Oct. 18 7 pm Xavier at Creighton (1290 AM) Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)
Oct. 20 1 pm Butler at Creighton (1180 AM) (Pink Out) Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)
Creighton Volleyball meets fellow BIG EAST newcomers Xavier and Butler for the second time in three weeks, only this time the matches take place in Omaha.
The Bluejays (12-4, 3-1 BIG EAST) host Xavier (12-7, 4-1 BIG EAST) on Friday night in a 7 pm match before welcoming Butler (16-4, 3-2 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.Jays To Wear Pink on SundayCreighton will wear its alternate pink jerseys on Sunday afternoon as part of the program’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness program, and invites its fans to also wear pink that day. Groups participating include the American Cancer Society/Creighton Colleges Against Cancer Committee as well as Creighton Relay for Life survivors and participants of the Relay for Life of Douglas Country. Those groups have all received coupons that admit cancer survivors and their families free of charge (or a two for the price of one ticket offer) to this match. ACS will have a table set up in the Ryan Athletic Center corridors displaying information as part of its awareness campaign. This is the seventh straight season that the team has worn its pink jerseys to help with the cancer awareness campaign, having also done it in 2007 against UNI, in 2008 and 2011 vs. Evansville, in both 2009 and 2010 vs. Indiana State, and in 2012 vs. Southern Illinois.
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).
Rachel Houseman 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.
Both matches will be video webcast, and include audio from Rachel Houseman 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.
Creighton is 12-4 on the year, including six wins over NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago (No. 13 BYU, Bowling Green, Northern Colorado, Kansas, Wichita State and Marquette). 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
(3.13 kps.), Jess Bird
(2.08 kps., 2.35 dps.) and Melanie Jereb
(1.98 kps., 2.60 dps.).
Creighton remains strong in the middle, where Kelli Browning
(2.20 kps., 1.45 bps., .315%) and Lauren Smith
(2.37 kps., 1.12 bps., .347%,) roam. Setter Michelle Sicner
(10.35 aps, 2.87 dps, 1.55 kps.) directs CU’s offense and had a pair of triple-doubles last weekend.
The Bluejays returned four starters plus libero Kate Elman
(3.62 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 13.48 kills, 1.17 aces, 14.68 digs and 2.96 blocks per set while hitting .229 as a team.
Xavier is 12-7 (4-1 BIG EAST) on the season heading into Friday’s battle for first place at Creighton. The Musketeers only loss since in six matches since Sept. 22 was a 3-1 loss in Cincinnati to Creighton on Oct. 5.
Freshman OH Abbey Bessler (3.57 kps.), senior MB Alex Smith (2.76 kps., .417%) and senior OH Sarah Brown (1.88 kps., 3.97 dps.) lead the offense, which is directed by Alex’s sister, junior S Aubree Smith (10.67 aps.).
Sophomore DS/L Lauren Metzger (3.42 dps.) is second on the team in digs, while junior MB Alex Blair (1.12 bps.) is the team’s top blocker.
As a squad, Xavier averages 14.21 kills, 1.25 aces, 17.47 digs and 2.10 blocks per set on .224 hitting.
Butler is 16-4 on the season and 3-2 in BIG EAST play, with both league setbacks at the hands of Xavier. Butler is the only league team to defeat Creighton (3-1 on Oct. 4).
Junior OH Belle Obert leads BU with 3.36 kills per set and also owns 1.13 blocks per set on .265 hitting. Middle blockers Maggie Harbison (1.98 kps., .283%, 1.14 bps.) and Erica Stahl (1.91 kps., .338%, 1.26 bps.) join Obert by averaging more than a block per set.
Junior DS Brooke Ruffolo (4.78 dps.) leads the team in digs, while senior setter Morgan Peterson averages 9.52 assists per set.
As a team, Butler averages 13.17 kills, 1.29 aces, 16.30 digs and 2.88 blocks per set on .257 hitting.
Creighton is coached by Kirsten Bernthal Booth (Truman State, 1997), who owns a 199-123 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.
Mike Johnson (Washington, 2003) is in his fourth year at Xavier, where he owns a 74-39 record and won 20 or more matches each of his first three seasons. His career record stands at 96-48 in five years when you include one year as head coach at Austin Peay. He is assisted by Kirsta Cobb, Dave Franklin and Ilvanna Hernandez.
