Nov. 4 7 pm Wichita State at Creighton (1180 KOIL AM/Kansas 22/Cox 2) Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)
Nov. 5 6 pm Missouri State at Creighton (1180 KOIL AM) Omaha, Neb. (D.J. Sokol Arena)
Second-place Creighton (15-10, 10-3 MVC) hosts the two teams immediately behind it in the league standings as part of a pivotal final weekend at home this fall.
Creighton starts the weekend by hosting fourth-place Wichita State (14-8, 8-4 MVC) on Friday night at 7 pm.
On Saturday, Creighton will host third-place Missouri State (16-7, 9-3 MVC) in a 6 pm contest. Laurel Sanford and Karisa Almgren will be honored prior to the match as part of Senior Day festivities.
Both matches will be held in Omaha, Neb., at D.J. Sokol Arena (2,500) inside the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center.
Radio Broadcast Information
Creighton’s 24-match radio broadcast schedule continues this week with two more matches. Brad Burwell and Erin Swanson will call the action on KOIL (1180 AM) and it will also be streamed on-line via a link at gocreighton.com.
Kansas 22 will televise Friday’s Creighton-Wichita State match, with Mike Kennedy and Cori Meyer-Broddle on the call. The broadcast will also be shown locally in Omaha on Cox 2.
Video Webcast Information
Both matches this weekend will be video webcast. To sign up, visit www.gocreighton.com and click on the Live Video tab on the left sidebar. A 4-month subscription costs $34.95, while a monthly subscription costs $10.95 per month.
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 left-hand side of the page for links the exact link. Live stats from both matches are also available on your mobile phone by clicking on www.gocreightonstats.com.
Creighton is 15-10 on the season and has started 10-3 in Missouri Valley Conference action to stand in second place. The Bluejays have gone 13-4 since a 2-6 start.
Creighton has won 14 of 20 matches since going to a 6-2 offense, with junior Megan Bober (2.39 kps., 6.72 aps., 2.39 dps., 0.68 bps.) and freshman Michelle Sicner (1.14 kps., 4.69 aps., 2.27 dps., 0.34 saps., 0.64 bps.) taking turns at setter. Both women turned in a triple-double in Creighton’s Sept. 17 match vs. UAB.
Senior MB Laurel Sanford leads the team in blocks per set (1.20) while also owning a team-best .307 attack percentage. Another weapon in the middle is junior MB Heather Thorson, who is second on the team in blocks per set (0.83) and hitting percentage (.285). Thorson has hit .492 in CU’s last three matches.
Sophomore libero Julianne Mandolfo averages 5.89 digs per set, easily the best in the MVC, and seventh-best nationally.
As a team, Creighton averages 12.94 kills, 1.22 aces, 17.11 digs and 2.52 blocks per set while hitting .210.
Creighton was picked third (of 10) in the MVC this fall after returning 11 letterwinners and four starters from last year’s team that finished 21-12 overall and third in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 13-5 league record.
Scouting Wichita State
Wichita State is 14-8 on the season, including an 8-4 mark in the MVC and a 4-4 record in true road matches. The Shockers own impressive wins over No. 14 Colorado State and No. 22 Oklahoma this year, and swept Creighton 3-0 in Wichita on October 8th.
Preseason all-Valley pick Emily Adney tops the team with 3.21 kills per set, while hitting at a .260 clip. Second on the team in kills is Camri Zwiesler (2.95 kps., 3.09 dps.).
The Shockers boast two middle blockers hitting at a high clip, Ashley Andrade (1.98 kps., 1.05 bps., .361%) and Elizabeth Field (2.14 kps., 0.94 bps., .358%).
All-Valley setter Mary Elizabeth Hooper (9.95 aps., .306%) directs the offense, while Sarah Waldorf (4.74 dps.) and Jackie Church (2.06 dps.) have both logged time as the Shocker libero.
Wichita State hits .263 and averages 13.48 kills, 1.14 aces, 15.06 digs and 2.46 blocks per set.
Scouting Missouri State
Missouri State is 16-7 on the season and third in the MVC with a 9-3 league record. The Bears, who beat Creighton 3-1 on Oct. 7 in Springfield, are 4-4 in true road matches.
Karen Rivatto leads MSU with 3.20 kills per set, just ahead of freshman Olivia Brand’s 2.84 kills per set.
The Bears also boast a pair of preseason all-MVC selections in Calli Norman (2.42 kps., 1.13 bps., .334%) and Kelley Michnowicz (1.68 kps., .272%).
Setter Carly Thomas (11.31 aps., 0.22 saps.) leads the MVC in assists and the MSU team in aces, while Ashley Mason tops the Bears with 4.64 digs per set from the libero position.
MSU averages 14.14 kills, 0.88 aces, 16.65 digs and 2.16 blocks per set while hitting .221 as a team.
Creighton is coached by Kirsten Bernthal Booth (Truman State, 1997), who owns a 156-111 record in her ninth 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. Last season she was named CVU.com’s National Coach of the Year after leading Creighton to the second round during its first NCAA Tournament bid.
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.
Four-time MVC Coach of the Year Chris Lamb is in his 12th season with Wichita State. Lamb owns a 254-109 record, all with the Shockers, and led WSU to the second round of the 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009 NCAA Tournaments. He is assisted by Jeff Sanders and RJ Abella.
