This Weekend - Shocker Volleyball Classic
Sept. 20 5 pm #7 Hawai’i vs. #23 Creighton Wichita, Kan. (Charles Koch Arena)
Sept. 21 5 pm South Dakota vs. #23 Creighton Wichita, Kan. (Charles Koch Arena)
Sept. 22 2 pm #23 Creighton at Wichita State Wichita, Kan. (Charles Koch Arena)
No. 23 Creighton Volleyball plays its final non-conference tournament of the fall when it travels to Wichita, Kan., for three matches at the Shocker Volleyball Classic.
Creighton (7-2) opens play on Friday at 5 pm when it takes on No. 7 Hawai’i (8-1).
On Saturday, the Bluejays will meet South Dakota (9-3), again at 5 pm.
Creighton closes out the tournament on Sunday with a 2 pm match versus host Wichita State (9-1).
Charles Koch Arena (10,400) will host the weekend’s action.
None of the matches will be broadcast on the radio in Omaha, but GoCreighton.com will have a link to audio when Wichita State faces Creighton.
Every match of the Shocker Volleyball Classic will be video webcast by WSU Athletics.
Creighton’s contests will be shared with JaysVideo subscribers for no additional charge. To sign up, visit www.gocreighton.com 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
Each contest this weekend will have live stats. Visit www.gocreighton.com and click on the Live Stats tab on the top of the page for the exact link. Live stats are also available on your mobile phone at www.gocreightonstats.com.
Scouting #23 Creighton
Creighton is 7-2 on the year, including four wins over NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago (No. 13 BYU, Bowling Green, Northern Colorado, Kansas). The only teams to defeat the Bluejays have been Pac-12 powers California and UCLA.
CU boasts a balanced attack, with five women averaging multiple kills per set. That group is led by outside hitters Leah McNary (3.28 kps.), who had a season-best 19 kills in last Saturday’s setback to UCLA while earning All-Tourney honors at the Denver Invitational.
Creighton remains strong in the middle, where Kelli Browning (2.25 kps., 1.56 bps., .307%) and Lauren Smith (2.31 kps., 1.06 bps., .399%,) roam. Setter Michelle Sicner (10.75 aps, 2.50 dps, 1.28 kps.) directs CU’s offense.
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, McNary and Melanie Jereb were named preseason all-league picks.
Creighton averages 13.81 kills, 1.16 aces, 14.31 digs and 3.06 blocks per set while hitting .244 as a team.
Scouting #7 Hawai’i
Hawai’i is 8-1 on the season, winning three tournament titles in Honolulu to start the season. Among the Rainbow Wahine’s victories are triumphs over No. 1 Texas and No. 11 UCLA. The lone team to beat UH has been current No. 2 San Diego.
All-American OH Emily Hartong averages 4.88 kills per set on .296 efficiency, while also averaging 2.66 digs per set.
A distant second on the team in kills is Kalei Adolpho (2.42 ksp., 1.16 bps.), while Mita Uiato (10.91 aps.) directs the offense.
Ali Longo patrols the libero position and leads UH with 3.84 digs per set.
As a team, Hawai’i averages 14.69 kills, 1.16 aces, 13.94 digs and 2.25 blocks per set on .316 hitting.
The team’s trip to the Shocker Volleyball Challenge will mark UH’s first trip to the mainland for a preseason tournament since playing in Omaha in 2005.
Scouting South Dakota
South Dakota is 9-3 this season and has won four straight contests heading into Thursday’s tilt with Hawai’i.
The Coyotes best wins have come against Idaho State and Gonzaga, while all three losses have come against teams with top-60 Pablo rankings (Missouri, Pittsburgh, Washington State).
Kendall Kritenbrink tops the team with 4.24 kills per set on .224 hitting, while also adding 2.16 digs and 0.87 blocks per set. She recently surpassed the 1,000 career kill milestone and picked up her fifth career Summit League Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week plaudit.
Second on the team in kills is Sydney Dimke (2.51 kps., .243%).
Tori Kroll (10.02 aps.) leads the team in assists, and recently set the school record for career assists, while Audrey Reeg (3.47 dps.) is the squad’s most prolific digger.
As a team, USD is averaging 12.96 kills, 1.40 aces, 12.67 digs and 2.83 blocks per set on .230 hitting.
Scouting Wichita State
Wichita State is 9-1 this year heading into a busy weekend that will see the Shockers host four matches in four days.
WSU’s top wins include Utah State, Tennessee and VCU, while the lone loss came at the hands of current No. 18 Arizona State.
The Shockers feature a balanced line-up with six women averaging at least 1.39 kills per set. Ashley Andrade leads that group with 2.64 kills per set on .388 hitting, just ahead of Elizabeth Field’s 2.39 kills per set on .463 hitting.
Papillion native Chelsey Feekin directs the offense and averages 9.85 assists and 0.91 blocks per set while hitting .400.
WSU averages 12.88 kills, 1.18 aces, 12.61 digs and 2.85 blocks per set.
Creighton is coached by Kirsten Bernthal Booth (Truman State, 1997), who owns a 194-121 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 CVU.com 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.
Hawai’i is led by AVCA Hall of Fame coach Dave Shoji (UC Santa Barbara, 1969), who became winnest coach in NCAA Division I women’s history on September 6 with a win over Santa Clara. He has guided the Rainbow Wahine to 18 straight conference titles owns a record of 1,111-185-1 in 39 seasons. He is assisted by Scott Wong, Robyn Ah Mow-Santos and Kaleo Baxter.
