win over Evansville, adding four kills and two blocks. On Oct. 27th, Bober approached the ultra-rare quadruple-double with 38 assists, 10 digs, nine blocks and seven kills on .263 hitting.
Probable Starter Megan Bober has started all 120 matches of her career since the beginning of the 2009 season. Those 120 starts match the school-record for starts currently held by Allie Oelke.
History Repeats Itself
Creighton’s 3-1 win over Northern Iowa on Oct. 5 snapped UNI’s remarkable 59-match win streak in MVC play, the second-longest streak in Valley history and 16th longest streak against league opponents in NCAA history.
The Panthers hadn’t lost a regular-season Valley contest since falling to Creighton on Nov. 21, 2008.
Creighton’s win at UNI on Nov. 3rd gave the Jays two wins over the Panthers for the first time in one season ever. It also snapped UNI’s 34-match home win streak in Valley play.
Reversing Another Trend
Creighton’s win on Oct. 5 that snapped UNI’s 59-match regular-season Valley win streak came after the Panthers won the opening set, 25-22.
Before that match, UNI had won its last 74 Valley matches after winning the opening set dating to September 21, 2007. On that magical night, Creighton became the first team to ever overcome an 0-2 deficit in Cedar Falls to beat UNI.
Since the start of 2004, UNI had been 110-1 in regular-season MVC matches when leading a match 1-0 prior to that evening.
Error-Free Volleyball Melanie Jereb combined for 18 kills in 72 swings on Oct. 5-6, and most remarkably, did it without a single attack error.
It was part of Jereb’s remarkable streak of 139 straight attack attempts without an error, ranging from a miscue midway through the first set on Sept. 29 at Evansville until midway through the third set at Illinois State on Oct. 12th.
In her last 15 contests, Jereb owns 143 kills and just 20 attack errors in 504 swings.
Key to Creighton’s success this season is its ability to reduce the amount of errors it has made in all facets of the game.
Creighton has just 379 attack errors in 93 sets this season (4.08), compared to 633 attack errors by its opponents.
When it comes to serve reception, the Jays have been aced just 87 times in 93 sets (0.94).
At the service line, Creighton has just 173 service errors (1.86) and has had more errors than aces in just five of its past 11 matches.
By comparison, last season’s Bluejay team averaged 5.10 attack errors, 1.14 reception errors and 1.82 service errors per set in a 17-14 season. In those same categories, the 2010 team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament averaged 4.90 attack errors, 0.88 reception errors and 1.94 service errors per set in a 21-12 season.
Gutting It Out
Creighton is off to a 22-3 start this season, with nine of those 22 wins being three-set sweeps. Creighton is 9-1 in three-set matches, 11-1 in four-set matches and 2-1 in five-set matches this year.
Creighton’s 3-0 win at Illinois State on Oct. 12 as the first time in 41 meetings that CU swept the Redbirds. It’s 3-0 win at Drake on Oct. 20 was the team’s first sweep in Des Moines since 2003. Creighton put together four straight MVC sweeps for the first time in program history from Oct. 12-26.
Sophomore MB Kelli Browning ranks fourth in the nation with 1.66 blocks per set, and continues to do much of her damage away from home.
In 14 matches away from home this season, Browning averages 1.71 blocks per set and CU averages 3.18 blocks per set as a team.
By comparison, in 11 home matches, Browning averages 1.59 blocks per set and CU averages 2.89 blocks per set as a team.
Jays Have Duo Honored
A pair of Creighton players were honored on Oct. 8 with weekly awards from the Missouri Valley Conference for their work in victories over Northern Iowa and Bradley. Megan Bober was named MVC Player of the Week, while Kate Elman was honored as MVC Freshman of the Week.
Bober hit .475 and averaged a triple-double (32.5 assists, 11.0 kills and 13.5 digs) in the two victories. She led the Jays in kills per set (2.75) and assists per set (8.12) while also providing 3.38 digs, 0.75 blocks and 0.38 aces per set. She opened her week with 35 assists, 14 digs, eight kills, three aces and two blocks in CU’s 3-1 win over Northern Iowa, snapping the Panthers’ 59-match win streak in regular-season league play.
Bober closed her weekend with 14 kills, 30 assists and 13 digs for her 11th career triple-double. She also added four block assists and hit .636 in the match, the seventh-best mark in CU history. Bober had 11 kills in 14 swings and seven digs by intermission, earning the triple-double early in the third set. Bober’s 14 kills and 30 assists both led the team in the match.