Sharon Clark (Sacramento State, 1989) is 221-187 in her 14th year at Butler, which moves her career mark to 323-296 in 21 seasons overall when you factor in one year at Humboldt State (1993) and six seasons at UC Davis (1994-99). The winningest volleyball coach in program history, she is assisted by Lenika Vazquez and Dottie Porch.
Series History vs. Xavier
Creighton won the only previous meeting with Xavier in four sets on Oct. 5 in Cincinnati. Lauren Smith
had a career-high with 15 kills and added eight blocks to pace CU, while Michelle Sicner
had 48 assists, 18 digs and eight kills. Freshman Abbey Bessler had 20 kills and 15 digs to lead the Musketeers. Kirsten Bernthal Booth
is 1-0 vs. Xavier and head coach Mike Johnson.
Series History vs. Butler
Butler ruined Creighton’s BIG EAST opener on Oct. 4 in Indianapolis, handing the Bluejays a four-set loss.
Erica Stahl led a balanced Bulldog attack with 13 kills and five blocks, while CU was paced by 15 kills from Leah McNary
. Kirsten Bernthal Booth
is 0-1 vs. Butler and head coach Sharon Clark.
Last Action Summary
Creighton returned home after a month away and posted wins vs. DePaul (3-1) and Marquette (3-0) in its first BIG EAST home matches. Michelle Sicner
had triple-doubles in both contests and led CU for the week with 72 assists, 27 digs and 24 kills.
A pair of Creighton Volleyball players were honored by the BIG EAST Conference after a 2-0 weekend that included victories over DePaul and Marquette. Michelle Sicner
was named the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week, while Jess Bird
was named BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week. This is Sicner’s second BIG EAST honor of the season, joining the recognition she received Sept. 2. It is the first BIG EAST plaudit of Bird’s young career.
Sicner had triple-doubles in both matches last week to help Creighton to wins over DePaul (3-1) and Marquette (3-0) in the first two BIG EAST home matches in program history, hitting .579 while averaging 10.29 assists, 3.86 digs, 3.43 kills and 0.57 blocks per set. For the week, Sicner led Creighton in assists (72), kills (24), digs (27) and hitting percentage (.579) in seven sets of work.
Bird helped Creighton to a pair of home wins while averaging 2.86 kills, 2.29 digs and 1.00 blocks per set. Bird opened her week with 12 kills, seven digs, five blocks, four assists and two aces in a 3-1 win vs. DePaul in which she hit .333, then had eight kills, nine digs, two blocks and an assist in a 3-0 sweep of league-leading Marquette on Sunday.
Just Plain Sick
In addition to earning top honors from the BIG EAST Conference, Michelle Sicner
has also been named the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week.
Sicner is the first player in program history to earn the honor from the AVCA.
Seeking 200 Wins
Creighton head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth
enters this weekend with a 199-123 record in her 11th year with the Bluejay program, one victory shy of 200.
Booth became the program’s winningest coach in program history in 2007, and picked up her 100th victory on Oct. 31, 2008 vs. Drake.
She has beaten 61 different schools to amass the 199 wins at CU.
Booth’s Milestone Wins
W-L Opponent Date
1-1 vs. Auburn 8/30/03
50-43 Jacksonville State 9/1/06
100-71 at Drake 10/31/08
150-108 Drake 9/16/11
Triple-Double TroubleMichelle Sicner
had near-identical numbers while posting a pair of triple-doubles last weekend.
Sicner had 39 assists, 12 digs and 12 kills on Friday in four sets vs. DePaul, then followed that up with 33 assists, 15 digs and 12 kills on Sunday in a 3-0 sweep of Marquette. In both matches, Sicner had identical hitting lines of 12 kills and one error in 19 swings for a .579 hitting percentage.
Sicner is the second player in Creighton history to post consecutive triple-doubles, as Megan Bober
did it three times. With a triple-double vs. Xavier on Friday, Sicner can become the first player with three in a row, however.
