OMAHA, Neb. – The Creighton University Volleyball team will play Marquette on Friday at 4:30 pm in Minneapolis, Minn., to open the NCAA Tournament, as brackets were unveiled today.
Also in the four-team bracket are Liberty and Minnesota, who will meet at 6:30 pm on Friday. Saturday's second-round match-up is set for a 6 pm start.
The team watched Sunday's announcement at The Old Mattress Factory Bar & Grill in downtown Omaha.
Creighton has had its best season in program history with a 28-3 record, winning the program’s first MVC regular-season and MVC Tournament titles. The Bluejays have won a school-record 16 straight matches and enter the NCAA Tournament with a No. 21 national ranking, the program’s best mark ever.
MVC Player of the Year and Tournament MVP Megan Bober averages 9.62 assists, 3.00 digs, 1.90 kills and 0.99 blocks per set. The three-time All-MVC setter is the only player in league history with at least 4,000 career assists, 1,000 digs, 800 kills and 400 blocks and owns a CU record 22 double-doubles this fall. Joining Bober as First Team All-MVC picks are Kelli Browning and Melanie Jereb. Browning set a CU record with 195 blocks and was named MVC Defensive Player of the Year, while Jereb averaged 2.49 kills and 2.74 digs per set. Leah McNary was a Second Team All-MVC pick and leads the team with 3.00 kills per set.
The Bluejays are coached by Kirsten Bernthal Booth, who was named MVC Coach of the Year on Thursday.
Marquette is 27-6 on the season and finished second in the Big East with a 16-2 league mark. The Golden Eagles are paced offensively by Holly Mertens (3.33 kps., .336%) and defensively by Julie Jeziorowski (4.80 kps.). Lindsey Gosh tops the club with 50 aces, while Elizabeth Koberstein averages 11.59 assists per set while running the offense.
Creighton and Marquette have met three times previously, with the
Bluejays owning a 2-1 lead in the series. CU won 3-2 in Boulder, Colo.,
in 2005 and 3-0 in Milwaukee, Wis., in 2010 before Marquette swept the
Jays last September in Omaha.
This will be Creighton’s second all-time NCAA Tournament appearance. The Bluejays earned an at-large bid in 2010, topping No. 16 Iowa State in five sets before falling to No. 12 Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn., in straight sets.
Creighton is one of three MVC teams in the field, giving the league 21 bids in the past seven years. Northern Iowa will face Kansas State, while Wichita State opens with Arkansas.
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