This Weekend Creighton Volleyball returns home for the first time in more than a month when it hosts the first two BIG EAST matches in program history. Creighton (10-4, 1-1 BIG EAST) hosts DePaul (14-2, 1-2 BIG EAST) on Friday night in a 7 pm match before welcoming Marquette (11-4, 3-0 BIG EAST) on Sunday afternoon in a 1 pm start. Both contests will be held at D.J. Sokol Arena inside the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center (2,500 capacity) in Omaha, Neb.
Radio Information Both matches this weekend will be broadcast locally. Friday’s match will air on KOIL (1290 AM), while Sunday’s contest will be on KZOT (1180 AM). Brad Burwell will call the play-by-play, while Erin (Swanson) Russell handles color analyst duties. The matches will be streamed free of charge on the internet. Friday’s contest can be heard on www.mighty1290koil.com, while Sunday’s game can be heard at 1620thezone.com.
Video Information Both matches will be video webcast, and include audio from Brad Burwell and Erin (Swanson) Russell. To sign up, visit www.gocreighton.com and click on the Live Video tab on the top menu bar. 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 tab on the top of the page for the exact link. Fans can also access live stats on their mobile phone by clicking on www.gocreightonstats.com.
Scouting Creighton Creighton is 10-4 on the year, including five wins over NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago (No. 13 BYU, Bowling Green, Northern Colorado, Kansas, Wichita State). The only teams to defeat the Bluejays have been Hawai’i and Butler as well as Pac-12 powers California and UCLA. CU boasts a balanced attack, with five women averaging multiple kills per set. That group is led by outside hitters Leah McNary (3.19 kps.), Melanie Jereb (2.17 kps., 2.62 dps.) and Jess Bird (1.98 kps., 2.36 dps.). Creighton remains strong in the middle, where Kelli Browning (2.13 kps., 1.43 bps., .306%) and Lauren Smith (2.36 kps., 1.11 bps., .376%,) roam. Setter Michelle Sicner (10.36 aps, 2.74 dps, 1.30 kps.) directs CU’s offense. The Bluejays returned four starters plus libero Kate Elman (3.66 dps.) from last year’s team that finished 29-4 overall, won the Missouri Valley Conference with a 17-1 league record, and finished 24th in the year-end AVCA poll. Creighton was picked to win the BIG EAST Conference, while Browning, McNary and Jereb were named preseason all-league picks. Creighton averages 13.26 kills, 1.06 aces, 14.47 digs and 2.94 blocks per set while hitting .226 as a team.
Scouting DePaul DePaul opened the season with 13 straight non-conference wins, but is off to a 1-2 start in BIG EAST action. The Blue Demons are an impressive 11-1 away from home this year, including a 5-1 record in road matches. The Blue Demons went 10-18 last year, and its 14 wins to date are already its most in any season since 2001. Preseason All-BIG EAST pick Vesela Zapryanova leads the Blue Demons with 3.93 kills per set while hitting .289 and adding 2.75 digs per set. Other top offensive weapons include Abbie Fleener (3.11 kps., .331%), Natalie Rizzo (2.38 kps., .348%, 1.00 bps.) and Callie Huebener (2.15 kps.). Colleen Smith (10.77 aps., 2.00 dps.) directs the offense, while libero Allyson Rooks (3.43 dps.) leads the defense in digs. As a team, DePaul averages 15.12 digs and 2.27 blocks per set while also topping the BIG EAST in kills per set (14.50), aces per set (1.59), assists per set (13.63) winning percentage (.875) and hitting percentage (.295).
Scouting Marquette Marquette has won six straight and owns an 11-4 record on the season, leading the BIG EAST with a 3-0 mark in conference play. All four of the Golden Eagles losses have come to teams ranked in the top-13 nationally at the time of the match (No. 13 BYU, No. 3 USC, No. 3 Penn State and No. 4 Florida). The Golden Eagles are 6-0 on the road and 14-1 in true road matches dating to last season. Freshman Autumn Bailey (4.04 kps., 2.71 dps., .282%) has made an immediate impact, earning the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week nod four of the first six weeks. She’s earned 10 or more kills in every match but one, and had a league-high 29 on Sept. 28 at DePaul. Joining Bailey on the attack have been Meghan Niemann (2.39 kps., .319%, .91 bps.) and preseason all-BIG EAST pick Lindsey Gosh (2.72 kps., .332%, .64 saps.). Directing MU’s attack is Preseason Co-BIG EAST Player of the Year Elizabeth Koberstein (11.55 aps., 2.05 dps.), while Julie Jeziorowski (4.14 dps.) serves as a veteran presence at libero. As a team, Marquette averages 13.77 kills, 1.36 aces, 14.09 digs and 2.05 blocks per set on .278 hitting.
