-- Creighton had two players honored by the MVC, while the Creighton Volleyball team was listed No. 29 in the latest edition of the official NCAA RPI on Monday. The league honored Megan Bober
as MVC Player of the Week, while Kate Elman
was selected as Valley Newcomer of the Week.
The Bluejays are off to their best 18-match start in program history with a 15-3 record, and are tied for first place with a 6-1 Missouri Valley Conference mark. The start has helped the Jays receive votes in
the AVCA Top 25 poll for the fifth time this season, returning to the
list of those "also receiving votes" after a one-week absence. This week's poll saw CU earn
two votes, good for a tie for 37th place.
Bober hit .475 and averaged a triple-double (32.5 assists, 11.0 kills and 13.5 digs) in four-set victories over Northern Iowa and Bradley last weekend to move Creighton back into first place in the league standings. 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. She served a vital 6-0 run in set two that helped the Jays take a 15-6 lead and even the match at 1-all. Bober closed her weekend with 14 kills, 30 assists and 13 digs for her 11th career triple-double, a figure that ranks second in MVC history. 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.
This is Bober's second Valley honor of the fall, and her fifth career MVC Player of the Week accolade, which is tied for fourth-most in league history.
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 on Friday, 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. On Saturday night, Elman had 18 digs and tied her career-high with three aces in another 3-1 win. Seven of her digs and two of her aces came during the 25-23 fourth set victory that sealed the win.
This is the second MVC Freshman of the Week honor for Elman, who owns 10 or more digs in all 18 matches this season.
Creighton’s No. 29 RPI is believed to be the program’s second-best weekly mark ever, trailing only the No. 26 ranking from a week ago. It's also significantly higher than a No. 55 rank at a similar time two years ago (Oct. 4, 2010), when CU went on to earn an at-large bid and reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Statistically, sophomore Kelli Browning ranks second in the nation in blocking, averaging 1.72 blocks per set. Browning also ranks 26th nationally in hitting percentage at .390. The only other Bluejay ranked in the top-100 of any category is freshman libero Kate Elman, who is 82nd with 4.72 digs per set.
As a team, the Jays average of 3.12 stuffs per set ranks fifth nationally. Creighton is also ranked among the top-100 in winning percentage (20th, .833), hitting percentage (33rd, .255), digs per set (53rd, 16.60) and kills per set (90th, 13.37).
Creighton visits Illinois State and Indiana State this weekend. Friday's match in Normal, Ill., begins at 7 pm and can be heard on KOIL (1290 AM), while Saturday's match in Terre Haute, Ind., takes place at 6 pm and will not be broadcast.