Elman averaged 5.38 digs, 0.88 assists and 0.38 aces per set as Creighton limited Northern Iowa and Bradley to combined .144 hitting in a pair of four-set victories. Elman had 25 digs and four assists in Creighton’s 3-1 win over Northern Iowa, snapping UNI’s 59-match regular-season win streak in league play. With Elman spearheading the Bluejay defense, CU held UNI to .136 hitting in the match, its second-lowest mark in 44 meetings. One night later, Elman had 18 digs and tied her career-high with three aces in another 3-1 win.
At the time, it was the second MVC Freshman of the Week honor for Elman.
First of Many?
Just a sophomore, MB Kelli Browning has torn up the MVC this year and is quickly approaching several school records for both a single-season and a career.
Browning is currently hitting at a .396 clip this season and a .351 mark for her career. Creighton’s single-season record stands at .368 by Kelly Goc in 2007. Goc also owns the career mark of .296.
Browning’s 1.66 blocks per set this year is also on pace to shatter a Creighton mark for a single-season, easily outpacing the current mark of 1.48 blocks per set by Ashley Williams in 2003.
For those wondering, the last MVC player to average 1.70 blocks per set in a season was Missouri State’s Sabrina Apker in 2004. The only MVC player to finish a year hitting .397 or better was Wichita State’s Elizabeth Meyers, also in 2005.
Sophomore Kelli Browning has had five or more blocks in 19 of CU’s 25 matches this year, including 10 of the past 12. Her recent streak of six straight matches with five or more blocks was tied for the third-longest streak in program history.
Consecutive Matches, 5 or More Blocks
9 Jessica Houts (Oct. 15-Nov. 19, 2005)
7 Laurel Sanford (Oct. 29-Nov. 24, 2011)
6 Melissa Walsh (Sept. 27-Oct. 16, 1998)
6 Jessica Houts (Sept. 1-10, 2006)
6 Kelli Browning (Sept. 25-Oct. 12, 2012)
5 Ashley Williams (Oct. 3-11, 2003)
5 Laurel Sanford (Oct. 16-30, 2009)
Speaking of Streaks... Kate Elman has an impressive streak of her own going on, having recorded 10 or more digs in all 25 matches this season. That is the third-longest streak in Bluejay history.
Consecutive Matches, 10 or More Digs
43 Janeen Piller, Oct. 10, 2003-Nov. 26, 2004
27 Bianca Rivera, Aug. 24-Nov. 9, 2007
25 Kate Elman, Aug. 24, 2012 - Present
23 Julianne Mandolfo, Sept. 9-Nov. 24, 2011
Midway Mark History
Creighton’s 8-1 record halfway through league play gave the team a winning record at the turn for the ninth time in 10 seasons under Kirsten Bernthal Booth.
League Record by Year
Year 1st Half 2nd Half MVC place
1994 2-8 1-9 T-9th
1995 3-7 3-7 T-7th
1996 2-7 3-6 T-6th
1997 6-3 4-5 T-3rd
1998 2-7 3-6 8th
1999 5-4 4-5 5th
2000 5-4 5-4 T-4th
2001 7-2 5-4 4th
2002 1-8 1-8 T-9th
2003 5-4 4-5 T-5th
2004 5-4 5-4 5th
2005 4-5 6-3 5th
2006 7-2 5-4 4th
2007 7-2 7-2 T-2nd
2008 7-2 8-1 2nd
2009 4-5 6-3 T-4th
2010 7-2 6-3 3rd
2011 6-3 6-3 4th
2012 8-1 5-0 so far ? ? ?
Total 93-80 87-82 --
Creighton hosted a near-capacity crowd of 2,325 fans on Oct. 5 against Northern Iowa, boosting CU’s season average to 1,131 home fans per match. The figure marks the second-largest volleyball crowd in D.J. Sokol Arena history, and was the program’s fifth-largest ever.
That ranks 37th-best nationally this season, and is on pace to be Creighton’s best in any season that hasn’t involved a match at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
Jereb Named MVC Freshman of the Week Melanie Jereb was named MVC Freshman of the Week on Oct. 1st after averaging 2.67 kills, 2.92 digs and 1.00 bocks per set while hitting .304 in three matches. During the week, she had 32 kills and just four attack errors in 92 swings.