The Coaches Creighton is coached by Kirsten Bernthal Booth (Truman State, 1997), who owns a 197-123 record in her 11th 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, and named the CaptainU College Coach of the Year in 2012 following another run to the second round of the NCAA’s. Last season, Booth helped Creighton move into the top-25 for the first time in program history while also leading the team to a program-record 29 wins and first-ever MVC regular-season and tournament titles. For her efforts, she was named 2012 MVC Coach of the Year. 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. Nadia Edwards (Penn State, 2001) owns a 34-68 record in her fourth season as head coach at DePaul, which also doubles as her career record. Before DPU, she was an assistant at both Ohio State and Virginia Tech after a three year pro career. She is assisted by Phuong Luong, Caitlyn Vann and Michael Konrad. Marquette is coached by Bond Shymansky (Iowa, 1995), who is 103-43 in his fifth year with the Golden Eagles. Shymansky was previously head coach at Georgia Tech too, which gives him a career mark of 275-107 in 12 years overall. He is assisted by Jason Allen, Jackie Simpson and Evan Muys.
Series History vs. DePaul DePaul won the only previous meeting against Creighton, defeating the Bluejays 3-0 (30-25, 30-23, 30-27) to open the 2001 season at the Northern Illinois Best Western Invitational in DeKalb, Ill. Stephanie Bishop led the Blue Demons with 16 kills on .419 that day, part of a DePaul attack that hit .350. CU was paced by nine kills from both Erin Swanson and Melissa Walsh. Kirsten Bernthal Booth has never faced DePaul, nor Nadia Edwards.
Series History vs. Marquette Creighton is 3-1 all-time against Marquette. The Jays beat the Golden Eagles in five sets (30-26, 28-30, 25-30, 30-22, 16-14) in Boulder, Colo., on Sept. 11, 2005 in the first meeting. In 2010, Creighton swept MU 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 26-24) at the Marquette/UWM Invitational in Milwaukee thanks to 15 kills on .424 hitting from Alicia Runge and 37 assists, 13 digs and seven kills by Megan Bober. In 2011 Marquette swept Creighton (25-18, 25-19, 25-20) at the Bluejay Invitational in Omaha. Creighton was led by nine kills from Laurel Sanford, while Bober had 10 assists, nine digs and eight kills. Last season, the teams met in Minneapolis, Minn., in the NCAA Tournament. Creighton swept the Golden Eagles (25-22, 25-23, 28-26) in a match that featured 38 ties and 19 lead changes. Leah McNary led CU with 14 kills, while Melanie Jereb paced the Jays with 15 digs. MU was led by 13 kills each from Holly Mertens and Danielle Carlson. Creighton head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth is 2-1 against Marquette and Bond Shymansky.
Last Action Summary Creighton opened BIG EAST play with a 1-1 weekend, falling at Butler in four sets before a 3-1 win at Xavier. Leah McNary led CU with 29 kills on the weekend, while Michelle Sicner topped the squad with 90 assists and 32 digs.
NCAA Tourney Rematch Creighton will meet Marquette on Sunday in a rematch of the team’s 2012 NCAA Tournament meeting in Minneapolis, Minn. Creighton won that contest 25-22, 25-23, 28-26, as Kelli Browning hit .600 with 12 kills in 20 swings for the victors.
Illin’ Creighton coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth’s teams have excelled in home matches against conference teams from Illinois since she took over. Since her 2003 hiring, Booth’s squads are 26-4 in those matches, going 10-0 against Southern Illinois, 9-1 vs. Bradley and 7-3 vs. Illinois State in contests played in Omaha. DePaul comes to town on Friday, looking to snap CU’s 22-match home win streak in conference matches against teams from the Land of Lincoln that dates to 2005.
High School Reunion DePaul S Colleen Smith was a high school teammate of Creighton OH Melanie Jereb at Cary-Grove High School in Cary, Ill. The two were also teammates with the Sky High club volleyball program, with Smith one year older. Their high school team also had players that continued their volleyball careers at Ohio (Kelly Lamberti), Illinois State (Ashley Rosch) and Tennessee-Martin (Allison Whimpey).