Melissa Stokes is in her 16th season at Missouri State, where she owns a 351-162 record. Stokes set a league record with her 197th career MVC win on Sept. 30 at Bradley. She has led MSU to six NCAA Tournaments in the last eight years. Jeni Jones and Fritz Rosenberg are assistant coaches.
Series History vs. Wichita State
Wichita State owns a 21-17 lead in 38 all-time match-ups with Creighton, but the teams have split the last six encounters. Creighton owns a 10-7 record in Omaha against WSU, including wins in both meetings held at D.J. Sokol Arena.
Creighton beat the then-No. 25 Shockers in four sets in Omaha on October 2, 2009, the Jays first-ever win against a ranked team in 36 attempts.
A year ago, Creighton beat Wichita State twice in the same season for the first time since 2001.
The first set winner of the CU-WSU match has won 15 of the past 16 meetings and 19 of the past 21 match-ups. Additionally, Wichita State has won 21 straight third sets against the Bluejays.
Booth is 6-13 vs. Wichita State and Chris Lamb, while Lamb is 15-10 vs. Creighton all-time.
Series History vs. Missouri State
Missouri State leads the all-time series with Creighton by a 29-7 margin, including a 13-4 mark in Omaha.
The teams have split the last eight meetings, but Missouri State has won four of the past five.
The Jays have swept the Bears just once in 36 all-time meetings, that coming on Oct. 4, 1997 in Springfield. Kirsten Bernthal Booth is 4-13 all-time vs. MSU and Melissa Stokes, while Stokes is 24-8 in her career vs. the Bluejays.
Last Week Summary
Creighton beat Indiana State (3-0) and Illinois State (3-2) on the road last weekend to move into second place in the MVC. Julianne Mandolfo had 50 digs in the two matches, and Megan Bober produced her sixth triple-double of the fall against the Redbirds.
Senior Day Saturday
Creighton will honor seniors Laurel Sanford and Karisa Almgren prior to Saturday’s match as part of Senior Day festivities.
Sanford leads Creighton with 1.20 blocks per set and a .307 hitting percentage, while ranking second on the club with 2.38 kills per set. She was a second-team all-MVC pick last season and was named to three all-Tournament teams this fall.
Almgren ranks fourth on the team this fall with 184 kills and fifth with 40 blocks. A Dean’s List student, Almgren had a career-high 14 kills in Creighton’s historic NCAA Tournament victory over No. 16 Iowa State last season.
Over the last four years, Creighton has gone 68-48, including second-, third- and fourth-place finishes in the MVC, and made the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance. The duo has combined for 1,130 kills, 232 digs and 481 blocks.
Fighting For Five
Creighton has won five-set matches vs. Southern Illinois (Oct. 21) and Illinois State (Oct. 29) in the past two weekends, improving to 3-1 this year in five-set contests. Creighton is now 27-15 in five-set matches under Kirsten Bernthal Booth.
This weekend, Creighton hosts Wichita State and Missouri State. Last year when the Shockers and Bears came to town, Creighton beat both schools in five sets.
All-time at D.J. Sokol Arena, Creighton is 3-0 in five-set matches.
Been There, Done That
Creighton rallied from a 2-1 deficit to come back and beat Wichita State in five sets on Oct. 9, 2010.
Four of Creighton's last six wins against the Shockers have been five-set victories.
Additionally, both of Creighton’s last two wins over Missouri State have required five sets.
In only one match from 1994-2010 did Creighton ever have a player lead the team in both kills and assists in the same match, but Megan Bober has done it nine different times this season. Her versatility has helped her take over the team lead in both kills and assists, a most unlikely statistical pairing.
Bober enters this weekend with 533 kills and 2,984 career assists. With 16 more assists, she'll become the first Bluejay in school history with at least 500 kills and 3,000 assists in a career.
Through matches of Nov. 1st, Bober is one of three players nationally to lead her team in both assists and kills, joining Kelly Kirby (Furman) and Zuzana Markova (Louisiana-Monroe).
Like World Series MVP David Freese, Creighton defensive specialist Brooke Boggs also hails from Wildwood, Mo., and attended Lafayette High School. Another prominent Lafayette alum with MVC ties is current Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, a former NL MVP who attended Missouri State.
Creighton Volleyball is 4-0 since October 16th, the day that Freese picked up NLCS MVP honors.
Mandolfo’s 20/30 Vision Julianne Mandolfo owns 20 or more digs in 16 of Creighton’s 25 matches this season. Her 16 matches with 20 digs sets CU’s single-season record, (previously 15) held by Bianca Rivera in 2007.
Her six career matches with 30 or more digs are a Creighton school record, while her 27 career matches with 20 or more digs rank tied for first in program annals.
Matches With 30+ Digs, Career
30+D Name Years
6 Julianne Mandolfo 2010-Pres.
4 Janeen Piller 2001-04
4 Bianca Rivera 2007-08
4 Nayka Benitez 2009-10
1 Melissa Weisensee 1994-97
1 Melissa Walsh 1998-01
Matches With 20+ Digs, Career
20+D Name Years
27 Bianca Rivera 2007-08
27 Julianne Mandolfo 2010-Pres.
20 Janeen Piller 2001-04
Matches With 20+ Digs, Season
20+D Name Year
16 Julianne Mandolfo 2011
15 Bianca Rivera 2007
13 Janeen Piller 2004
Mandolfo Digs To New Heights Julianne Mandolfo dug a career-high 36 balls in Creighton’s 3-2 win at Illinois State on Oct. 29th. The figure is tied for third-most (two behind the record) in CU history and also the most in the MVC this fall.
