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Kate Elman
Courtesy: J Duncan Photography

#19 Volleyball Hosts Bluejay Invitational

Creighton Volleyball Notes
This Week -- Bluejay Invitational
Sept. 6    3:30 pm    California vs. South Florida    Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)
Sept. 6    6 pm    Northern Colorado at #19 Creighton (1290 AM)    Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)

Sept. 7    10 am    Northern Colorado vs. California    Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)
Sept. 7    Noon    South Florida at #19 Creighton (1180 AM)    Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)
Sept. 7    5:30 pm    South Florida vs. Northern Colorado    Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)
Sept. 7    7:30 pm    California at #19 Creighton (1180 AM)    Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)

This Weekend
No. 19 Creighton Volleyball (2-0) opens the home portion of its 2013 schedule by hosting the Bluejay Invitational this weekend at D.J. Sokol Arena inside the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center (capacity 2,500).
    The tournament begins on Friday when California (2-0) takes on South Florida (3-1) in a 3:30 pm match. Creighton (2-0) then takes on Northern Colorado (2-1) in the 6 pm finale.
    Saturday features four matches. Northern Colorado takes on California at 10 am before Creighton hosts South Florida at noon. The evening session features South Florida vs. Northern Colorado at 5:30 pm before California takes on Creighton in at 7:30 pm.

Radio Information
Creighton’s 10-match volleyball broadcast schedule begins this weekend. Friday’s match will air on KOIL (1290 AM), while both of Saturday’s matches will be on KZOT (1180 AM).
    Brad Burwell will call the play-by-play, while Erin Russell handles color analyst duties.
    The matches will be streamed free of charge on the internet at (Saturday) and clicking on the Listen Live button on the right side of the page.

Video Information
All matches from this weekend’s Bluejay Invitational will be video webcast, including non-Creighton contests.
    To sign up, visit 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
All matches at the Bluejay Invitational will have free live stats.
    Visit and click on the Live Stats tab on the top of the page for the exact link.
    Live stats from all of the Bluejay Invitational matches are also available on your mobile phone by clicking on

Scouting #19 Creighton
Creighton opened the 2013 season with a title at the Hampton Inn Invitational, picking up wins over No. 13 BYU (3-1) and host Bowling Green (3-0).
    Michelle Sicner was named Tournament MVP after averaging 11.57 assists and 3.43 digs per set. She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by middle blockers Lauren Smith (2.57 kps., 0.71 bps., .531%) and Kelli Browning (2.00 kps., 2.29 bps., .276%).
    The Bluejays returned four starters plus libero Kate Elman 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, Melanie Jereb and Leah McNary were named preseason all-league picks.
    Creighton averages 15.57 kills, 1.57 aces, 17.00 digs and 3.00 blocks per set while hitting .292 as a team.

Scouting Northern Colorado
Northern Colorado picked up impressive victories over Cal Poly (3-1) and Baylor (3-0) last weekend in Greeley before falling on Tuesday at Colorado State (3-0).
    Andrea Spaustat leads a balanced attack for UNC, averaging 2.80 kills and 2.20 digs per set while also hitting a team-best .319.
    Also averaging multiple kills for the Bears were Alyssa Wilson (2.60, .253%), Kendra Cunningham (2.60) and Brianna Strong (2.60, .217%).
    Merideth Johnson tops the club with 5.10 digs per set, while Ashley Guthrie (10.50) directs the offense as the setter.
    As a team, Northern Colorado averages 12.40 kills, 1.00 aces, 15.00 digs and 2.25 blocks per set while hitting a collective .221 as a team.