Creighton/Marquette Connections There aren’t a whole lot of connections between Creighton and Marquette, but there are a few. Current Marquette coach Bond Shymansky hired current Creighton coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth to be an assistant coach in 1998 at Iowa City High School. Shymansky, however, would leave to become an assistant at Iowa State before the season started. Marquette’s associate athletic director for compliance, Danielle Josetti, oversees volleyball among her other duties. When Creighton visited Minneapolis in 2010, Josetti was the NCAA representative for the site. Josetti was a standout softball player at Creighton (as Danielle Fitzgerald) from 1995-97 and remains in the top-10 in school history in stolen bases and sacrifice hits. Both Creighton and Marquette are also two of the 28 Jesuit schools nationally. Current Creighton President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., is a Creighton graduate, but he has served as an assistant professor, associate executive vice president and vice president for University Advancement at Marquette University at one time or another. He remains on the Marquette University Board of Trustees.
We Meet Again Sunday afternoon will be the third time in as many locations that the last year that Creighton and Marquette will see each other. In addition to last November’s NCAA Tournament match in Minneapolis, Minn., the teams were also both at the season-opening Hampton Inn Invitational hosted by Bowling Green in August. Due to CU and MU being in the same league, the squads did not face each other then but were allowed to scout each other. Creighton won the Hampton Inn Invitational with wins over No. 13 BYU (3-1) and hosting Bowling Green (3-0), while the Golden Eagles fell to BYU (2-3) and topped Bowling Green (3-1).
BIG EAST Power The last current member of the BIG EAST to beat Marquette in a league match was Georgetown, which did so on Sept. 26, 2010. Since then, Marquette is 39-5 in BIG EAST Conference play. Three losses came to Louisville, while the other two were at the hands of Cincinnati. Both the Cardinals and Bearcats are now members of the American Athletic Association.
Runners-Up Have Come Up Short When Marquette comes to Omaha on Sunday, the Bluejays will be taking on the team picked second in the preseason BIG EAST poll. Creighton won home matches over the teams picked second in the Missouri Valley Conference each of the previous three seasons, and all three contests were five setters. Creighton beat Missouri State 15-13 last year in the fifth set, topped Wichita State 15-10 in 2011, and outlasted Missouri State 15-10 in 2010.
Blue October Creighton has enjoyed tremendous success in October in recent seasons. The Jays have won 12 of the last 13 times it has taken the floor in the 10th month of the year, dating to a Oct. 15, 2011 setback at No. 12 Northern Iowa. Creighton has also won 14 of its last 15 home matches in October since Oct. 22, 2009.
Long Time, No See When Creighton takes the court on Friday (Oct. 11), it’ll be its first home appearance in more than a month. The last time there was a match at D.J. Sokol Arena was Sept. 10, when Creighton beat Kansas in four sets. Since then, Creighton has played eight matches in four states and three time zones, compiling a 5-3 record.
Magic Number DePaul enters Friday’s match leading in the BIG EAST with a team hitting percentage of .295, a figure that ranks 10th nationally. Before last Saturday’s win at Xavier, Creighton had lost 73 straight matches in which it has allowed the opposition to hit .250 or better, dating to a October 6, 2001 win at Southern Illinois. Last Saturday, Xavier hit .256, but Creighton hit .261 and won in four sets. Creighton is allowing teams to hit .198 against it for the season, including a .166 mark in 10 CU victories and a .275 mark in four Bluejay losses.
Non-Conference Gauntlet Creighton Volleyball finished its non-conference season with a 9-3 record against some of the nation’s best teams. Six of the opponents have been ranked in the top-25 this season, and all 12 are currently in the top-135 of the Pablo rankings. Not counting their result vs. Creighton, the 12 squads are a combined 125-55 (.694). The teams are also 36-12 in league play this year, with six of the losses coming versus teams that have been nationally ranked this year.