After becoming the first freshman in school history with 500 or more digs in a season last fall, she has now become the first sophomore in school history with 500 or more digs.
Mandolfo is already the only player in CU history with multiple seasons of 525 or more digs.
If Mandolfo can maintain her average of 21.2 digs per match, she is on pace to break CU’s single-season mark of 618 digs on Nov. 19 at Drake.
Senior MB Laurel Sanford had a career-high 13 blocks in the win over Southern Illinois on Oct. 21, tying the most by any player in the MVC this season. Her previous career-high of 12 had also come against Southern Illinois back in 2009.
Her 13 blocks rank fourth-most in CU history for a match.
Sanford is the only player in Creighton history with five career matches of 10 or more blocks.
Matches With 10+ Blocks, Career
10+B Name Years
5 Laurel Sanford 2008-Pres.
4 Ashley Williams 2001-04
4 Jessica Houts 2006-09
3 JoDe Cieloha 1994-97
Creighton Volleyball on TV Again
Creighton will be making its 10th television appearance under Kirsten Bernthal Booth on Friday. The Jays are 2-7 in nine previous appearances on the small screen under Booth.
Creighton Volleyball on Television, Since 2003
Date Opponent TV Coverage W-L
09/23/03 at UMKC Mediacom W 3-1
10/11/05 at #1 Nebraska Time Warner L 0-3
11/09/07 at Missouri State Mediacom W 3-1
11/10/07 at #24 Wichita State Cox Wichita L 0-3
10/05/08 at #2 Nebraska NET/CBSCS L 0-3
10/03/09 Missouri State NET-HD L 0-3
10/23/10 at #14 Northern Iowa Mediacom L 0-3
11/27/10 at #11 Northern Iowa FSN Midwest L 1-3
09/08/11 at #11 Nebraska Cox/Kansas 22 L 0-3
Triple-Double Leaders Megan Bober owns six triple-doubles this season, more than all but one player (Bre Payton) in MVC history.
According to the AVCA’s web site, Bober’s six triple-doubles are the most in the country this fall, one more than Florida’s Kelly Murphy. Murphy, a first-team All-American in 2010, owns a staggering 27 career triple-doubles.
In addition to her six triple-doubles, Bober has seven other matches with at least eight kills/digs/assists.
Here’s a list of most triple-doubles in a season in MVC history.
No. Name, School Year
7 Bre Payton, UNI 2009
6 Megan Bober, CU 2011
6 Bre Payton, UNI 2010
6 Sam Hardwick, BU 2000
4 Shannon Perry, UNI 1999
4 Mary Bernhardt, UNI 1987
4 Bre Payton, UNI 2011
3 Sam Hardwick, BU 1999
Mandolfo Surpasses 1,000 Julianne Mandolfo has 1,061 career digs in 58 career matches. She went over the 1,000 dig plateau vs. Evansville on Oct. 22 in her 56th career contest, second-quickest in CU history to 1,000 digs.
Creighton’s Quickest Players To 1,000 Digs (Career)
Name MP Date Opponent
Bianca Rivera 53 11/08/08 Illinois State Julianne Mandolfo 56 10/22/11 Evansville Nayka Benitez 60 11/27/10 at Northern Iowa
Kailey Reyes 77 09/01/01 vs. UTSA
Janeen Piller 80 09/25/04 at Missouri State
Melissa Walsh 85 09/08/01 at #24 Santa Clara Allie Oelke 95 09/04/10 vs. Iowa
Melissa Weisensee 97 10/04/97 at Missouri State Sarah Schulze 101 11/13/09 Southern Illinois
Korie Lebeda 108 10/17/08 Evansville
RPI Is Out
The NCAA’s third official RPI rankings of the fall are out, and Creighton is up eight more spots to 55th in the rankings. By comparison, last year CU was 41st in the Nov. 1 rankings, eventually reaching as high as No. 29 (Nov. 28), before finishing the year 32nd.
Creighton has played nine matches against top-47 clubs this season, facing Nebraska (2), UNI (5), Texas A&M twice (18), Northern Illinois (20), Kansas State (31), Marquette (36), Missouri State (40) and Wichita State (44).
Wichita State is 44th in this week’s RPI, while Missouri State State is 40th.
Booth Passes 100 Valley Wins
Now in her ninth season at Creighton, Kirsten Bernthal Booth owns a 103-54 record in MVC regular-season matches. She became the eighth coach in league history to reach 100 victories with a five-set win against SIU on Oct. 22nd, was the same team she beat in five sets for her first MVC victory in 2003.
Booth is seventh on the MVC’s all-time list for regular-season league victories with 103.
Most Regular-Season MVC Wins, MVC HIstory
Rk. Name, School W-L Pct.
1. Melissa Stokes*, MSU 202-80 .716
2. Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, UNI 196-29 .871
3. Bobbi Petersen*, UNI 180-31 .853
4. Julie Morgan, ILS 157-32 .831
5. Chris Lamb*, WSU 152-58 .724
6. Linda Dollar, MSU 121-32 .791
7. Kirsten Bernthal Booth* CU 103-54 .656
8. Sonya Locke, SIU 101-142 .416
9. Sharon Dingman, ILS 96-48 .667
10. Phil Shoemaker, WSU 89-136 .396
Creighton has five players averaging 2.00 kills per set or more, a quintet that features Laurel Sanford (2.38), Leah McNary (2.10), Megan Bober (2.39), Heather Thorson (2.14) and Karisa Almgren (2.09).
