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Courtesy: Laura Jacobsen

Year-by-Year Under Kirsten Bernthal Booth

2014 (25-9, 16-2 BIG EAST, Final RPI of 34)
Creighton won both the regular-season and tournament titles in the BIG EAST while advancing to a third consecutive NCAA Tournament.  The Bluejays opened the year 7-6 against a ruthless non-conference schedule, but did earn a win over former MVC rival Wichita State to win the Bluejay Invitational for the first time. The Jays avenged both regular-season losses in BIG EAST play with a 3-1 triumph over Seton Hall in the BIG EAST Championship final. Lauren Smith (MVP), Leah McNary and Marysa Wilkinson were named to the All-Tournament Team, while Kelli Browning and Jess Bird were named First Team All-Conference. Browning would close her career as CU’s all-time leader in attack percentage and block assists while being named a Third Team All-American by the AVCA and the Omaha Sports Woman of the Year by the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame. The year also saw Kate Elman become CU’s all-time digs leader.

2013 (23-9, 12-4 BIG EAST, Final RPI of 18)
Creighton’s first season in the BIG EAST saw the Bluejays attain a best-ever year-end RPI of 18 to go with runner-up finishes in league play during both the regular-season and league tournament. Ranked 24th nationally in the preseason AVCA poll, Creighton opened a challenging non-conference schedule with a 3-1 win over No. 13 BYU, part of a stretch that also featured matches vs. California, Kansas, Cal State Northridge, UCLA, Hawai’i and Wichita State. Kelli Browning and Michelle Sicner were named All-American Honorable Mention by the AVCA, while Browning and Leah McNary were First Team All-BIG EAST. CU led the nation with 3.06 blocks per set. The Bluejays reached the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four seasons, defeating Arkansas before falling in four sets at Kansas.

2012 (29-4, 17-1 MVC, Final RPI of 24)
One of the best seasons by any women’s team in Creighton history saw the Bluejays close their 19-year run in the MVC by winning the program’s first Valley regular-season and Tournament titles. CU won regular-season tournaments at South Florida and Northern Colorado before clinching the outright league crown with a memorable 3-2 comeback win at rival Wichita State. The Jays swept the Shockers eight days later for the Valley Tourney title, then defeated Marquette in straight sets to open NCAA Tournament play before falling in four frames 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 after tying for the national lead with 204 blocks. Both women were named All-Americans Honorable Mention and were joined on the All-MVC First Team by freshman Melanie Jereb. Kirsten Bernthal Booth was named MVC Coach of the Year and CaptainU National Coach of the Year. Creighton also spent four weeks in the AVCA Top 25 for the first time, reaching as high as No. 21 before finishing No. 24.

2011 (17-14, 12-6 MVC, Final RPI of 74)
Creighton finished the 2011 season with a 17-14 mark, falling in the quarterfinals of the MVC Tournament.  The Bluejays tied a program record with three First Team All-MVC picks (Megan Bober, Laurel Sanford and MVC Libero of the Year Julianne Mandolfo). Bober set an MVC single-season record with nine triple-doubles, while Mandolfo set CU single-season records for digs and digs per set.  Leah McNary and Michelle Sicner, were named to the MVC’s All-Freshman squad.

2010 (21-12, 13-5 MVC, Final RPI of 32)
Creighton’s breakthrough season saw the Bluejays make their first NCAA Tournament, upset No. 16 Iowa State, and Kirsten Bernthal Booth claim National Coach of the Year honors from CVU.com.  Creighton finished third in the MVC, the nation’s No. 6-ranked conference, and then broke down another barrier by reaching its first conference tournament final. The Jays earned an at-large bid and beat Iowa State in five sets before falling at No. 12 Minnesota in the NCAA Tourney. Sophomore setter Megan Bober was named First Team All-MVC and All-American Honorable Mention as part of a balanced squad that ranked second nationally in digs per set (18.94).

2009 (14-17, 10-8 MVC, Final RPI of 86)
Creighton opened D.J. Sokol Arena inside the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center, setting a school record with 10 home wins. Creighton beat No. 25 Wichita State on Oct. 2 for its first win over a ranked opponent, and hosted the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament for the first time at year’s end. The team overcame a 3-8 non-conference mark with a fourth-place finish in the MVC. Jessica Houts was named First Team All-MVC to lead a Creighton defense that ranked third nationally in blocks per set.

2008 (18-9, 15-3 MVC, Final RPI of 46)
Once again Creighton narrowly missed an NCAA bid, finishing with the second-best RPI of any team left out of the field. The Bluejays dropped key five-set matches to No. 21 LSU and UAB early in the year and a chance to pick up some key wins was lost when a tournament was cancelled due to a hurricane in Texas. Creighton cruised through the league with a 15-3 mark, including a sweep of UNI on the last weekend of the year, to finish alone in second place and set a program record with an eighth-straight win. However, the Bluejays dropped a five-set match to UNI in the MVC Tournament semifinals. Jessica Houts was named MVC Defensive Player of the Year and Honorable Mention All-American and joined teammates Korie Lebeda and Amanda Cvejdlik on the All-MVC First Team.

2007 (21-10, 14-4 MVC, Final RPI of 56)
Creighton didn’t receive an NCAA Tournament at-large bid despite a second straight 21-10 campaign. The Jays tied for second in the MVC but despite one of the nation’s top-15 toughest non-conference schedules, weren’t among four MVC teams selected to the NCAA’s. Kelly Goc and Korie Lebeda both repeated as First Team All-Valley picks, with Goc also named an All-American Honorable Mention. Allie Oelke was MVC Freshman of the Year and libero Bianca Rivera set a single-season dig mark. Creighton averaged a record 1,860 fans per home match, hosting more than 13,000 at CenturyLink Center Omaha for a Sept. 2 contest vs. Cal Poly.

2006 (21-10, 12-6 MVC, Final RPI of 57)
Creighton’s first team to win 20 or more matches ranked among the national leaders in attendance as well. A five-set road win at Wichita State and exciting four-set match against eventual national champion Nebraska before more than 12,000 fans prove the program reached previously unprecedented heights. Kelly Goc and Korie Lebeda were both named First Team All-Valley as the Jays beat three teams that reached the NCAA Tournament.

2005 (16-14, 10-8 MVC, Final RPI of 124)
A road win at Northern Iowa highlighted a 16-14 season. Leah Ratzlaff repeated her First Team All-MVC honors and finished 12th in league history in career kills. Freshman Korie Lebeda topped the MVC with a school-record 13.34 assists per set and was joined by talented Jessica Houts and Amanda Cvejdlik in one of Creighton’s top recruiting classes ever.

2004 (18-11, 10-8 MVC, Final RPI of 95)
A then-school-record seven-match winning streak that included victories at Missouri, New Mexico and Iowa helped Creighton reach 18 wins. Leah Ratzlaff was First Team All-MVC, while Carolyn Decker and Kelly Goc were named to the MVC’s All-Freshman Team.

2003 (12-18, 9-9 MVC, Final RPI of 170)
With virtually the same personnel, Booth’s first team improved its win total from 2002 by nine wins to finish 12-18. The season marked the program’s move to the Omaha Civic Auditorium, and attendance records fell. Single-season school records were set for kills (Leah Ratzlaff), digs (Janeen Piller), blocks (Ashley Williams) and assists (Brittany Coleman).
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