One Of The Best Creighton’s been on quite a run since the start of last season to rank among the nation’s best clubs. Combine a 29-4 campaign in 2012 with this year’s 10-4 start and Creighton is 39-8. The 39-8 mark gives the Jays a .830 win percentage in that span, 11th-best nationally, while Marquette’s 37-11 mark gives it a .771 win percentage that ranks 25th-best nationally. Creighton’s 39 wins in the same span rank tied for 16th nationally. Best Win Percentages, Since 2012 (thru 10/6/13) Name W L Pct. Hawaii 42 4 0.913 Penn State 45 5 0.900 Florida 42 6 0.875 North Carolina 41 6 0.872 Texas 39 6 0.867 Southern California 44 7 0.863 Western Kentucky 48 8 0.857 BYU 40 7 0.851 Stanford 40 7 0.851 Central Arkansas 44 8 0.846 Creighton 39 8 0.830 Washington 36 8 0.818 Colorado State 34 8 0.810 Florida State 38 9 0.809 Minnesota 42 10 0.808 Nebraska 37 9 0.804 Miami (Fla.) 36 9 0.800 Georgia Southern 40 10 0.800 VCU 40 10 0.800 Kansas 39 10 0.796 Oregon 39 10 0.796 Louisville 38 10 0.792 Michigan State 40 11 0.784 Col. of Charleston 41 12 0.774 Marquette 37 11 0.771
Most Wins, Since 2012 (thru 10/6/13) Name W L Pct. Western Kentucky 48 8 0.857 Penn State 45 5 0.900 Southern California 44 7 0.863 Central Arkansas 44 8 0.846 Hawai’i 42 4 0.913 Florida 42 6 0.875 Minnesota 42 10 0.808 North Carolina 41 6 0.872 Col. of Charleston 41 12 0.774 BYU 40 7 0.851 Stanford 40 7 0.851 Georgia Southern 40 10 0.800 VCU 40 10 0.800 Michigan State 40 11 0.784 Tulsa 40 14 0.741 Texas 39 6 0.867 Creighton 39 8 0.830 Kansas 39 10 0.796 Oregon 39 10 0.796 American 39 12 0.765 Morehead State 39 12 0.765 Wichita State 39 13 0.750
Strong Schedule Ahead Creighton has never been shy about putting together a challenging schedule under Kirsten Bernthal Booth. In fact, each of Creighton’s next seven matches (from now until Nov. 1) are against teams currently .500 or better.
Strength In Numbers Creighton finished non-conference play with five victories over teams that reached the 2012 NCAA Tournament. On a national level, Hawai’i and Wisconsin were the only schools more such victories (both six), while Penn State and VCU joined Creighton as the only other schools to claim five such wins.
Jays Fall Out Of Rankings After 10 Polls After a 10-week run in the AVCA poll dating to Nov. 5, 2012, Creighton fell out of the AVCA Top 25 poll released on Monday. The Jays collected 32 points in the voting and are tied for 33rd in the voting and listed among those “also receiving votes”. Creighton has still been received votes in each of the last 18 polls, compared to just one time in 18 years before last season started. 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 11/19/12 242 21st 12/18/12 172 24th 08/12/13 133 25th 09/02/13 423 19th 09/09/13 180 24th 09/16/13 164 23rd 09/23/13 211 23rd 09/30/13 216 22nd 10/07/13 32 T-33rd
Taking The Fifth One major reason for Creighton’s success in recent seasons has been its play on the road in the fifth set. Creighton has won five straight road matches to go five sets, including wins last year over Northern Iowa, Wichita State and Missouri State, and wins this year at Denver and Wichita State. It’s also worth noting that Creighton is 5-0 all-time in home matches at D.J. Sokol Arena.
Let’s Compare Let’s take a look at how Creighton’s start in 2013 compares to the last three seasons after 14 matches. Stat 2014 2012 2011 2010 W-L Thru 14 10-4 12-2 7-7 8-6 Final W-L ? ? ? 29-4 17-14 21-12 Postseason ? ? ? NCAA None NCAA Tourney Titles 1 3 0 0 Kills/Set 13.26 13.35 12.59 13.13 Hitting % .226 .257 .203 .197 Aces/Set 1.06 1.21 1.33 1.12 Digs/Set 14.47 16.31 16.90 18.21 Blocks/Set 2.94 3.10 2.50 2.45
Sicner Reaches 1,000 Assists Michelle Sicner became the sixth player in Creighton Volleyball’s modern (since 1994) history to reach 1,000 career assists last Friday at Butler. Sicner achieved the milestone in her 72nd career match, and her 267th set overall. Sicner is the first junior in program history to reach the 1,000-assist career mark. Each of the first five players reached that mark as freshmen or sophomores.