She opened her week with 15 digs, four kills and two blocks in a 3-1 win over South Dakota. She then had a double-double in her first career MVC road match, hitting .300 while finishing with 10 kills, 12 digs, four blocks and an ace at Southern Illinois.
Jereb closed out her weekend with 18 kills, eight digs, six blocks and an ace on .349 hitting in a 3-1 win at Evansville. Jereb’s 18 kills were a career-high and the most by a Bluejay freshman against an MVC foe since Allie Oelke in 2007.
This was Jereb’s second weekly honor of the season, also winning the same award on Sept. 17th.
Home Sweet Home
Creighton owns a 38-15 (.717) all-time record in D.J. Sokol Arena, which opened in 2009. Seven of those 15 losses have come against ranked teams. The Jays are a perfect 5-0 in five-set matches in the building.
The Jays have been at their best in the facility during MVC play, where CU is 29-5 (.853). Northern Iowa owns three of those wins, while Missouri State can claim the other two. Against the other seven MVC rivals, Creighton is a perfect 26-0 at D.J. Sokol Arena in Valley action.
Let’s Hear It For The Sophomores
Creighton’s sophomore class earned 41 of Creighton’s 56 kills in its Sept. 25th win over South Dakota. Leah McNary had 20 kills, while classmate Kelli Browning chipped in with a career-best 18 kills. In addition, Michelle Sicner had three kills in the victory.
For the season, CU’s sophomores (which also includes Katie Neisler and Savannah Smith) has been responsible for 636 of the team’s 1,249 kills (50.9 percent).
Jack Of All Trades
Watch Megan Bober play and it’s obvious her importance to Creighton. The senior setter and two-time All-Valley pick leads all active Bluejay players in kills (763), assists (4063), aces (78), digs (1032) and blocks (386).
Bober ranks in the top-10 in CU history in assists, aces and blocks, and is 23 digs away from a spot in the top-10 in digs as well.
Nov. 9 Start Time Changed
Creighton has changed the start time for its Nov. 9 match vs. Indiana State. The Jays and Sycamores will now begin at 5 pm Central at D.J. Sokol Arena.
The move was made to avoid going head-to-head with Creighton men’s basketball’s regular-season opener vs. North Texas, which begins at 7 pm at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
Top 35 RPI
The latest edition of the NCAA RPI was released on Monday, Nov. 5th. Thanks in part to five wins over top-64 foes (No. 42 Wichita State, No. 46 Northern Iowa (twice), No. 63 Tulsa and No. 58 Wisconsin), the Jays are 33rd in this week’s RPI.
Kansas State and Kansas, the first two teams to beat CU this fall, are 11th and 10th, respectively, while Southern Illinois is No. 76.
CU’s schedule is ranked as the No. 93rd-toughest nationally according to RichKern.com.
Indiana State is No. 286 in the RPI rankings, while Illinois State is 103rd.
2-0 Better Than 0-2
Creighton is 177-8 (.957) all-time when leading a match 2-0, including a 119-2 mark under Kirsten Bernthal Booth. They own an 83-4 all-time mark in home matches they lead 2-0 in.
Conversely, the Jays are 6-171 (.034) all-time when trailing a match 0-2, including an 0-58 mark in those home matches. Those six comebacks from down 0-2 are listed below:
Date Opponent Sets 3-5 scores Coach
09/19/97 at Bradley 15-11, 15-13, 15-8 Wallace
10/01/99 at Drake 15-6, 17-15, 15-11 Wallace
09/03/04 vs. Montana 30-20, 30-21, 15-11 Booth
10/15/04 at Bradley 30-22, 30-23, 15-11 Booth
10/15/05 at So. Illinois 30-25, 30-24, 15-8 Booth
09/21/07 at No. Iowa 31-29, 30-26, 15-12 Booth
Freshman Digging Pipeline
Creighton had two freshmen with 20 or more digs on Sept. 19th, as both Kate Elman (21) and Melanie Jereb (20) reached that plateau at Kansas. Believe it or not, it’s the first time since the program’s 1994 reinstatement that two Bluejay freshmen have had 20 or more digs in the same match.
Let’s take a look at how Creighton’s start in 2012 compares to the past two seasons, as well as the 2006 club’s first 25 matches.
