Creighton Volleyball Notes
Nov. 16 7:00 pm #23 Creighton at Wichita State (1290 AM) Wichita, Kan. (Charles Koch Arena)
Nov. 17 7:00 pm #23 Creighton at Missouri State (1180 AM) Springfield, Mo. (Hammons Student Ctr.)
No. 23 Creighton Volleyball (24-3, 15-1 MVC) closes a dream regular-season with a challenging road trip at Wichita State (19-7, 12-4 MVC) and Missouri State (15-13, 9-7 MVC).
Friday’s match in Wichita, Kan., will take place at Charles Koch Arena (10,400), while Saturday’s contest will take place in Springfield, Mo., at Hammons Student Center (8,846).
Both contests will begin at 7 pm.
Both Creighton matches this weekend will air on Omaha radio, with Brad Burwell and Rob Anderson on the call.
Friday’s match will air on KOIL (1290 AM). That match will be streamed free of charge on the internet at www.mighty1290koil.com and clicking on the Listen Live button.
Saturday’s match will air on KZOT (1180 AM). 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.
Both matches this weekend will be video webcast. Friday’s match at Wichita State will be streamed at GoShockers.com and shared with JaysVideo subscribers who log in through GoCreighton.com.
Saturday’s match at Missouri State will be streamed at http://www.missouristatebears.com/allaccess/ but is not part of the JaysVideo subscription package.
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. 23 Creighton
Creighton (24-3, 15-1 MVC) has set a school-record with 12 straight wins and have clinched at least a share of the program’s first MVC title.
Creighton is ranked for just the second time ever, moving up two spots to a best-ever No. 23 in this week’s AVCA poll.
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 (9.71 aps., 3.10 dps., 1.87 kps., 0.97 bps., .307%) has three triple-doubles in the last two weeks and is 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 a Creighton record 122 straight matches, and is the team’s active leader in assists, blocks, digs, kills and aces.
Creighton’s leading attackers have been sophomores Leah McNary (2.88 kps., .220%) and Kelli Browning (2.90 kps., 1.63 bps., .406%). McNary owns 10 or more kills in 12 of CU’s last 19 matches, while Browning tied an MVC record with 15 block assists vs. Tulsa (Sept. 8th) and ranks sixth in the nation in blocking.
Creighton’s freshman class is also making an impact, as Kate Elman (5.02 dps.), Ashley Jansen (2.14 dps.), Melanie Jereb (2.46 kps., 2.93 dps.) and Lizzy Stivers (0.18 saps.) own 66 of the team’s 128 aces thus far.
As a team, Creighton averages 13.49 kills, 1.28 aces, 17.71 digs and 3.00 blocks per set while hitting .254.
Scouting Wichita State
Wichita State is 19-7 this year and has locked up the No. 3 seed in next week’s MVC Tournament. The Shockers are 7-3 at home this season at Charles Koch Arena, where it ranks seventh nationally by averaging 2,909 fans per match.
Emily Adney tops WSU with 3.16 kills per set, with Sam Sanders (2.53 kps., .264%) and Ashley Andrade (1.97 kps., 0.96 bps., .295%) not far behind. Sanders has been sidelined of late by injury.
Papillion native Chelsey Feekin averages 9.85 assists per set while taking over the setter role. Feekin ranks second in the nation in hitting percentage at .443.
Jackie Church is the team’s libero. She averages 4.56 digs per set and has served 22 aces this fall.
Scouting Missouri State
Missouri State is 15-13 on the season, including a 9-7 league mark. The Bears will host next week’s MVC Tournament, but are still could earn the No. 4, 5 or 6 seed in that event.
Christine McCartney, the 2010 MVC Freshman of the Year, leads the Bears with 2.90 kills per set and is fifth on the team with 2.00 digs per set. McCartney gets front-line help from Olivia Brand, the 2011 MVC Freshman of the Year, who averages 2.61 kills per set.
Carly Thomas is one of the MVC’s top setters, averaging 11.11 assists and 2.93 digs per set, while libero Ashley Mason leads MSU with 4.49 digs per set.