Scouting South Florida
The Bulls went 3-1 last weekend at the USF Invitational, falling to Miami (Fla.) in four sets before picking up wins over The Citadel (3-0), Austin Peay (3-1) and Ball State (3-2).
    Erin Fairs (3.50 kps., 5.00 dps.) led the Bulls offensively last weekend, picking up where she left off after winning BIG EAST Newcomer of the Year honors in 2012. Fairs was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Jennica Mullins (1.94 kps., 1.19 bps., .304%) and Natalia Soares (6.06 aps.).
    As a team, USF averages 12.88 kills, 1.00 aces, 18.12 digs and 2.62 blocks per set while hitting .192 overall.

Scouting California
Cal enters the second week of play with a perfect 2-0 record after lopsided 3-0 home wins last week vs. Nevada and New Mexico State.
    Three starters and libero Mary McKennon return from last year’s team that finished 15-16 and was ousted in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
    OH Adrienne Gehan averaged 4.33 kills per set last week and hit a robust .477, while Papillion native Lillian Schonewise averaged 3.00 kills and hit an absurd .667 in 27 errorless swings in addition to collecting eight blocks in six sets.
    Senior Joan Caloiaro set the Bears to 12.67 assists per set and a team hitting percentage of .400.
    As a team, Cal averages 15.83 kills, 1.67 aces, 13.00 digs and 2.67 blocks per set on .400 hitting.
The Coaches
Creighton is coached by Kirsten Bernthal Booth (Truman State, 1997), who owns a 189-119 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 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.
    Northern Colorado is coached by Lyndsey Oates (LSU, 2002), who is 147-101 in her ninth year. Before being promoted three days before the start of fall practice in 2005, Oates was previously an assistant at Northern Colorado and at Samford before that. She is assisted by Jenny Glenn and Tom Hunter.
    South Florida is coached by Courtney Draper (Florida State, 2000), who is 20-16 in her second season with the Bulls. She served as head coach at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., for eight seasons before heading to USF, and owns a 180-134 career mark when you include her first head coaching job at Jacksonville University in 2003. She is assisted by Brian Imperiale and Kelly Surrency.
    Cal is coached by Rich Feller (San Diego State, 1973), who owns a 285-153 mark in 15 seasons with the Bears, and a 584-320 mark in 29 seasons overall when you include his 14-year run at Colorado State. He’s assisted by Ben Bodipo-Memba, Jennifer Carey and Lazaro Beltran.

Series History vs. Northern Colorado
Creighton is 2-1 all-time vs. Northern Colorado, including a 1-0 mark in Omaha during the 2005 Bluejay Invitational.
    UNC won in four sets at New Mexico in 2004 before Creighton swept the Bears at the Bluejay Invitational in 2005 in Lyndsey Oates’ first match as a head coach. Last season, CU swept UNC to claim the Northern Colorado Classic title.
    Kirsten Bernthal Booth is 2-1 vs. Northern Colorado and 2-0 vs. Oates, while Oates is 0-2 vs. Creighton.

Series History vs. USF
Creighton swept USF in the only previous meeting (25-18, 25-22, 25-23) on August 25, 2012, in Tampa. Michelle Sicner had career-highs with 10 kills on .643 hitting to lead the Jays to victory.
    Kirsten Bernthal Booth is 1-0 vs. USF and coach Courtney Draper, while Draper is 0-1 against Creighton.

Series History vs. Cal
Creighton and Kirsten Bernthal Booth has never faced Cal or head coach Rich Feller.
    Creighton is 0-5 all-time against the current members of the Pacific-12 Conference, going 0-1 against Arizoan State, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford and Washington State.

Last Weekend Summary
Creighton opened the 2013 season with a title at the Hampton Inn Invitational, picking up wins over No. 13 BYU (3-1) and host Bowling Green (3-0).
    Michelle Sicner was named Tournament MVP after averaging 11.57 assists and 3.43 digs per set. She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by middle blockers Lauren Smith (2.57 kps., 0.71 bps., .531%) and Kelli Browning (2.00 kps., 2.29 bps., .276%).
Up To 19th Nationally
Creighton is up to a best-ever 19th in the AVCA poll this week, collecting a program-record 423 points in the voting.
    Dating to last season, this is the sixth consecutive week Creighton’s been among the nation’s top-25.
    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

Quest For A Title Continues
Though this will be the ninth edition of the Bluejay Invitational, host Creighton is still in search of its first championship at its own tournament. Creighton is 11-11 in its Bluejay Invitational history.
    Champions, by year, include Iowa State (2005), Iowa (2006), Middle Tennessee (2007), Minnesota (2008), Illinois (2009), Kansas (2010), Northern Illinois (2011) and Kansas State (2012).