Stat 2012 2011 2010 2006*
W-L Thru 25 22-3 15-10 15-10 18-7
Final W-L ? 17-14 21-12 21-10
Tourney Titles 2 0 0 2
Kills/Set 13.43 12.94 13.10 16.45
Hitting % .253 .210 .208 .202
Aces/Set 1.27 1.22 1.31 1.65
Digs/Set 17.54 17.11 18.44 18.12
Blocks/Set 3.05 2.52 2.41 2.63
*sets played to 30 (instead of current 25)
Creighton’s Megan Bober was one of 30 student-athletes who excel both on and off the court and was announced as an initial candidate for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Bober did not reach the finalist list of 10.
Freshman Melanie Jereb had double-doubles in wins vs. both Missouri State (15 kills, 10 digs) and Wichita State (14 kills, 12 digs) on Sept. 14-15, making her the league’s only outside hitter to start with two double-doubles in league play in 2012.
The last Creighton freshman to open her Valley career with consecutive double-doubles was Allie Oelke in 2007, who remains the only player in CU history to be named MVC Freshman of the Year.
Jereb A Past MVC Freshman of the Week Melanie Jereb averaged 3.22 kills, 2.44 digs and 0.89 blocks per set while hitting .338 in wins vs. Missouri State (3-2) and Wichita State (3-1) to earn her MVC Freshman of the Week award on Sept. 17th. She also handled 46 serve receptions without an error, 24 of which the Jays converted directly into a kill.
Jereb recorded her first two collegiate double-doubles in the wins, finishing with 15 kills and 10 digs vs. MSU and 14 kills and 12 digs vs. WSU. Jereb’s 15 kills against Missouri State were a career-high, as were her seven blocks. She served the final three points in CU’s opening set victory, and would end up the match-clinching kill in the fifth set as well. Against the Shockers, Jereb had kills on the final three points of a 25-19 set one victory. She would serve a 4-0 run that gave the Jays a 20-16 lead in the third set and help CU to a 2-1 lead in the match.
Air McNary Leah McNary had a career-best 21 kills in the Sept. 15 win over Wichita State, five more than her previous high.
McNary had seven matches of 10 or more kills a year ago, and has now done it 15 times already this season.
The sophomore from Florida currently owns 10 or more kills in 11 of CU’s last 17 contests.
McNary’s 21 kills made her the first Bluejay with 20 or more kills since Laurel Sanford had 20 on Nov. 20, 2010 vs. Southern Illinois, and were the most since Alicia Runge had 21 kills at Wichita State on Nov. 5, 2010.
McNary is also the first player since Runge in 2010 with two contests of 20 or more kills in the same season.
Hundred in Hand
Creighton head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth owns 180 wins at the helm of the Bluejays. That’s 112 more than the previous record held by Howard Wallace, who went 68-94 as head coach from 1997-2002. Booth surpassed Wallace as the program’s winningest coach on Aug. 25, 2007.
Booth’s win total has come in 10 years and is made even more impressive when you consider the program won 92 games total from 1994-2002.
Working On The Weekend
Picked fourth in the preseason MVC poll, Creighton turned heads with wins over Missouri State (picked second) and Wichita State (picked third) during the first weekend of league play.
It’s just the third time ever that CU has toppled the Bears and Shockers on the same weekend, having also done so in 1997 and in 2010.
This season is also the first time in program history that the Jays have beaten MSU, WSU and UNI in the same campaign.
Creighton tied a school-record by recording 21 blocks in its Sept. 8 win over Tulsa. CU’s 38 block assists matched the high previous set on Sept. 4, 2009 vs. Lipscomb, while its 21 total blocks matched the team’s performance on Sept. 19, 2003 vs. Southern Illinois.
In addition, sophomore MB Kelli Browning set a CU record and tied an MVC record with 15 block assists in a single match. Browning is the fourth player in league history with 15 block assists in a single contest.
Browning Honored By MVC
Sophomore Kelli Browning was named MVC Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 10 after a huge weekend in Colorado. A middle blocker from Waukesha, Wis., Browning earned All-Tournament Team honors at the Northern Colorado Classic after hitting .362 and averaging 2.80 kills, 2.60 blocks and 0.30 aces per set in wins over three NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago.
Browning opened her weekend with a then-career-best eight blocks in a 3-0 win over Ball State, adding four kills an ace, and a dig.
In Saturday (Sept. 8) morning’s match vs. Tulsa, Browning had 11 kills on .276 hitting while adding an ace and a dig. She also tied an MVC record with 15 block assists in a match, easily eclipsing her personal best from one day earlier. Nine of her blocks came against All-American Tyler Henderson, the nation’s leader in kills in 2010 who was forced into 15 attack errors in the match.