As a team, MSU averages 14.05 kills, 0.85 aces, 17.64 digs and 2.43 blocks per set while hitting .208. MSU is 11-4 at home, where it averages 558 fans per match.
Creighton is coached by Kirsten Bernthal Booth (Truman State, 1997), who owns a 182-118 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.
Four-time MVC Coach of the Year Chris Lamb is in his 13th season with Wichita State. Lamb owns a 280-119 record, all with the Shockers, and led WSU to the second round of the 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009 NCAA Tournaments. He is assisted by Jeff Sanders and RJ Abella.
Melissa Stokes is in her 17th season at Missouri State, where she owns a 372-176 record. Stokes owns more MVC wins than any coach in league history, and has led MSU to seven NCAA Tournaments in the last nine years. Jeni Jones, Fritz Rosenberg and Katelyn Panzau are assistant coaches.
Series History vs. Wichita State
Wichita State owns a 21-19 lead in 40 all-time match-ups with Creighton, but the Jays have won five of the past eight meetings.
Creighton owns an 5-13 record in Wichita, last winning against the Shockers at Charles Koch Arena in 2006.
The first set winner of the CU-WSU match has won 16 of the past 18 meetings and 20 of the past 23 match-ups. Additionally, Wichita State had won 22 straight third sets against the Bluejays until it was snapped in CU’s 3-1 win in Omaha on Sept. 15th.
Booth is 8-13 vs. Wichita State and Chris Lamb, while Lamb is 15-12 vs. Creighton all-time.
Series History vs. Missouri State
Missouri State leads the all-time series with Creighton by a 30-8 margin, including a 15-3 mark in Springfield. CU has lost its last three trips to Springfield since posting consecutive wins in 2007 and 2008.
Creighton has closed the gap in recent seasons, splitting the past 10 overall meetings since Nov. 1, 2007.
The Jays have swept the Bears just once in 38 all-time meetings, that coming on Oct. 4, 1997 in Springfield.
Kirsten Bernthal Booth is 5-14 all-time vs. MSU and Melissa Stokes, while Stokes is 25-9 in her career vs. the Bluejays.
Last Weekend Summary
Creighton clinched at least a share of its first MVC title in program history with victories over Indiana State (3-0) and Illinois State (3-1) last weekend. Kelli Browning hit .522 and averaged 3.86 kills per set for CU, while Melanie Jereb averaged 3.43 kills and 3.29 digs per set while hitting .350.
Vote For CU
Creighton moved into the national rankings for the first time in program history on Nov. 5th, as moved into the No. 25 spot in the poll.
This week, Creighton is a best-ever 23rd, earning 156 points 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.
Creighton has received at least two votes for the top-25 10 times this season, and 11 times overall in school history when you count the 2010 appearance among those “also receiving votes”.
With men’s soccer ranked 12th and men’s basketball ranked No. 15 nationally this week, it marks the first year 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
11/12/12 156 23rd
Some Serious Streaks
Creighton owns a 12-match win streak heading into the weekend, while also owning a 11-match home win streak. Through matches of Nov. 11th, here’s where those streaks rank nationally according to RichKern.com.
Longest Active Win Streaks
22 Morehead State
21 Western Kentucky
18 Jackson State
17 LIU Brooklyn
12 Georgia Southern
Longest Active Home Win Streaks
23 Florida State
21 Penn State
19 North Carolina
16 Miami (Fla.)
13 Morehead State
13 San Diego State
11 Idaho State
Creighton Volleyball has won a program record 12 straight matches and is ranked 23rd nationally, while the Creighton men’s soccer team entered this week ranked No. 12 nationally and as the winners of its last 10 matches, including MVC regular-season and tournament titles. Creighton is the nation’s only school to have both its volleyball and men’s soccer teams owning an active win streak of 10 or longer.
This is the first time in MVC history that the school producing the regular-season volleyball champ also won an MVC soccer title (men’s or women’s, regular-season or tournament) in the same fall.