Longitude Aptitude
There have been 19 previous schools (besides Creighton) to play in the Bluejay Invitational. Teams located west of Omaha are a combined 5-20 with one title, while teams to the east of Omaha are 26-11 with seven titles.
    Of this year’s field, USF is east of Omaha while Northern Colorado and California are located west of Omaha.

Ranked Teams In The Bluejay Invitaitional
History shows that being a ranked team in the Bluejay Invitational is a good omen. No. 19 Creighton will be the fifth ranked squad to participate in the Bluejay Invitaitonal. The previous four clubs are 10-1 in the event with three titles.
    The only ranked team to lose was No. 21 LSU, which was swept by No. 16 Minnesota in 2008.
    That means that ranked teams are 9-0 against unranked competition in the Bluejay Invitational.
Ranked Teams in Bluejay Invitational
Year    Rank, Team    W-L
2008    #16 Minnesota    3-0
2008    #21 LSU    2-1
2009    #10 Illinois    2-0
2012    #21 Kansas State    3-0
2013    #19 Creighton    ? ? ?

Nebraskans Return Home
Northern Colorado and California both have Nebraska natives returning to their home state this weekend.
    California’s roster features Papillion native Lillian Schonewise, who went to Papillion-La Vista South.
    Northern Colorado’s squad includes Omaha product Andrea Spaustat (Marian HS) and Lincoln native Makenna Meier (Waverly HS).

Back For More
Cal setter Joan Caloiaro is likely to become the first visiting player in history to play in more than one Bluejay Invitational.
    Caloiaro played for the University of San Francisco in losses to Creighton, Kansas and Lipscomb in the 2010 event, the first matches of her college career.
    Caloiaro had 32 assists, 21 digs and six kills in her debut vs. Creighton, had 19 assists, seven digs and four kills vs. Kansas, and 12 assists, 12 digs and eight kills vs. Lipscomb.
    For her work, Caloiaro was the lone player from USF named to the All-Tournament Team that weekend.

Creighton has won 10 of the 47 regular-season events its played in all-time, but has won back-to-back events just once. That came in 2004, when Creighton won the Comcast Lobo Invitational in Albuquerque before winning the Quality Inn Tiger Invitational in Columbia, Mo., one weekend later.

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 2-0 start and Creighton is 31-4.
    The 31-4 mark gives the Jays a .886 win percentage in that span, tied for second nationally behind only Penn State.
    Creighton’s 31 wins in the same span rank tied for sixth nationally.
Best Win Percentages, Since 2012 (thru 9/3/13)
Name    W    L    Pct.
Penn St.    35    3    0.921
Creighton    31    4    0.886
Stanford    31    4    0.886
Hawaii    29    4    0.879
Western Ky.    35    5    0.875
Louisville    31    5    0.861
Texas    31    5    0.861
Florida St.    30    5    0.857
Florida    30    5    0.857
Southern California    33    6    0.846

Most Wins, Since 2012 (thru 9/3/13)
Penn St.    35    3    0.9211
Western Ky.    35    5    0.8750
Southern California    33    6    0.8462
Oregon    33    6    0.8462
Central Ark.    32    6    0.8421
Creighton    31    4    0.8857
Stanford    31    4    0.8857
Louisville    31    5    0.8611
Texas    31    5    0.8611
Minnesota    31    8    0.7949

Have You Heard?
Freshman 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, joing 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.