Double-Stuff Creighton MB Kelli Browning tied for the national lead with 204 blocks last season, and is picking up where she left off. The preseason BIG EAST Co-Player of the Year entered this week with 1.43 blocks per set, eighth-best nationally, amongst the NCAA stat leaders. Browning owns 313 career blocks, ninth-most in Creighton history. She set the Creighton record for fewest matches to 300 career blocks against South Dakota on Sept. 21st. That came in her 65th career match, three quicker than the previous mark held by Jessica Houts (68).
Freshmen Phenoms Creighton boasts two freshmen who are averaging at least 1.98 kills per set, Jess Bird (1.98) and Lauren Smith (2.36). There have been just three previous seasons where multiple freshmen averaged 2.00 kills per set or more. It’s also happened in 1998 (Melissa Walsh & Erin Swanson), 2004 (Kelly Goc & Carolyn Decker) and 2005 (Amanda Cvejdlik & Jessica Houts). Those six women listed above combined for eight First-Team all-MVC honors and three additional Second-Team all-MVC accolades in their careers.
Speaking of Freshmen Lauren Smith is averaging 2.36 kills and 1.11 blocks per set after 14 career matches. Only one player in CU history has finished her freshmen year surpassing both those marks, Jessica Houts. Houts averaged 2.84 kills and 1.27 blocks per set as a freshman in 2005. After 14 matches, Houts was averaging 2.50 kills and 1.15 blocks per set.
Smith’s Record-Setting Week Redshirt freshman Lauren Smith etched her name in the Creighton record book in two different matches in mid-September. Smith’s nine blocks vs. Kansas on September 10th tied the Creighton record by a freshman in one match, previously done by Megan Bober on Sept. 4, 2009 vs. Lipscomb. On September 13 against Cal State Northridge, Smith hit .909 with 10 kills in 11 errorless swings. That ranks as the best hitting percentage in Creighton history by any player with a minimum of 10 swings. For her efforts, Smith was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week on September 16.
Speaking Of Smith Lauren Smith is off to a fantastic start to her freshman campaign, with 125 kills and 59 blocks while hitting .376 to date. Her junior teammate Kelli Browning was named an Honorable-Mention All-American as a sophomore and Preseason BIG EAST Co-Player of the Year as a junior, but Browning recorded season totals of 54 kills and 33 blocks on .197 hitting in 2011 as a freshman.
Higher & Higher Michelle Sicner’s 51 assists on September 10 vs. Kansas were a career-high for the junior, eight more than her previous best. Last year, while playing on the right-side, Sicner recorded 60 assists total.
Multiple Choice Creighton has had seven players earn All-Tournament Team honors at least once this season. Week one saw Michelle Sicner earn MVP honors and join Kelli Browning and Lauren Smith on the All-Tournament Team at the Hampton Inn Invitational, while Melanie Jereb and Leah McNary earned All-Tourney accolades at the Bluejay Invitational. Sicner and McNary were honored at the Denver Invitational, while Jess Bird and Kate Elman picked up recognition at the Shocker Volleyball Classic.
Use The Fours Creighton went 13-2 last season in four-set matches. According to numbers crunched by Rich Kern of RichKern.com fame, the 13 four-set wins led the country in 2012, one more than Georgia Southern. This year’s team is 3-2 in four-set matches.
Have You Heard? Freshman OH Jess Bird made an immediate impact in her first tournament. Bird had a match-high 14 kills and added 12 digs in Creighton’s 3-1 win over No. 13 BYU on August 30th. Bird’s 14 kills were the most ever for a player making their Creighton debut, one more than the 13 by JoDe Cieloha in 1994. Bird’s double-double made her the fourth player in CU history to debut with a double-double, but first with a kill-dig double-dip since Cieloha also did it in 1994. The last CU player with a double-double debut had been setter Korie Lebeda (39 assists, 10 digs) in 2005. Bird added 10 kills in her second career match, joining Cieloha as the second player in CU history with double-digit kills to start a career. Cieloha did it in eight straight matches to begin her career. Bird enters this weekend averaging 1.98 kills and 2.36 digs per set. By comparison, Melanie Jereb averaged 2.15 kills and 2.69 digs per set after her first 14 matches as a freshman last year when she would go on to be named first-team All-MVC.