The only four schools to have nationally-ranked teams in men’s soccer, volleyball and men’s basketball last week were Creighton, North Carolina, UCLA and Louisville.
Been There, Done That
Five of Creighton’s last eight wins against the Shockers have been five-set victories. Creighton’s last three wins over Missouri State have required five sets.
Wichita State is 3-2 in five-set matches this year, while Missouri State is 3-3 in marathon contests. Creighton is 2-1 in five-setters this fall.
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
Television Turns Out
Creighton has had three matches on television this year, 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. CU’s Nov. 10 match vs. Illinois State aired on Cox 2 as well.
The Jays are 5-8 in 13 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
11/10/12 Illinois State Cox 2 W 3-1
Creighton has won 12 straight matches heading into Friday’s contest at Wichita State. That figure is the longest in program history.
Wins Dates Snapped By
12 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
Tough To Beat
Creighton enters this week with a 24-3 record, good for one of the nation’s best winning percentages (.889). The only schools with fewer losses are Penn State, BYU, Stanford, Hawaii and Western Kentucky.
Some Special Seniors
Creighton honored senior players Megan Bober, Brooke Boggs, Brittany Moon and Heather Thorson, senior manager Brittany Wing, and junior Natalie Hackbarth after last 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 set a school record with 122 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 118 career matches as a defensive specialist. She owns 887 career digs and 57 aces, and came up big with a career-best 24 digs in a Nov. 3rd win at UNI. Boggs was recently honored with the MVC’s Service & Leadership Award and as an Academic All-District selection.
Moon had missed all of her senior season due to lingering knee issues, but donned the jersey for the first time last Saturday for Senior Night. She made her first career start, serving the first two points, before being lifted to a standing ovation. She’s played in 22 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 110 matches in her career, amassing 644 kills and 315 blocks in her career. The Mead, Neb., native has started CU’s last 78 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 76-46, made the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance, set a school record for consecutive wins and wins in a season, and led the way for the school’s first MVC title as well. The quintet has combined for 4,265 assists, 2,238 digs, 1,598 kills, 747 blocks and 152 aces. The women also combine for an average GPA of 3.76.
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 (24), consecutive wins (12), consecutive MVC wins (12).
Creighton is also in the midst of a program-record 11 match win streak at home and closed out its first 9-0 MVC home slate in program history this season.
Creighton leads the MVC with a 15-1 league record, just ahead of second place Northern Iowa (14-3) and third place Wichita State (12-4).
Having already clinched the No. 1 seed in the MVC Tournament and a share of its first league title, Creighton can secure its first outright title with at least one win (or a UNI loss to Bradley) this weekend.
Swiss Army Knife Megan Bober’s versatility was back on display on Nov. 2-3, 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 had her third triple-double in the past four matches on Nov. 10th vs. Illinois State, as she finished with 38 assists, 19 digs and 12 kills in a 3-1 win over Illinois State.
Bober now owns 14 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 five or more triple-doubles in a career.
Creighton setter Megan Bober is the nation’s only player averaging at least 9.50 assists, 0.90 blocks and 1.75 blocks per set, so it should come as no surprise that she stuffs the stat sheet on a regular basis.
Bober has put together six straight double-doubles in a row, a span that includes three triple-doubles. Bober’s 19 double-doubles this year are two shy of the school record set by Korie Lebeda (2006). Her 14 career triple-doubles are two shy of the MVC record set by UNI’s Bre Payton.
Browning On The Prowl
Arguably the MVC’s most improved player, Kelli Browning can set a pair of Creighton single-season records for blocking this weekend. Browning’s 163 total blocks are seven shy of Ashley Williams record set in 2003, while her 151 block assists are four shy of the mark set by Jessica Houts in 2009. Browning is also on pace to set Creighton single-season records for blocks per set (1.63) and attack percentage (.406) this fall. Browning had 33 blocks while hitting .197 in 21 matches as a freshman.