No Ordinary Smith
Redshirt freshman MB Lauren Smith averaged 2.57 kills and 0.71 blocks per set while hitting a league-best .531 last weekend. 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 first CU player with nine or more kills on .350 or better hitting in each of the first two matches of her career.

Beating Top Teams
Wins over BYU and Bowling Green made Creighton one of three teams nationally with a pair of wins during the opening weekend over teams that reached the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, joining Illinois and USC.
    It was the fourth tournament title for Creighton in the past two seasons, joining the USF Invitational, Northern Colorado Classic and Missouri Valley Conference Tournament that were all claimed last fall.

Season Opening History
With its 3-1 win over No. 13 BYU last Friday, Creighton improved its record to 12-8 in season-opening matches since restarting the program in 1994. Creighton head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth is 8-3 in opening matches and on a five-year winning streak. The five straight wins in season-openers is the best mark in program history.
    Booth also improved to 9-2 in Creighton’s first match away from home, helping Creighton improve to 12-8 in such contests all-time.
    Creighton’s five straight wins in season-openers is the longest active streak in the BIG EAST, one more than St. John’s.
    Creighton enters Friday’s match vs. Northern Colorado with a 12-7 mark in home openers, including a 7-3 mark under Kirsten Bernthal Booth.

Some Fab Freshmen
Including Jess Bird last Friday, 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.

Hello World!
Two of the 13 players on Creighton’s 2013 team have never played a point at the Division I level, as freshmen Kenzie Crawford and Amanda Foje could both make their Division I debut this weekend. Below is the current Creighton players and how they performed in their regular-season collegiate debuts.
    Records for a Bluejay debut can be found at the bottom of page seven.
Year    Name    SP    K    E    TA    Pct.    A    SA    DIG    TB
2013    Jess Bird•    4    14    5    29    .310    3    2    12    0
2011    Kelli Browning    5    11    3    31    .258    0    0    1    6
2013    Lauren Smith•    4    9    0    14    .643    0    0    0    4
2011    Katie Neisler•    5    5    5    24    .000    1    0    18    1
2012    Melanie Jereb•    4    5    2    28    .107    0    0    14    0
2010    Savannah Smith    4    3    1    7    .286    0    0    1    2
2011    Leah McNary    2    2    2    6    .000    0    0    0    0
2012    Kate Elman    4    1    0    2    .500    4    1    22    0
2012    Ashley Jansen•    4    1    0    3    .333    1    1    10    0
2012    Lizzy Stivers    4    0    0    0    ---    0    0    0    0
2011    Michelle Sicner•    5    0    1    4    -.250    1    0    9    1

Regular-Season Tournament History
Creighton is 70-70 in the 47 regular-season tournaments it has participated in all-time, including a 10-1 mark since the start of last season. Kirsten Bernthal Booth’s teams are 50-37 in 31 regular-season tournaments, including eight titles.
    Creighton won two regular-season tournaments last season, taking the season-opening USF Invitational as well as the Northern Colorado Classic, before claiming last week’s Hampton Inn Invitational.
    Creighton had won just two of 16 regular-season tournaments prior to Booth’s arrival.

Turned Up To 11
Creighton Volleyball 11 straight home wins are a program record. CU’s only home loss since the start of last season came against No. 21 Kansas State during the Bluejay Invitational.
    Each of the three previous streaks of six straight home wins or longer were snapped in the Bluejay Invitational.
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

Some Serious Streaks
Below is a list of the nation’s longest active home win streaks, according to numbers tabulated by Creighton’s Sports Information office. Creighton’s streak ranks eighth-longest.
Longest Active Home Win Streaks (9/3)
    Streak    School    Next Home Match
    27    Penn State    9/20
    22    North Carolina    9/13
    18    Miami (Fla.)    9/13
    18    Northeastern    9/20
    16    Stanford    9/4
    14    BYU    9/10
    13    San Diego State    9/13
    11    Creighton    9/6
    11    Idaho State    10/4