No Ordinary Smith Redshirt freshman MB Lauren Smith averaged 2.57 kills and 0.71 blocks per set while hitting a league-best .531 at the season-opening Hampton Inn Invitational. As a result, she became the second CU freshman in program history to earn All-Tournament Team honors in her first event as a collegian, joining JoDe Cieloha in 1994. Smith had nine kills in 14 errorless swings to hit .643 in her debut, a 3-1 win vs. No. 13 BYU. She added four blocks in the win over the highest-ranked team Creighton has ever beaten. The following morning, Smith once again had nine kills on .444 hitting while adding a block and two digs in a 3-0 sweep at Mid-American Conference favorite Bowling Green. Smith is the only CU player ever with nine or more kills on .350 or better hitting in each of the first two matches of her career.
Some Fab Freshmen Including Jess Bird on Aug. 30 vs. BYU, Creighton has started six true freshmen in a season opener in the last four years, and 12 such players since 2000. Since 2000, the only true freshmen to start CU’s season-opener have been Brittany Coleman (2003), Carolyn Decker (2004), Korie Lebeda (2005), Allie Oelke (2007), Brooke Boggs (2009), Heather Thorson (2009), Julianne Mandolfo (2010), Katie Neisler (2011), Michelle Sicner (2011), Melanie Jereb (2012), Ashley Jansen (2012) and Bird (2013). Seven of those 11 women (Coleman, Decker, Lebeda, Oelke, Mandolfo, Sicner and Jereb) went on to land a spot on the MVC’s All-Freshman Team.
Home Streak Ends Creighton Volleyball had its school-record home win streak of 13 straight home wins snapped in a Sept. 7 loss to California. CU is 15-2 at home the past two seasons, with both setbacks coming during the Bluejay Invitational. Creighton is also now 32-4 in its last 36 home matches against unranked competition. All four of Creighton’s streaks of six straight home wins or longer have been snapped in the Bluejay Invitational. Creighton’s Longest Home Win Streaks Wins Dates Snapped By 13 Sept. 1, 2012 - Sept. 7, 2013 California, 3-0 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
As A Ranked Team This weekend Creighton will be playing as an unranked team for the first time since Nov. 3, 2012. All-time, Creighton is 17-5 when playing as a ranked team in the AVCA poll, including a 16-2 mark versus unranked teams. Creighton As A Ranked Team All-Time Date CU Rank Opponent Result 11/09/12 25 Indiana State W 3-0 11/10/12 25 Illinois State W 3-1 11/16/12 23 at Wichita State W 3-2 11/17/12 23 at Missouri State W 3-2 11/23/12 21 vs. Illinois State W 3-1 11/24/12 21 vs. Wichita State W 3-0 11/30/12 21 vs. Marquette W 3-0 12/01/12 21 at #11 Minnesota L 1-3 08/30/13 25 vs. #13 BYU W 3-1 08/31/13 25 at Bowling Green W 3-0 09/06/13 19 Northern Colorado W 3-0 09/07/13 19 South Florida W 3-0 09/07/13 19 California L 0-3 09/10/13 24 Kansas W 3-1 09/13/13 24 vs. Cal St. Northridge W 3-0 09/13/13 24 at Denver W 3-2 09/14/13 24 vs. #11 UCLA L 1-3 09/20/13 23 vs. #7 Hawai’i L 2-3 09/21/13 23 vs. South Dakota W 3-0 09/22/13 23 at Wichita State W 3-2 10/04/13 22 at Butler L 1-3 10/05/13 22 at Xavier W 3-1