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 on Nov. 3rd. 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 26-of-27 matches this season and owned a better hitting percentage in 25-of-27 matches. In addition, Creighton has yet to have more attack errors than an opponent in 27 matches to date.
Creighton had 12 kills and hit .462 the fifth set of its Nov. 3rd win at UNI. It was the first time since Sept. 17, 2011 that the Jays didn’t have an attack error in a set. There have been just seven sets since Kirsten Bernthal Booth took over (of 1,105 sets played to date) that the Jays have not had 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.
Record Watch Megan Bober broke three school records in recent weeks and has a chance for more. She now owns the top spot for sets played (456), starts (122) and consecutive starts (122). She’s also played in 76 victories, which ties her for the school record held by her predecessor, Korie Lebeda. Kelli Browning enters the weekend with 151 block assists this season, three shy of the record set by Houts in 2009.
Browning is also seven total blocks shy of the season record (170) set by Ashley Williams in 2003.
Getting Better & Better
Saturday was Creighton’s 300th match Kirsten Bernthal Booth, and 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
300 182-118 Illinois State 11/10/12 W 3-1
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.
For those trying to determine the schedule to the MVC Tournament, it’s quite simple.
The quarterfinals will take place on Nov. 22, with matches at 5 and 7:30 pm. Missouri State’s side of the bracket will be the 7:30 pm match.
The semifinals will take place on Nov. 23rd with matches at 5 and 7:30 pm. Once again, Missouri State’s side of the bracket will be the 7:30 pm match, regardless of MSU’s quarterfinal result.
The final will be Nov. 24 at 7 pm.
The top three seeds will be Creighton (1), Northern Iowa (2) and Wichita State (3). Southern Illinois (10-6), Southern Illinois (9-7) and Missouri State (9-7) are all still contending for the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds.
Creighton owns just 13 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 eight trips to town.
Since 2005, Creighton has averaged 24.00 digs in those 33 sets played in Omaha against Illinois State. At all sites, Creighton has 1,587 digs in 74 sets versus the Redbirds since 2005 (21.45 dps.).
Creighton’s season-high for digs at home has come against Illinois State in five of the last seven seasons, including this year.
Illinois State at Creighton, Previous Eight Years
Date Sets CU Digs ISU Digs
11/10/12 4 90 79
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
90 Illinois State 11/10/12 W 3-1
Bober Earns Another Megan Bober was honored for the third straight week by the MVC office when the league named her Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 12th.
Bober averaged 9.29 assists, 4.29 digs, 1.29 blocks and 2.57 kills per set while hitting .378 in victories over Indiana State and Illinois State.
Bober has been named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week four times this season, MVC Player of the Week three times and now MVC Defensive Player of the Week twice this fall.
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 407 attack errors in 100 sets this season (4.07), compared to 633 attack errors by its opponents.
When it comes to serve reception, the Jays have been aced just 93 times in 100 sets (0.93).
At the service line, Creighton has just 187 service errors (1.87) and has had more errors than aces in just seven of its past 13 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.
Seniors Megan Bober and Brooke Boggs have earned a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District VII teams.
Bober, an Exercise Science major with a 3.82 GPA, was a first-team pick for the second time in her career.
Bobbs was a second-team selection after being a third-team pick in 2010. She owns a 3.91 GPA in Health Administration & Policy. Boggs also earned the MVC’s Leadership & Service Award on Nov. 5 for her work on the court and in the community.
Records Go Down
Creighton Volleyball continues to set numerous historical marks at an astounding pace. Creighton’s 11 straight home wins are a program record.
Creighton’s Longest Home Win Streaks
Wins Dates Snapped By
11 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 also set a program record with 12 home victories.
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 27 24 3 .889
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 .139, and also first in overall hitting percentage at .254.
Wichita State ranks second in the MVC by hitting .246.
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
MVC Haul Continues
The MVC has honored Megan Bober and Melanie Jereb for their play on Nov. 5th 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 275-270 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 172-101.