The last time the Jays ended the year with five regulars averaging 2.00 kills per set or more was 2005, when Leah Ratzlaff (4.26), Kelly Goc (3.32), Amanda Cvejdlik (2.85), Jessica Houts (2.84), Abby Baumann (2.28) reached that mark.
Setting The Table
Creighton owns a pair of players with more than 300 assists this season in Megan Bober (605 assists) and Michelle Sicner (361).
It’s just the second time in program history they’ve used two setters so often, joining the 2002 team that had Jaden Custer (387) and Liz Hagerman (303) share setting duties with Jadee Tanabe (193).
Here’s the 10 largest home crowds in Creighton Volleyball history, which includes three matches from CenturyLink Center Omaha, three from D.J. Sokol Arena and four from the Omaha Civic Auditorium.
The Oct. 14 crowd of 2,135 to see Creighton topple Bradley was the sixth-largest in school history and third-largest ever at D.J. Sokol Arena.
Largest Home Crowds, Creighton VB History
Att. Opponent Date CU Result
13,081 #18 Cal Poly-C 09/02/07 L 0-3
12,112 #1 Nebraska-C 09/24/06 L 1-3
8,037 #2 Nebraska-C 10/05/08 L 0-3
2,514 #7 Nebraska-D 8/31/10 L 0-3
2,285 Texas Tech-D 8/28/09 W 3-0
2,135 Bradley-D 10/14/11 W 3-1
1,557 Northern Iowa-O 11/21/08 W 3-0
1,357 Northern Iowa-O 10/20/07 L 0-3
1,325 Indiana State-O 09/29/07 W 3-0
1,319 Northern Iowa-O 10/06/06 L 2-3
C = CenturyLink Center Omaha
D = D.J. Sokol Arena
O = Omaha Civic Auditorium
Win The First Set, Win The Match
The team to win the first set has won 41 of Creighton's last 43 matches, and 38 of Creighton's last 39 contests against MVC competition.
The first set winner of the Creighton-Wichita State match has won 15 of the past 16 meetings and 19 of the past 21 match-ups.
Under Kirsten Bernthal Booth, Creighton is 135-17 when winning the first set, but 21-94 in matches it loses the opening frame.
Thorson Power Heather Thorson has upped her hitting percentage to .285 on the year, including a team-leading .324 in Valley action.
Her last three matches have done nothing but help that figure, as she’s hit .492 with 31 kills and just one error in 61 attacks.
Creighton is 9-1 all-time when Thorson has 10 or more kills.
Just a sophomore, Creighton libero Julianne Mandolfo is on pace to shatter program records for digs in a career (1,392 by Janeen Piller) and approach the mark for digs per set (5.40 by Bianca Rivera).
Her career path seems similar to that of 2010 MVC Libero of the Year Ellie Blankenship, who ended her UNI career last fall ranked sixth in NCAA history with 2,656 career digs and sixth in NCAA history with 5.59 digs per set.
Stat Mandolfo Blankenship
Digs as a Freshman 531 624
DPS as a Freshman 4.28 5.43
Digs as a Sophomore 530 676
DPS as a Sophomore 5.89 5.59
Total Career Digs 1,061 2,656
Total Career DPS 4.96 5.59
Prior to Sept. 17, Creighton had never seen multiple players earn a triple-double in the same season. That’s no longer the case, however, as both Michelle Sicner and Megan Bober turned in a triple-double on Sept. 17 in the same match vs. UAB.
Sicner had 11 kills, 17 digs and 22 assists against the Blazers, while Bober turned in 11 kills, 12 digs and 25 assists.
It was Bober’s second triple-double in as many nights, as she also had one (by intermission) during a three-set sweep of Drake one night earlier.
Here are the only known matches in MVC history where two or more teammates had a triple-double:
Two Triple Doubles on Same Team, Same Match
No. Team Date
3 Northern Iowa 9/14/85
2 Wichita State 9/15/89
2 Bradley 9/25/99
2 Northern Iowa 11/20/99
2 Missouri State 11/24/06
2 Creighton 9/17/11
2 Northern Iowa 10/28/11
In Creighton's season-opener vs. UTSA on Aug. 26th, Megan Bober had the program's first triple-double since 2001 when she finished with 11 kills, 14 digs and 51 assists.
She became the first player in school history with two triple-doubles in the same season on Sept. 16 vs. Drake, when she had 12 kills, 18 digs and 20 assists. Incredibly, she had a triple-double by the intermission after the second set. The triple-double was the first at home by a CU player since Melissa Weisensee in 1994.
One evening later Bober had a triple-double for the third time this fall vs. UAB, when she had 11 kills, 12 digs and 25 assists.
Bober had her fourth triple-double of the fall on Oct. 14 vs. Bradley, finishing with 13 kills, 35 assists and 10 digs.
Bober’s fifth triple-double came vs. Southern Illinois on Oct. 21st, when she finished with 19 kills, 28 assists and 11 digs in a 3-2 win.
Her most recent triple-double came vs. Illinois State on Oct. 29th, when she had 19 kills, 33 assists and 12 digs in a 3-2 win.