Jays vs. Ranked Teams Creighton’s win over No. 13 BYU on Aug. 30 marked the team’s third win over a ranked foe in the last five seasons. The Jays defeated No. 25 Wichita State in 2009 and No. 16 Iowa State in 2010. The victory over BYU was the highest-ranked team that Creighton has ever beaten. Creighton is 3-50 all-time against ranked schools (3-34 under Kirsten Bernthal Booth), and 0-18 vs. top-10 clubs. That includes an 0-26 road record, 1-17 at home and 2-7 at neutral sites. Creighton vs. Ranked Teams All-Time Date Opponent Result 09/01/98 at #5 Nebraska L 0-3 09/04/98 vs. #19 Texas A&M (@Pacific) L 0-3 09/05/98 at #11 Pacific L 0-3 09/14/99 at #24 Kansas State L 0-3 10/16/99 #19 Northern Iowa L 0-3 09/08/00 at #6 Hawai’i L 0-3 10/03/00 at #1 Nebraska L 0-3 09/08/01 at #24 Santa Clara L 1-3 09/09/01 vs. #13 UC Santa Barbara (at Santa Clara) L 0-3 09/25/01 at #1 Nebraska L 0-3 10/13/01 #16 Northern Iowa L 0-3 11/09/01 at #18 Northern Iowa L 0-3 09/06/02 vs. #13 Pacific (at Columbia, S.C.) L 0-3 09/21/02 at #7 Northern Iowa L 1-3 09/29/02 at #5 Nebraska L 0-3 10/18/02 #10 Northern Iowa L 0-3 10/04/03 at #10 Northern Iowa L 1-3 11/01/03 #12 Northern Iowa L 1-3 10/10/04 vs. #5 Nebraska (North Platte, Neb.) L 0-3 09/06/05 at #24 Kansas State L 0-3 09/10/05 vs. #3 Stanford (Boulder, Colo.) L 0-3 10/11/05 at #1 Nebraska L 0-3 10/29/05 at #25 Wichita State L 1-3 09/24/06 #1 Nebraska L 1-3 08/31/07 at #1 Nebraska L 0-3 09/02/07 #18 Cal Poly L 0-3 09/15/07 at #13 Minnesota L 1-3 11/10/07 at #24 Wichita State L 0-3 08/29/08 #16 Minnesota L 0-3 08/30/08 #21 LSU L 2-3 09/27/08 #14 Wichita State L 1-3 10/05/08 #2 Nebraska L 0-3 10/24/08 at #12 Wichita State L 0-3 08/29/09 #10 Illinois L 0-3 09/01/09 at #6 Nebraska L 0-3 10/02/09 #25 Wichita State W 3-1 11/10/09 #20 Saint Louis L 0-3 11/20/09 at #21 Northern Iowa L 1-3 11/27/09 #20 Northern Iowa L 0-3 09/01/10 #7 Nebraska L 0-3 09/24/10 #16 Northern Iowa L 1-3 10/23/10 at #14 Northern Iowa L 0-3 11/27/10 at #11 Northern Iowa L 1-3 12/03/10 vs. #16 Iowa State (Minneapolis) W 3-2 12/04/10 at #12 Minnesota L 0-3 09/08/11 at #11 Nebraska L 0-3 10/15/11 #12 Northern Iowa L 0-3 11/11/11 at #12 Northern Iowa L 1-3 09/01/12 #21 Kansas State L 0-3 12/01/12 at #11 Minnesota L 1-3 08/30/13 vs. #13 BYU (Bowling Green, Ohio) W 3-1 09/14/13 vs. #11 UCLA (Denver, Colo) L 1-3 09/20/13 vs. #7 Hawai’i (Wichita, Kan.) L 2-3
The Votes Add Up Creighton had six matches scheduled against teams that received votes in the preseason AVCA Top 25 poll, including five teams in the top-25. Creighton had matches against teams that were preseason ranked No. 11 (Hawai’i), No. 12 (UCLA), No. 13 (BYU), No. 20 (Kansas) and No. 24 (Wichita State). Creighton also hosted Cal, which received enough points to finish 37th in the voting. Among teams in the preseason top-25, Creighton’s five non-conference matches vs. top-25 foes was tied for the national lead with Texas, Hawai’i, Florida State and Western Kentucky.