Browning closed her weekend with 13 kills, three blocks and .571 hitting against Northern Colorado in a sweep that clinched the Northern Colorado Classic title.
In addition to her MVC record 15 blocks vs. Tulsa on Sept. 8, sophomore Kelli Browning also recorded 11 kills for her first career double-double.
Browning then had her second career double-dip on Sept. 14 vs. Missouri State when she had 16 kills and 11 blocks. Browning had her third double-double at Kansas on Sept. 19, finishing with 15 kills and 11 blocks.
Browning finished her freshman season with 54 kills and 33 blocks in 21 matches played, but already owns 263 kills and 154 blocks after 25 matches in 2012.
Browning owns three matches this season with 10 or more blocks. The only CU player with more than that in one season is Ashley Williams (4 in 2003).
NCAA Stats Are Out
The ninth edition of the NCAA Volleyball statistics were released on November 5th, and Creighton is all over those figures.
Creighton is ranked fifth in blocks per set (3.05), eighth in winning percentage (.880), 33rd in hitting percentage (.253), 28th in digs per set (17.54) and 80th in kills per set (13.43).
Individually, sophomore Kelli Browning is fourth in the country in blocks per set (1.66) and is 13th in hitting percentage (.396). Kate Elman ranks 59th with 5.00 digs per set, a figure that ranks fifth-best among the nation’s freshmen.
Titles x 2
Creighton won the USF Invitational and the Northern Colorado Classic in non-conference play this fall. This is the second time in school history the Jays have won multiple tournaments in the same season, having also done so in 2006 in the team’s last 10-2 start.
MVC Opener Histories
With its Sept. 14 win vs. Missouri State, Creighton improved to 12-7 all-time in Missouri Valley Conference openers, including seven straight wins and a 9-1 record under Kirsten Bernthal Booth. Only Wichita State (9) has a longer active streak of league-opening victories.
In the 11 previous seasons that Creighton has won its MVC opener, it has never finished worse than 9-9 in league play and owns a combined .636 (126-72) winning percentage in MVC action.
In the seven years in which Creighton has lost its MVC opener, the Jays have had a losing record five times and own a combined .315 (41-89) winning percentage during league contests.
How Do You Win The MVC? Start 1-0
When conference play started, all 10 Missouri Valley Conference schools harbored dreams of a regular-season league title.
Since the beginning of the Gateway Conference (which later merged to form the Missouri Valley Conference in 1992) in 1983, no school has ever won the regular-season title after dropping its first league match of the season.
Taking it a step further, the 2008 Missouri State team is the only club to win the MVC Tournament after starting 0-1 in league play.
The only teams to win their 2012 MVC opener were Creighton, Illinois State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois and Wichita State.
Home Losses Are Also Devastating
The 2006 Northern Iowa and 2007 Wichita State teams are the only programs in MVC history to lose a home conference match and still win the regular-season title outright in that same season.
It’s also worth noting that 17 of the last 18 regular-season MVC champions finished the year with one regular-season league loss or fewer. The exception was that 2006 UNI team that was 16-2, with both losses coming against Wichita State.
Every team in the MVC except Creighton has already lost at least one MVC home match this fall.
Triple-Double, With A Twist Megan Bober moved into second-place on the MVC’s all-time list when she earned her 11th career triple-double on Oct. 2nd with 14 kills, 30 assists and 13 digs in a win vs. Bradley.
Earlier in the year on Sept. 8th, Bober had 34 assists, 15 digs and 11 blocks vs. Tulsa to become the first Jays player in history to have at least 10 assists and 10 blocks in any match, as Bober’s previous high had been nine blocks.
Besides her four triple-doubles this season, Bober owns eight other matches where she owned a assist-dig double-double and had between seven and nine kills.
Last fall Bober led the nation with nine triple-doubles.
Elman Passes 400 Digs
Freshman libero Kate Elman continues her strong play in the back row, as she reached 100 career digs in just six matches to equal the quickest to that milestone in Bluejay history. Bianca Rivera had 106 digs through six contests during the 2007 campaign.
Elman currently owns 465 digs through 25 matches, good for 5.00digs per set, and is one of two women in the MVC to have 10 or more digs in every match this season, which also includes Bailey Yeager (Southern Illinois).
Elman’s 25 straight matches with 10 or more digs is the second-longest such career-opening streak in Bluejay history, as Rivera had 27 straight to begin her career in 2007.