The Votes Add Up
Creighton has six matches scheduled against teams that received votes in the preseason AVCA Top 25 poll, including five teams in the top-25.
    Creighton plays 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 hosts Cal, which received enough points to finish 37th in the voting.
    Even after a difficult opening weekend, six of Creighton’s next 10 contests come against teams receiving votes in the Sept. 2nd AVCA Top 25 poll.
    Among teams in the preseason top-25, Creighton’s five non-conference matches vs. top-25 foes is tied for the national lead with Texas, Hawai’i, Florida State and Western Kentucky.

Jays vs. Ranked Teams
Creighton’s win over No. 13 BYU last Friday 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 3-48 all-time against ranked schools (3-32 under Kirsten Bernthal Booth). That includes an 0-26 road record, 1-17 at home and 2-5 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

As A Ranked Team
Creighton enters this weekend ranked No. 19 nationally. All-time, Creighton is 9-1 when playing as a ranked team in the AVCA poll, including a 1-1 mark as a ranked team while facing a ranked foe.
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

Most Improved?
After going 17-14 in 2011, Creighton improved its record to 29-4 in 2012. Extensive research indicates it was tied for the nation’s third-largest win increase last year, and second-best among NCAA Tournament teams.
    2011    2012    Win
    W-L    W-L    Increase    School
    17-15    30-5    +13    Central Arkansas*
    4-22    17-12    +13    Loyola Chicago
    17-14    29-4    +12    Creighton*
    4-25    16-13    +12    Akron
    9-21    21-11    +12    High Point
    9-18    21-9    +12    Southern Illinois
    9-22    20-14    +11    Arizona State*
    8-20    19-11    +11    Temple
    15-14    26-7    +11    Kansas*
*2012 NCAA Tournament Team

Taking The Fifth
Creighton is 33-17 in five-set matches under Kirsten Bernthal Booth, including a 4-1 mark last 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    4-1    29-4
2013    0-0    2-0
Total    48-45    282-271

Use The Fours
Creighton went 13-2 last season in four-set matches. According to numbers crunched by Rich Kern of fame, the 13 four-set wins led the country in 2012, one more than Georgia Southern.
    This year’s team is 1-0 in four-set matches.

2-0 Better Than 0-2
Creighton is 181-8 (.958) all-time when leading a match 2-0, including a 123-2 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 7-171 (.039) all-time when trailing a match 0-2, including an 0-58 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 189-1 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

Booth Picks Up Win 300
Kirsten Bernthal Booth enters this weekend with 301 career college wins after picking up victory No. 300 last Friday vs. No. 13 BYU.
    Booth claimed 112 wins at Kirkwood (Iowa) Junior College and has won 189 matches since arriving at Creighton in 2003.
    Booth’s 189 wins at Creighton are 121 more than the previous recordholder in CU’s modern (since 1994 reinstatement) era held by Howard Wallace.

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).
    Two of the three teams (Northern Colorado and Cal) that Creighton will face this weekend were in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
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    2-0
TOTAL    39-95
TOTAL Under Booth    36-60

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 10 home matches this season.
    The matches will air on KZOT (1180 AM) and KOIL (1290 AM) and be webcast online at 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 Broadcast Schedule
Sept. 6    Northern Colorado (KOIL 1290 AM)
Sept. 7    South Florida (KZOT 1180 AM)
Sept. 7    California (KZOT 1180 AM)
Sept. 10    Kansas (KZOT 1180 AM)
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 160-18 overall under Kirsten Bernthal Booth when it wins set one. In that same time span, CU is just 27-101 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.

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.

Jays Video
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Creighton Volleyball Wins BIG EAST Tournament
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Creighton Volleyball vs. Xavier Postgame Press Conference from the 2014 BIG EAST...
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VB: Villanova at Creighton (11/21/14)
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