Matches With a Triple-Double, Season
T-D Name Year
9 Megan Bober
6 Megan Bober
2 Michelle Sicner
1 Melissa Weisensee 1994
1 JoDe Cieloha 1995
1 JoDe Cieloha 1996
1 Melissa Weisensee 1997
1 Kailey Reyes 1998
1 Kailey Reyes 1999
1 Kailey Reyes 2000
1 Kailey Reyes 2001
1 Michelle Sicner
Matches With a Triple-Double, Career
T-D Name Years
15 Megan Bober
4 Kailey Reyes 1998-2001
3 Michelle Sicner
2 Melissa Weisensee 1994-97
2 JoDe Cieloha 1994-97
In addition to her triple-double streak, Michelle Sicner
also owns a double-double in six straight matches. With two more this weekend, she can tie a school record set in 2000 by Melissa Walsh.
As it is, Sicner’s stretch is tied for fifth-longest in program history.
Consecutive Matches, Double-Double
8 Melissa Walsh, Oct. 24-Nov. 17, 2000
7 Korie Lebeda, Nov. 4-24, 2006
7 Kailey Reyes, Oct. 23-Nov. 18, 1999
7 Megan Bober
, Oct. 26-Nov. 16, 2012
6 Abby Baumann, Oct. 13-Nov. 4, 2006
6 Korie Lebeda, Sept. 6-Oct. 3, 2008
6 Megan Bober
, Sept. 17-Oct. 7, 2011
6 Michelle Sicner
, Sept. 21, 2013 - Present
Creighton has enjoyed tremendous success in October in recent seasons. The Jays have won 14 of the last 15 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 16 of its last 17 home matches in October since Oct. 22, 2009.
Creighton has lost just 12 times since Oct. 16, 2011, and none of those teams have beaten CU twice in that span.
In fact, when facing a team that has beaten the Jays since then, Creighton is a perfect 11-0.
The last time CU lost twice to the same team in the same season came in 2011, when Texas A&M, Missouri State and UNI all did it.
The Bluejays will look to avoid that from happening on Sunday when Butler comes to town.
Creighton’s crowd of 2,109 on Sunday vs. Marquette was the eighth-largest in program history, and fifth-largest ever at D.J. Sokol Arena.
In addition, the attendance was the largest home crowd for any BIG EAST home match this season.
Below is a list of CU’s 10 largest home crowds ever, with matches at D.J. Sokol Arena in bold.
Largest Home Crowds
Att. Opponent Date CU Result
13,081 #18 Cal Poly 09/02/07 L 0-3
12,112 #1 Nebraska 09/24/06 L 1-3
8,037 #2 Nebraska 10/05/08 L 0-3
2,514 #7 Nebraska 08/31/10 L 0-3
2,325 Northern Iowa 10/05/12 W 3-1
2,285 Texas Tech 08/28/09 W 3-0
2,135 Bradley 10/14/11 W 3-1
2,109 Marquette 10/13/13 W 3-0
1,557 Northern Iowa 11/21/08 W 3-0
1,544 Wichita State 09/15/12 W 3-1
After playing just five Sunday home matches in Kirsten Bernthal Booth
’s first 10 years at Creighton, the Bluejays have four home tilts on Sunday this season.
Including last Sunday’s near-capacity crowd of 2,109, Creighton is now averaging 6,199 fans in six home matches played on a Sunday under Booth. That list includes four of the top eight home crowds in program history.
Another 45 Record
Creighton’s win vs. Marquette last Sunday was the program’s 45th at D.J. Sokol Arena, its most in any facility in history.
CU is now 45-16 all-time at the five-year old facility, one win more than the 44-26 mark attained at the Omaha Civic Auditorium from 2003-08.
Creighton ranks seventh nationally in the official RPI released by the NCAA on Monday. The six schools ahead of the Bluejays (Texas, Penn State, Florida, Southern California, Stanford and Nebraska).
The six teams ahead of Creighton have won 19-of-32 NCAA Tournament titles all-time and own a 460-158 NCAA Tournament record in 176 appearances.
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.
Not counting their result vs. Creighton, the 12 squads are a combined 91-42 (.694), with 19 of those losses coming against teams (besides Creighton) that have been nationally ranked. The teams are also 51-21 in league play 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 12-4 start and Creighton is 41-8.