2-0 Better Than 0-2 Creighton is 186-8 (.959) all-time when leading a match 2-0, including a 128-2 mark under Kirsten Bernthal Booth. They own an 86-4 all-time mark in home matches they lead 2-0 in. Conversely, the Jays are 7-173 (.039) all-time when trailing a match 0-2, including an 0-59 mark in those home matches. Those seven 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 11/16/12 at Wichita St. 25-16, 25-20, 16-14 Booth
Survival of the Fittest Creighton has won six matches under Kirsten Bernthal Booth after surviving an opponent’s match point. Three of those wins have come against Wichita State. On the other hand, Creighton is 197-1 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 11/16/12 at Wichita State 13-14 16-14
Taking The Fifth Creighton is 35-18 in five-set matches under Kirsten Bernthal Booth, including a 2-1 mark this year and an 11-4 home record in five-setters. 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 4-1 29-4 2013 2-1 10-4 Total 50-46 290-275
Marian Pipeline This is the 11th straight season that Creighton Volleyball had at least one product of Omaha Marian High School on the roster, as sophomores Kate Elman and Ashley Jansen are in 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. 2013: Kate Elman, Ashley Jansen 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
Production Returning Creighton returns 9-of-14 letterwinners from last season. Below is a breakdown of the production that returns: Stat Returners Departures Points 1705.5 (77.8%) 487.5 (22.2%) Kills 1164 (70.1%) 496 (29.9%) Digs 1468 (68.3%) 680 (31.7%) Aces 104 (67.5%) 50 (32.5%) Matches Started 126 (63.6%) 72 (36.4%) Blocks 237.5 (62.7%) 141.5 (37.3%) Assists 256 (16.9%) 1260 (83.1%)
Just Do It, Again Eleven of Creighton’s 29 wins last year came against 2011 NCAA Tournament teams in Ball State, Tulsa, Marquette, Northern Colorado, Missouri State, (twice), Northern Iowa (twice) and Wichita State (three times). This year’s 10 wins include five triumphs over squads that were in the 2012 NCAA Tournament (BYU, Bowling Green, Northern Colorado, Kansas, Wichita State). Year W-L vs. Previous Season NCAA Teams 1994 0-4 1995 0-2 1996 0-2 1997 0-3 1998 0-5 1999 2-4 2000 0-4 2001 1-6 2002 0-5 2003 0-3 2004 2-2 2005 0-6 2006 4-6 2007 4-9 2008 6-8 2009 1-11 2010 4-7 2011 2-6 2012 11-2 2013 5-3 TOTAL 42-98 TOTAL Under Booth 39-63
BIG EAST Preseason Poll Creighton has been picked to win the BIG EAST Conference in a preseason poll of league coaches. CU received 63 points in the poll and seven of a possible eight first-place votes. Marquette received the remained votes for first place and was second with 57 points, while Xavier was third with 50 points. Creighton also led the way with three of the 12 members on the BIG EAST’s preseason all-conference team, a trio that included Kelli Browning, Melanie Jereb and Leah McNary. Browning was named Co-Preseason Player of the Year, an honor she shared with Marquette setter Elizabeth Koberstein. This is the first time that Creighton Volleyball has ever been picked to win its league, and the school’s first team picked to win the BIG EAST in any sport. Radio Broadcast Information Brad Burwell and former Bluejay volleyball player Erin (Swanson) Russell will broadcast at least nine home matches this season. The matches will air on KZOT (1180 AM) and KOIL (1290 AM) and be webcast online at www.gocreighton.com as well. The pre-match show typically 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: 2013 Volleyball Remaining Broadcast Schedule Oct. 11 DePaul (KOIL 1290 AM) Oct. 13 Marquette (KZOT 1180 AM) Oct. 18 Xavier (KOIL 1290 AM) Oct. 20 Butler (KZOT 1180 AM) Nov. 3 Seton Hall (KZOT 1180 AM) Nov. 22 Georgetown (KOIL 1290 AM)
Set 1 Result = Match Result Creighton is 168-19 overall under Kirsten Bernthal Booth when it wins set one. In that same time span, CU is just 29-104 under Booth when it drops the first set. Creighton went 24-1 last season when winning the opening set of a match. The season-ending loss to Minnesota was the first time all season that it lost after leading a match after any completed set. This year’s team is 10-1 when leading in sets played at any point of a match.
Last Year Summary Last year’s team finished 29-4 while compiling one of the best seasons from any women’s team in Creighton history. The Bluejays closed their 19-year run in the MVC by winning the program’s first Valley regular-season and Tournament titles. CU won early-season tournaments at USF and Northern Colorado before clinching the outright league crown with a memorable 3-2 comeback win at rival Wichita State. The Jays would sweep the Shockers eight days later for the Valley Tourney title, and sweep Marquette to open NCAA Tournament play before falling at Minnesota. Megan Bober was named MVC Player of the Year and Tournament MVP, while Kelli Browning was tabbed MVC Defensive Player of the Year. Both women were named Honorable Mention All-Americans and were joined on the All-MVC First Team by Melanie Jereb. Kirsten Bernthal Booth was named MVC Coach of the Year and CaptainU National Coach of the Year. Creighton spent four weeks in the AVCA Top 25 for the first time, reaching as high as No. 21 before finishing No. 24.
Creighton Volleyball Wins BIG EAST Tournament
Creighton Volleyball vs. Xavier Postgame Press Conference from the 2014 BIG EAST...