Elman went over 200 career digs in her 13th match, which is tied for second-fastest in CU history. Rivera needed just 11 matches, while Nayka Benitez also took 13 contests to get there.
Elman surpassed 300 career digs in her 17th career match, second-quickest in program history. Rivera needed 15 matches to set the record.
Elman surpassed 400 career digs in her 22nd career match, second-quickest in program history behind Rivera’s 20.
Elman needs 35 more digs for 500. Rivera reached that milestone in 25 matches, while Benitez is second-fastest by getting there in 30 contests.
This is the 10th straight season that Creighton Volleyball has at least one product of Omaha Marian High School on the roster, as freshmen Kate Elman and Ashley Jansen have joined the program.
Interestingly, the Jays had never had a volleyball player from Marian between 1994-2002. Here’s a look at Creighton’s pipeline of players from Marian.
2012: Kate Elman, Ashley Jansen
2011: Julianne Mandolfo
2010: Lisa Greisch, Julianne Mandolfo
2009: Lisa Greisch
2008: Emily Crowley, Korie Lebeda
2007: Korie Lebeda, Katie Mehal
2006: Korie Lebeda, Katie Mehal, Emily Greisch
2005: Korie Lebeda, Katie Mehal
2004: Katie Mehal, Emily Greisch
2003: Emily Greisch
Freshmen Serve It Up
Four of Creighton’s six most common servers are freshmen, so it should come as little surprise that the Jays own 60 of their 118 aces so far from their highly-regarded freshman class consisting of Melanie Jereb, Ashley Jansen, Kate Elman and Lizzy Stivers Elman leads CU with 24 aces.
Title Town Once Again
Creighton made its first trip to the state of Florida a memorable one, winning the USF Invitational with victories over UCF (3-1), USF (3-0) and Wisconsin (3-1) on Aug. 24-25.
The title was the program’s first since winning the Blue Raider Bash in 2006, and school’s eighth tournament title all-time.
The Jays made it two titles in three weeks with the Northern Colorado Classic crown on Sept. 7-8.
It marks the second time in CU history that the Jays have won two tournaments in the same fall, having also done so in 2006.
Honors Roll In
Creighton had three players honored for their play in the USF Invitational to open the season. Kate Elman was named MVC Freshman of the Week after leading all MVC freshmen by averaging 5.09 digs. Elman also served up three aces and had 14 assists.
Sophomore Michelle Sicner averaged 1.91 kills and 1.45 blocks per set while hitting a healthy .386 in the three victories. She had 10 kills on .643 hitting in the Saturday win vs. USF. Megan Bober was named USF Invitational MVP after averaging 8.73 assists, 3.09 digs, 2.18 kills and 0.64 blocks per set while hitting .408. Bober was also named MVC Player of the Week, MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week and CVU.com National Player of the Week.
Bober Passes Century Mark Megan Bober has started all 120 matches since the beginning of the 2009 season, helping CU to 74 wins in that span.
Bober is the fourth player in Bluejay history to make 115 or more starts, a group that includes Allie Oelke (120), Korie Lebeda (119) and Jessica Houts (119).
Bober is third in CU history for matches played. The 74 wins she has played in is two shy of the record held by Lebeda.
Creighton continues to lead all MVC teams in blocking, averaging 3.05 stuffs per set. The Jays have three players averaging more than 0.95 blocks per frame (Heather Thorson, Megan Bober and Kelli Browning), the MVC’s only school that can claim that. Creighton has out-blocked foes 284.0 - 138.5 thus far, and been out-blocked in just one match all season (Kansas State).
Preseason MVC Poll
Creighton was picked fourth in a preseason poll of Missouri Valley Conference coaches. Defending regular-season champion Northern Iowa was the unanimous pick to win the league, with Missouri State second and Wichita State third. Creighton is fourth and Illinois State fifth. Rounding out the rest of the league was Southern Illinois, Bradley, Indiana State, Evansville and Drake.
In addition, Megan Bober was named preseason all-MVC. She joins Wichita State’s Emily Adney as the lone players to repeat on last year’s preseason All-Valley list.
Creighton has finished in the spot predicted of them or better in the preseason poll in eight of the past nine years.