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 7-0 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 had 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 15-1 start is the best in program history for MVC play, and ties the school record for Valley wins in a season. 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 315 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 4,128 career assists and 1,062 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 4,128 assists, 1,062 digs, 781 kills and 395 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.
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 17 contests, Jereb owns 167 kills and just 23 attack errors in 564 swings.
Gutting It Out
Creighton is off to a 24-3 start this season, with 10 of those 24 wins being three-set sweeps. Creighton is 10-1 in three-set matches, 12-1 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.
Only two freshmen in the Missouri Valley Conference are averaging at least 2.40 kills and 2.40 digs per set, Creighton’s Melanie Jereb (2.46 kps., 2.93 dps.) and Illinois State’s Ashley Rosch (3.13 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.
Sophomore MB Kelli Browning ranks sixth in the nation with 1.63 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 13 home matches, Browning averages 1.54 blocks per set and CU averages 2.80 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 .406 clip this season and a .362 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 1.63 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 20 of CU’s 27 matches this year, including 11 of the past 14. 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 27 matches this season. That is tied for the second-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
27 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 7-0 so far ? ? ?
Total 93-80 89-82 --
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 35th-best nationally this season, and 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 40-15 (.727) 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 31-5 (.861). 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 28-0 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 683 of the team’s 1,349 kills (50.6 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 (781), assists (4128), aces (80), digs (1062) and blocks (395).
Bober ranks in the top-10 in CU history in assists, digs, aces and blocks.
Top 35 RPI
The latest edition of the NCAA RPI was released on Monday, Nov. 12th. Thanks in part to five wins over top-65 foes (No. 42 Wichita State, No. 44 Northern Iowa (twice), No. 57 Tulsa and No. 65 Wisconsin), the Jays are 31st in this week’s RPI.
Kansas and Kansas State, the first two teams to beat CU this fall, are seventh and 15th, respectively, while Southern Illinois is No. 78.
CU’s schedule is ranked as the No. 93rd-toughest nationally according to RichKern.com.
Wichita State is No. 42 in the RPI rankings, while Missouri State is 89th.
2-0 Better Than 0-2
Creighton is 178-8 (.957) all-time when leading a match 2-0, including a 120-2 mark under Kirsten Bernthal Booth. They own an 84-4 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.
Stat 2012 2011 2010 2006*
Match W-L 24-3 17-14 21-12 21-10
Set W-L 75-25 61-56 74-50 72-44
Tourney Titles 2 0 0 2
Kills/Set 13.49 12.75 13.52 16.45
Hitting % .254 .203 .214 .195
Aces/Set 1.28 1.13 1.27 1.59
Digs/Set 17.71 17.23 18.94 19.42
Blocks/Set 3.00 2.54 2.36 2.65
*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 16 times already this season.
The sophomore from Florida currently owns 10 or more kills in 12 of CU’s last 19 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 182 wins at the helm of the Bluejays. That’s 114 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 12th, and Creighton is all over those figures.
Creighton is ranked eighth in blocks per set (3.00), eighth in winning percentage (.889), 32nd in hitting percentage (.254), 23rd in digs per set (17.71) and 78th in kills per set (13.49).
Individually, sophomore Kelli Browning is sixth in the country in blocks per set (1.63) and is 11th in hitting percentage (.406). Kate Elman ranks 56th with 5.02 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 five 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 500 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 502 digs through 27 matches, good for 5.02 digs 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 27 straight matches with 10 or more digs is tied for the 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 surpassed 500 career digs in her 27th career match, second-quickest in program history behind Rivera’s 25.
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 66 of their 128 aces so far from their highly-regarded freshman class consisting of Melanie Jereb, Ashley Jansen, Kate Elman and Lizzy Stivers Elman leads CU with 25 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.
Creighton continues to lead all MVC teams in blocking, averaging 3.00 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 300.0 - 147.5 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 24-3
Total 46-45 275-270
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 182-1 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 162 matches in which it wins set one, Creighton is 145-13. CU is 156-17 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. 16 at Wichita State (KOIL)
Nov. 17 at Missouri State (KZOT)
Nov. 23-24 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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