In addition to those six triple-doubles, she’s had seven other matches with at least eight digs, eight kills and eight assists in the same contest.
Junior Megan Bober has six triple-doubles this fall, the first Bluejay ever with more than one in a single-season. Her six career triple-doubles are two more than the previous the school-record of four by Kailey Reyes from 1998-2001.
1) 40a-19d-10k vs. Illinois State (4s) 9/10/94
2) 65a-22d-12k at Evansville (5s) 11/9/97
1) 15k-10d-12b at Bradley (3s) 9/9/95
2) 22k-15d-12b at Western Illinois (5s) 11/10/96
1) 62a-21d-10k at Indiana State (5s) 10/16/98
2) 47a-11d-11k at Wichita State (5s) 10/9/99
3) 71a-17d-13k at Indiana State (5s) 10/14/00
4) 48a-11d-11k at UMKC (4s) 10/28/01
1) 51a-14d-11k vs. UTSA (5s) 8/26/11
2) 20a-18d-12k vs. Drake (3s) 9/16/11
3) 25a-12d-11k vs. UAB (4s) 9/17/11
4) 35a-10d-13k vs. Bradley (4s) 10/14/11
5) 28a-11d-19k vs. Southern Illinois (5s) 10/21/11
6) 33a-12d-19k at Illinois State (5s) 10/29/11
Since its 1994 reinstatement, Creighton owns 249 wins in program history, compared to 263 losses. Kirsten Bernthal Booth owns 156 of the wins.
A win this weekend would be the 250th.
D.J. Sokol Arena Records in Jeopardy
Numerous D.J. Sokol Arena single-season and career records are being rewritten this fall. Julianne Mandolfo now owns single-season and career records for both digs and digs per set mark in the facility. Megan Bober tied the D.J. Sokol Arena record for double-doubles in a season of seven, previously held by Allie Oelke.
Additionally, Laurel Sanford is 11 kills shy of setting the career record for kills at D.J. Sokol Arena with two home matches remaining.
Digs, Season, D.J. Sokol Arena
Name Sets No. Year
1. Julianne Mandolfo 42 269 2011
2. Nayka Benitez 51 257 2009
3. Julianne Mandolfo 50 236 2010
Freshman OH Leah McNary has averaged 2.10 kills per set in CU’s last 18 matches. After Creighton started 2-5 without McNary, the Jays are 13-5 since her debut.
McNary was named MVC Freshman of the Week for her performance on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
Speaking of Leah McNary, the Florida native’s 16 kills vs. Illinois State on Sept. 30 were the most by a Bluejay freshman since Allie Oelke had 19 kills vs. Southern Illinois in the 2007 MVC Tournament.
McNary is currently averaging 2.10 kills per set. If she maintains that pace, she will be the 14th Bluejay freshman in school history to average at least 2.00 kills per set.
Most Kills Per Set, Creighton Freshman
(min. 100 kills)
KPS Name Year
3.75 Melissa Walsh 1998
3.39 JoDe Cieloha 1994
3.29 Allie Oelke 2007
2.85 Amanda Cvejdlik 2005
2.84 Jessica Houts 2005
2.72 Kelly Goc 2004
2.70 Carolyn Decker 2004
2.44 Shelly Kapler 1996
2.44 Rachelle Von 1997
2.33 Erin Swanson 1998
2.17 Leah Ratzlaff 2002
2.10 Leah McNary 2011
2.08 Shannon Scrutton 1996
2.05 Michelle Prorock 1994
On A Roll
Creighton’s 5-0 start in MVC play this season marked the third time in the last six years the Jays started 5-0 or better. CU also started 5-0 in 2006, and had a program-best 7-0 start in 2007.
You Got Served
Freshman Michelle Sicner is third in the MVC with 0.34 aces per set.
She tied a D.J. Sokol Arena record with seven aces on Sept. 17 vs. McNeese State. That performance featured five aces in a six-point span, including four in a row, during the third set.
After no aces in Creighton’s first seven contests of the season, she has 26 aces in CU’s last 18 matches.
Sicner Joins 20/20 Club Michelle Sicner became just the fifth player in Creighton history to have 20 or more digs and 20 or more assists in the same contest when she did that on Sept. 30 vs. Illinois State.
Sicner, who finished with 27 assists and 20 digs, joined Melissa Weisensee and Brittany Coleman as the only freshman in CU history to have a 20/20 match.
20 Assists, 20 Digs In A Match
A D Name Opp. Date
27 20 M. Sicner Illinois State (4s) 09/30/11
71 20 K. Lebeda at Evansville (5s) 11/18/06
62 21 B. Coleman at So. Illinois (4s) 10/29/04
54 22 B. Coleman at Illinois State (4s) 10/18/03
45 20 K. Reyes vs. Evansville (4s) 11/24/00
64 23 K. Reyes at Evansville (5s) 11/04/00
44 23 K. Reyes Bradley (4s) 10/28/00
49 28 K. Reyes at Illinois State (4s) 10/13/00
40 21 K. Reyes Missouri State (4s) 11/06/99
65 24 K. Reyes Illinois State (4s) 09/24/99
55 28 K. Reyes Evansville (5s) 09/11/99
65 22 M. Weisensee at Evansville (5s) 11/08/97
46 21 M. Weisensee Missouri State (4s) 10/31/97
46 38 M. Weisensee Evansville (4s) 10/10/97
40 23 M. Weisensee at Drake (5s) 09/13/97
53 24 M. Weisensee at Indiana St. (5s) 10/18/96
51 21 M. Weisensee at Wichita St. (5s) 09/14/96
47 22 M. Weisensee Bradley (4s) 09/09/94
History At The Midway Point
Creighton reached the midpoint of the MVC slate with a 6-3 record. The Jays owned a winning record at the turn for the fifth time in six seasons.