Year Preseason Pick Finish Move
1994 11th 9th #2
1995 9th 7th #2
1996 9th 6th #3
1997 8th 3rd #5
1998 6th 8th i2
1999 T-7th 5th #2
2000 4th T-4th - -
2001 2nd 4th i2
2002 7th 9th i2
2003 9th T-5th #4
2004 5th 5th - -
2005 5th 5th - -
2006 4th 4th - -
2007 3rd T-2nd #1
2008 3rd 2nd #1
2009 4th T-4th - -
2010 4th 3rd #1
2011 3rd 4th i1
2012 4th ??? ???
New Opportunity at Libero Kate Elman has been the lone libero used by Creighton so far. She’s the first freshman in school history to make her debut wearing the libero jersey.
Since the libero became legal in 2002, the Jays have used multiple liberos in a season just three times (2005, 2006, 2010), and only used 11 different players in that role (Janeen Piller, Molly Lahr, Emily Greisch, Brittany Coleman, Mallory Lahm, Katie Mehal, Sarah Schulze, Bianca Rivera, Nayka Benitez, Julianne Mandolfo, Kate Elman).
Taking The Fifth
Creighton is 31-17 in five-set matches under Kirsten Bernthal Booth, including a 5-2 mark last year and a 2-1 mark this year. That’s impressive since Creighton had never finished a season with a winning record in fifth sets prior to Booth’s arrival.
Below is a list of Creighton’s record in five-set matches on a yearly basis:
Year Set 5 W-L Total W-L
1994 0-2 5-20
1995 0-2 11-19
1996 2-6 9-19
1997 3-5 15-13
1998 2-3 7-18
1999 3-3 13-15
2000 3-3 16-12
2001 1-1 14-13
2002 1-3 3-23
2003 5-1 12-18
2004 4-0 18-11
2005 3-1 16-14
2006 4-2 21-10
2007 2-0 21-10
2008 2-3 18-9
2009 1-4 14-17
2010 3-3 21-12
2011 5-2 17-14
2012 2-1 22-3
Total 46-45 273-270
Survival of the Fittest
Creighton has won five matches under Kirsten Bernthal Booth after surviving an opponent’s match point. On the other hand, Creighton is 180-1 under Booth when it reaches a match point opportunity, falling only when it wasted two match points on Sept. 4, 2010 to Iowa in an eventual 20-18 fifth set loss.
Surviving Match Points, Under Booth
Date Opponent MP(s) Faced Final Set 5
08/30/03 vs. McNeese State 13-14, 15-16 18-16
10/10/03 Wichita State 13-14 16-14
10/13/06 at Wichita State 12-14, 13-14, 14-15 17-15
09/11/07 at Drake 13-14, 14-15 17-15
08/26/11 vs. UTSA 12-14, 13-14 16-14
Creighton returns 9-of-14 letterwinners from last season. Below is a breakdown of the production that returns:
Stat Returners Departures
Assists 1287 (92.6%) 103 (7.4%)
Matches Started 142 (76.3%) 44 (23.7%)
Blocks 289 (63.6%) 108 (36.4%)
Kills 987 (66.2%) 505 (33.8%)
Points 1262.0 (65.7%) 659.0 (34.3%)
Aces 86 (65.2%) 46 (34.8%)
Digs 1186 (58.8%) 830 (41.2%)
Set 1 Result = Match Result
In its last 160 matches in which it wins set one, Creighton is 147-13. CU is 154-17 overall under Kirsten Bernthal Booth when they win set one. In that same time span, CU is just 26-101 under Booth when it drops the first set.
Radio Broadcast Information
Brad Burwell and former Bluejay volleyball player Erin Swanson will broadcast at least 22 matches (13 home and 9 away) this season.
The matches will air on KZOT (1180 AM) and KOIL (1290 AM) and be webcast online at GoCreighton.com as well. The pre-match show starts approximately 5-15 minutes before first serve. The post-match show also lasts about 15 minutes and includes post-match interviews.
A complete list of remaining matches follows:
2012 Volleyball Broadcast Schedule
Nov. 9 Indiana State (KZOT)
Nov. 10 Illinois State (KOIL)
Nov. 16 at Wichita State (KOIL)
Nov. 17 at Missouri State (KZOT)
Nov. 22-24 at MVC Tournament (KOIL)
Creighton Ticket Information
Tickets to Creighton’s home regular-season matches can be purchased at the Creighton Ticket Office located inside the Ryan Athletic Center (19th and Webster) as well as all Ticketmaster outlets.
Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 3-18) for reserved seats and $7 (adult) and $4 (youth) for general admission seating. Children two and under are admitted free.
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