The 41-8 mark gives the Jays a .837 win percentage in that span, 11th-best nationally.
Creighton’s 41 wins in the same span rank tied for 16th nationally.
Best Win Percentages, Since 2012 (thru 10/13/13)
Name W L Pct.
Penn State 47 5 .904
Hawai’i 43 5 .896
Florida 44 6 .880
Texas 41 6 .872
Southern Cal 46 7 .868
BYU 42 7 .857
North Carolina 42 7 .857
Stanford 42 7 .857
Central Arkansas 45 8 .849
Western Kentucky 49 9 .845
Creighton 41 8 .837
Washington 38 8 .826
Most Wins, Since 2012 (thru 10/13/13)
Name W L Pct.
Western Kentucky 49 9 .845
Penn State 47 5 .904
Southern Cal 46 7 .868
Central Arkansas 45 8 .849
Florida 44 6 .880
Hawai’i 43 5 .896
MInnesota 43 11 .796
BYU 42 7 .857
North Carolina 42 7 .857
Stanford 42 7 .857
Georgia Southern 42 10 .808
Michigan State 42 11 .792
VCU 42 11 .792
Coll. of Charleston 42 12 .778
Tulsa 42 14 .750
Texas 41 6 .872
Creighton 41 8 .837
American 41 12 .774
Morehead State 41 12 .774
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 Fell 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 Oct. 7th.
The Jays collected 32 points in the voting and are tied for 33rd in the voting and were listed among those “also receiving votes”. This week the team climbed to 30th in the poll with 60 points.
Creighton has still been received votes in each of the last 19 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
10/14/13 60 30th
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 take a look at how Creighton’s start in 2013 compares to the last three seasons after 16 matches.
Stat 2013 2012 2011 2010
W-L Thru 16 12-4 13-3 9-7 10-6
Final W-L ? ? ? 29-4 17-14 21-12
Postseason ? ? ? NCAA None NCAA
Tourney Titles 1 3 0 0
Kills/Set 13.48 13.47 12.79 13.19
Hitting % .229 .257 .197 .206
Aces/Set 1.17 1.27 1.40 1.17
Digs/Set 14.68 16.47 17.49 18.58
Blocks/Set 2.96 3.08 2.55 2.51
Sicner Reaches 1,000 AssistsMichelle Sicner
became the sixth player in Creighton Volleyball’s modern (since 1994) history to reach 1,000 career assists on Oct. 4 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.
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 1.45 blocks per set, eighth-best nationally, amongst the NCAA stat leaders.
Browning owns 324 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).
Creighton boasts two freshmen who are averaging at least two kills per set, Jess Bird
(2.08) and Lauren Smith
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 FreshmenLauren Smith
is averaging 2.37 kills and 1.12 blocks per set after 16 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 16 matches, Houts was averaging 2.67 kills and 1.04 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 SmithLauren Smith
is off to a fantastic start to her freshman campaign, with 142 kills and 67 blocks while hitting .347 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 & HigherMichelle 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.
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 4-2 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 2.08 kills and 2.35 digs per set. By comparison, Melanie Jereb
averaged 2.33 kills and 2.67 digs per set after her first 16 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 17-2 at home the past two seasons, with both setbacks coming during the Bluejay Invitational. Creighton is also now 34-4 in its last 38 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
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.
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 27-4 in those matches, going 10-0 against Southern Illinois, 9-1 vs. Bradley, 7-3 vs. Illinois State and 1-0 vs. DePaul in contests played in Omaha.
Creighton owns a 23-match home win streak in conference matches against teams from the Land of Lincoln that dates to 2005.
2-0 Better Than 0-2
Creighton is 187-8 (.959) all-time when leading a match 2-0, including a 129-2 mark under Kirsten Bernthal Booth
. They own an 87-4 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 199-1 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 12-4
Total 50-46 292-275
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
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 12 wins include six triumphs over squads that were in the 2012 NCAA Tournament (BYU, Bowling Green, Northern Colorado, Kansas, Wichita State, Marquette).
Year W-L vs. Previous Season NCAA Teams
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. 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 169-19 overall under Kirsten Bernthal Booth
when it wins set one. In that same time span, CU is just 30-104 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 12-1 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.