League Record by Year
Year 1st Half 2nd Half MVC place
2011 6-3 4-0 ? ? ?
2010 7-2 6-3 3rd
2009 4-5 6-3 T-4th
2008 7-2 8-1 2nd
2007 7-2 7-2 T-2nd
2006 7-2 5-4 4th
2005 4-5 6-3 5th
2004 5-4 5-4 5th
2003 5-4 4-5 T-5th
2002 1-8 1-8 T-9th
2001 7-2 5-4 4th
2000 5-4 5-4 T-4th
1999 5-4 4-5 5th
1998 2-7 3-6 8th
1997 6-3 4-5 T-3rd
1996 2-7 3-6 T-6th
1995 3-7 3-7 T-7th
1994 2-8 1-9 T-9th
Total 85-79 80-79 --
Good To Be Home
Creighton is 19-2 in its last 21 MVC matches at D.J. Sokol Arena, with both losses coming to Northern Iowa.
All-time, CU is 21-4 in regular-season Valley matches at D.J. Sokol Arena, but 0-3 against Northern Iowa.
Sophomore L Julianne Mandolfo earned MVC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career on Oct. 3 after averaging 7.86 digs per set in two wins.
Mandolfo had 28 digs in a four-set win over Illinois State on Sept. 30, then dug 27 balls in a three-set win over Indiana State on Oct. 1.
The 27 digs against the Sycamores ranks as second-most in CU history for a three-set match.
She earned the honor for the second time on Oct. 17 after averaging 6.86 digs and 0.29 aces per set in matches vs. Bradley and UNI last week.
Junior MB Heather Thorson had two of the best matches of her career on Sept. 23-24, helping Creighton to road wins at Evansville and Southern Illinois. She tied her career-high with 12 kills in a win at Evansville while also hitting a season-best .500 in 22 swings, adding four blocks.
Thorson came out one day later and set another career-high in kills, this time finishing with 15 kills on .342 hitting in a 3-1 victory at SIU. She also had a season-high six blocks, including a solo stuff in the fourth set with the score tied at 25.
Thorson dominated both teams in Omaha as well. She had 13 kills and four blocks vs. SIU on Oct. 21, then had 14 kills on .636 hitting one day later vs. Evansville.
For the season, Thorson hit .568 while averaging 4.33 kills and 1.00 blocks per set vs. Evansville, and hit .303 while averaging 3.11 kills and 1.11 blocks per set vs. SIU.
Duo Honored as MVC Player of the Week
Creighton had two players earn MVC recognition when the league handed out its weekly awards on Oct. 24th. Megan Bober was named MVC Player of the Week for the third time in her career, while Laurel Sanford was tabbed MVC Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career.
Bober hit .500 in 46 swings and averaged 3.25 kills, 6.38 assists, 2.38 digs and 0.62 blocks per set. She had her fifth career triple-double on Friday in a 3-2 win over Southern Illinois.
Sanford averaged 2.25 blocks, 1.62 kills and 0.75 digs per set in two wins, including a career-high 13 blocks in the win over Southern Illinois.
More Service Please
Creighton’s 13 aces against McNeese State were second-most in school history for a three-set match. It was also a D.J. Sokol Arena team record for a contest of any length.
Sicner Earns Another Freshman Award
Creighton Volleyball's Michelle Sicner was named Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Week for the second time in three weeks on Sept. 26th after helping Creighton complete an unbeaten road swing at Evansville (3-0) and Southern Illinois (3-1), averaging 6.00 assists, 2.86 digs, 1.14 blocks and 1.29 kills per set last week.
Sicner opened her week with her by nearly posting her second straight triple-double, finishing with 20 assists, 12 digs and eight kills in a three-set win at Evansville. Sicner also hit .368 in the contest and added a team-best five blocks.
In Saturday's four-set win at Southern Illinois, Sicner had 22 assists, eight digs, three blocks and three aces.
The Millard North product was previously honored as MVC Freshman of the Week on Sept. 12.
Sophomore Julianne Mandolfo and senior Laurel Sanford both earned a spot on the Creighton Classic All-Tournament Team on Sept. 16-17. Mandolfo averaged 6.80 digs per set and had four different sets in which she owned 10 or more digs. Sanford averaged 2.90 kills and 0.90 blocks per set while also hitting a team-best .339 in three matches. It’s the third all-Tourney honor in four events this fall for Sanford, but the first all-Tourney accolade of Mandolfo’s career.
Reasons For Success
Creighton owns a 56-23 home record in regular-season MVC matches under Kirsten Bernthal Booth.
The Jays have won 29 straight at home against teams picked below them in the preseason MVC poll (since a 2007 loss to Missouri State), and are 47-2 under Booth in such home scenarios.
In matches not against the power trio of Northern Iowa (1-8), Missouri State (2-6) and Wichita State (4-4), Creighton's home MVC record under Booth improves to 49-5.
Early Tests Pay Big Dividends
For the fifth straight season, Creighton entered MVC play with an overall record at the .500 mark or worse, as it was 4-6 this season before MVC play.
The willingness of Creighton to test itself early has paid dividends when conference play rolls around. During this five year stretch, Creighton is 18-26 (.409) in matches before league play starts, but 62-23 (.729) in Valley action. The Jays 62 Valley wins in that time trail only UNI (76) and Wichita State (71) and are two more than Missouri State (60) league-wide.
Year W-L Entering MVC MVC W-L Finish
2003 2-7 9-9 T-5th
2004 7-1 10-8 5th
2005 5-4 10-8 5th
2006 8-1 12-6 4th
2007 4-4 14-4 T-2nd
2008 3-4 15-3 2nd
2009 2-7 10-8 T-4th
2010 5-5 13-5 3rd
2011 4-6 10-3 ?
Total 40-39 103-54
Preseason MVC Poll
Creighton was picked third in a preseason poll of Missouri Valley Conference coaches. Defending regular-season champion Northern Iowa was the unanimous pick to win the league, with Wichita State second. Creighton is third, Missouri State fourth and Illinois State fifth. Rounding out the rest of the league was Drake, Evansville, Southern Illinois, Indiana State and Bradley.
In addition, Megan Bober was named preseason all-MVC.
Each of the past eight years Creighton has finished in the spot predicted of them or better in the preseason poll.
Year Preseason Pick Finish Move
1994 11th 9th #2
1995 9th 7th #2
1996 9th 6th #3
1997 8th 3rd #5
1998 6th 8th i2
1999 T-7th 5th #2
2000 4th T-4th - -
2001 2nd 4th i2
2002 7th 9th i2
2003 9th T-5th #4
2004 5th 5th - -
2005 5th 5th - -
2006 4th 4th - -
2007 3rd T-2nd #1
2008 3rd 2nd #1
2009 4th T-4th - -
2010 4th 3rd #1
2011 3rd ??? ???
Creighton owns just 11 home matches in the last seven years in which it has 90 digs or more, but the Jays have reached that figure in each of Illinois State’s last seven trips to town, including Sept. 30 in the Redbirds’ annual trip to Omaha.
Since 2005, Creighton has averaged 24.21 digs in those 29 sets played in Omaha against Illinois State. At all sites, Creighton has 1,352 digs in 63 sets versus the Redbirds since 2005 (21.46 dps.).
Including this year’s 92 digs vs. the Redbirds, Creighton’s season-high for digs at home has come against Illinois State in five of the last six seasons.
Illinois State at Creighton, Last Seven Years
Date Sets CU Digs ISU Digs
09/30/11 4 92 79
10/30/10 4 90 93
10/23/09 4 92 88
11/08/08 4 106 102
09/28/07 4 114 108
10/28/06 4 111 92
10/21/05 5 97 95
Most Creighton Digs, Home Matches, Since 2005
Digs Opponent Date CU Result
114 Illinois State 09/28/07 W 3-1
111 Illinois State 10/28/06 W 3-1
106 Illinois State 11/08/08 W 3-1
103 Northern Iowa 09/17/05 L 1-3
101 Iowa 09/02/06 L 2-3
97 Illinois State 10/21/05 L 2-3
94 Missouri State 10/08/10 W 3-2
92 Illinois State 10/23/09 W 3-1
92 Illinois State 09/30/11 W 3-1
91 #25 Wichita State 10/02/09 W 3-1
90 Illinois State 10/30/10 W 3-1
Creighton had two players named to the All-Tournament Team at the Ameritas Players Challenge (Sept. 8-10), Michelle Sicner and Laurel Sanford.
Sicner averaged 3.44 assists, 2.00 kills, 0.67 aces, 1.67 digs and 1.11 blocks per set in three matches over the weekend, hitting .205 in 44 swings. Her 10 overall blocks led the team, while her six aces, 31 assists and 18 kills were second-most on the Bluejay squad. Sicner was also named MVC Freshman of the Week for her efforts.
Sanford averaged 1.89 kills and 1.00 blocks per set while hitting a robust .381 overall. She had nine kills and five blocks while hitting .500 in the Jays win over Saint Mary's on Saturday morning that clinched the second-place finish. This was the second career all-tournament selection for the senior from Eagan, Minn., joining the all-Tourney accolade she won at the season-opening Texas A&M Invitational.
Setting Them Straight
Creighton started two players with setting skills in its Sept. 3 nightcap against Marquette, as both Michelle Sicner and Megan Bober were in the starting six.
Bober finished with 10 assists, nine digs and eight kills while starting a match as an outside hitter for the first time at the collegiate level.
Sicner, who was the setter on the first few points of the match, finished with a team-best 18 assists. It was the first time in Bober’s 71-match career that she did not lead Creighton in assists.
In the 20 matches with Creighton using a 6-2 offense, Bober leads the team with 179 kills (2.56 kps.) and 441 assists (6.30 aps.), while Sicner owns 87 kills (1.26 kps.) and is second with 359 assists (5.20 aps.).
Bober Named MVC Player of the Week
After posting two triple-doubles in three matches at the Creighton Classic (Sept. 16-17), Bluejay junior Megan Bober was named the Missouri Valley Conference Volleyball Player of the Week on Sept. 19.
It was the second time she's been honored by the MVC with Player of the Week accolades, having also earned similar recognition on Oct. 4, 2010.
For the week, the all-Valley setter averaged 2.80 kills, 6.90 assists, 0.40 aces, 3.5 digs and 0.40 blocks per set while hitting at a .280 rate.
Bober also claimed Prairie Farms/MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week for her week. The Exercise Science major owns a 3.791 GPA in the classroom.
Two Of A Kind Michelle Sicner had a solid all-around match in Creighton’s Sept. 9 victory over Weber State, finishing with 11 assists, five kills, four aces, four blocks and two digs.
Since Creighton Volleyball was reinstated in 1994, the only other player reached all of those minimums (or better) in the same match was Melissa Weisensee vs. Evansville on Nov. 2, 1996. Weisensee had 80 assists (still a CU record), five kills, four aces, five blocks and 14 digs.
Veteran leaders Karisa Almgren and Heather Thorson each had a big match vs. UTSA to open the regular-season.
Almgren tied her career-high with 14 kills, while Thorson’s 11 kills were one shy of her career-best at the time.
Creighton is 14-5 all-time when Almgren has nine or more kills in a match and 12-1 when Thorson reaches that figure.
Taking The Fifth
Creighton is 27-15 in five-set matches under Kirsten Bernthal Booth, including a 3-1 mark this season. 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 3-1 15-10
Total 42-43 249-263
Milestone Match For Booth
Creighton’s Sept. 8 match at Nebraska was Kirsten Bernthal Booth’s 250th match at Creighton, and moved her record to 143-107 (.572).
She now owns a 156-111 (.584) mark to date in nine years, compared to the program’s 93-152 (.380) record in 245 matches during the nine seasons prior to her arrival.
2-0 Better Than 0-2
Creighton is 161-8 (.953) all-time when leading a match 2-0, including a 102-2 mark under Kirsten Bernthal Booth. They own a 75-4 all-time mark in home matches they lead 2-0 in.
Conversely, the Jays are 6-168 (.034) all-time when trailing a match 0-2, including an 0-57 mark in those home matches. Those six 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
Just In Time
Creighton Volleyball faced a 14-12 fifth-set deficit against preseason Southland Conference favorite UTSA in its Aug. 26 season-opener, only to rally for a 16-14 set victory to win the match.
Creighton has now won five matches under Kirsten Bernthal Booth after surviving an opponent’s match point. On the other hand, Creighton is 156-1 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
08/26/11 vs. UTSA 12-14, 13-14 16-14
09/11/07 at Drake 13-14, 14-15 17-15
10/13/06 at Wichita State 12-14, 13-14, 14-15 17-15
10/10/03 Wichita State 13-14 16-14
08/30/03 vs. McNeese State 13-14, 15-16 18-16
Creighton returns 11-of-16 letterwinners from last season. Below is a breakdown of the production that returns:
Stat Returners Departures
Assists 1415 (91.2%) 137 (8.8%)
Aces 89 (56.3%) 69 (43.7%)
Digs 1264 (53.8%) 1085 (46.2%)
Matches Started 140 (70.7%) 58 (29.3%)
Blocks 230.5 (78.7%) 62.5 (21.3%)
Points 1234.5 (58.0%) 892.5 (42.0%)
Kills 915 (54.6%) 761 (45.4%)
Set 1 Result = Match Result
In its last 141 matches in which it wins set one, Creighton is 128-13. CU is 135-17 overall under Kirsten Bernthal Booth when they win set one. In that same time span, CU is just 21-94 under Booth when it drops the first set.
Last Year Summary
Creighton had its most successful year in program history, tying a school-record with 21 wins while also reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Megan Bober was named first-team all-MVC and honorable-mention All-American after averaging 10.26 assists, 1.95 digs, 1.48 kills and 0.92 blocks per set. Named second-team all-Valley were Laurel Sanford (2.47 kps., 1.10 bps.) and Alicia Runge (3.73 kps.). In addition, Julianne Mandolfo (4.28 dps.) was named to the MVC’s All-Freshman Team.
Creighton ranked second nationally with 18.94 digs per set a season ago and was also top-60 in kills per set and blocks per set.
AVCA Honors CU Volleyball For Academics
The Creighton volleyball program was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as a recipient of the 2011 AVCA Team Academic Award. Creighton previously won the award in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 are one of seven Division I schools nationwide to win the award in eight consecutive campaigns.
The award honors teams that displayed excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA. Last spring the Bluejay volleyball team posted a combined GPA of 3.45.
Radio Broadcast Information
Brad Burwell and former Bluejay volleyball player Erin Swanson will broadcast at least 24 matches (14 home, 10 away) this season. The matches will air on KOIL (1180 AM) and KKAR (1290 AM) and be webcast on-line at www.gocreighton.com as well.
The pre-match show 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:
2011 Volleyball Broadcast Schedule
Nov. 4 Wichita State (KOIL)
Nov. 5 Missouri State (KOIL)
Nov. 11 at Northern Iowa (KOIL)
Nov. 12 at Bradley (KOIL)
Nov. 19 at Drake (KOIL)
Nov. 24-26 at MVC Tournament (KOIL)
Creighton Ticket Information
Tickets to Creighton’s home regular-season matches can be purchased at the Creighton Ticket Office located inside the Ryan Athletic Center (19th and Webster) as well as all Ticketmaster outlets.
Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 3-18) for reserved seats and $7 (adult) and $4 (youth) for general admission seating. Children two and under are admitted free.
Creighton sold a school-record 890 season tickets for volleyball this year. Single-match tickets went on sale Aug. 29th.