South Dakota is led by Matt Houk (Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2002), who is 86-75 in his sixth year with the Coyotes. He is assisted by Leanne Felsing and Michael Runde.
Chris Lamb (Sonoma State, 1998) is in his 14th season with Wichita State. Lamb owns a 293-123 record, all with the Shockers, and led WSU to the second round of the 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009 NCAA Tournaments before last year’s Sweet 16 run. He is assisted by Jeff Sanders and Matt Hoffman.
Series History vs. Hawai’i
Sixth-ranked Hawai’i swept Creighton (15-1, 15-6, 15-3) on Sept. 8, 2000 in Honolulu during the only previous meeting between the schools.
Melissa Walsh had 10 kills and 12 digs for CU, while Lily Kahumoku led UH with 14 kills, 10 digs and six blocks.
Kirsten Bernthal Booth has never faced Hawai’i or Dave Shoji. Shoji is 1-0 against Creighton.
Series History vs. South Dakota
Creighton is 2-0 all-time against South Dakota, defeating the Coyotes in four sets in both 2011 and 2012 in Omaha.
Kirsten Bernthal Booth is 2-0 against USD and in head-to-head meetings vs. Matt Houk.
Series History vs. Wichita State
Wichita State and Creighton have split 42 all-time match-ups, but the Jays have won seven of the past 10 meetings.
Creighton owns an 6-13 record in Wichita, including a dramatic 3-2 win last season that clinched the program’s first outright MVC title.
The first set winner of the CU-WSU match has won 17 of the past 20 meetings and 21 of the past 25 match-ups. Additionally, Wichita State had won 22 straight third sets against the Bluejays until CU won the third frame in all three meetings in 2012.
Booth is 10-13 vs. Wichita State and Chris Lamb, while Lamb is 15-14 vs. Creighton all-time.
Last year Creighton went 3-0 against WSU, including a 25-18, 25-20, 25-23 blanking in the MVC Tournament final in Springfield, Mo.
Last Weekend Summary
Creighton went 2-1 last weekend at the Denver Invitational, defeating Cal State Northridge (3-0) and host Denver (3-2) before a 3-1 loss to No. 11 UCLA in the title match. Leah McNary and Michelle Sicner were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Thorn In Their Side
Creighton is 6-2 since the start of the 2010 season against Wichita State, matching the number of CU wins in the series from 2001-09.
Since the start of 2010, only 18 different programs have defeated Wichita State. Of those 18, the only two teams to beat WSU more than once have been Northern Iowa (7 times), Creighton (6) and Missouri State (2).
Of note, Wichita State will host Missouri State on Thursday and Creighton on Sunday to help sandwich a busy weekend that also sees the Shockers take on Hawai’i (which beat WSU once in 2010).
Avoiding Losing Streaks
One key in Creighton’s success in recent seasons has been its ability to avoid prolonged losing streaks.
The Bluejays enter Friday’s match with No. 7 Hawai’i after losing its last contest on Saturday vs. No. 11 UCLA.
CU has not lost consecutive matches since a three-match skid in November of 2011.
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 7-2 start and Creighton is 36-6.
The 36-6 mark gives the Jays a .857 win percentage in that span, third-best nationally behind only Penn State and Hawai’i.
Creighton’s 36 wins in the same span rank sixth nationally. If you’re curious, Wichita State is 19th on the wins list with 33 since the start of last year.
Best Win Percentages, Since 2012 (thru 9/15/13)
Name W L Pct.
Penn State 39 4 .907
Hawai’i 35 4 .897
Creighton 36 6 .857
Florida 35 6 .854
North Carolina 35 6 .854
Stanford 35 6 .854
Texas 34 6 .850
Southern California 38 7 .844
Western Kentucky 40 8 .833
Florida State 34 7 .829
BYU 34 7 .829
Most Wins, Since 2012 (thru 9/15/13)
Name W L Pct.
Western Kentucky 40 8 .833
Penn State 39 4 .907
Southern California 38 7 .844
Central Arkansas 37 8 .822
Oregon 37 8 .822
Creighton 36 6 .857
Hawai’i 35 4 .897
Florida 35 6 .854
North Carolina 35 6 .854
Stanford 35 6 .854
Minnesota 35 9 .795
College of Charleston 35 10 .778
Strong Schedule Ahead
Creighton has never been shy about putting together a challenging schedule under Kirsten Bernthal Booth. In fact, each of Creighton’s next 12 matches (from now until Nov. 1) are against teams currently .500 or better.
The Shocker Volleyball Classic field enters Thursday with a combined record of 33-5.
Smith’s Record-Setting Week
Redshirt freshman Lauren Smith etched her name in the Creighton record book in two different matches last week. Smith’s nine blocks vs. Kansas last Tuesday tied the Creighton record by a freshman in one match, previously done by Megan Bober on Sept. 4, 2009 vs. Lipscomb.
On Friday against Cal State Northridge, Smith hit .909 with 10 kills in 11 errorless swings. That ranks as the best hitting percentage in Creighton history by any player with a minimum of 10 swings.
For her efforts, Smith was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week on September 16.
Speaking Of Smith
Lauren Smith is off to a fantastic start to her freshman campaign, with 74 kills and 34 blocks while hitting .399 to date.
Her junior teammate Kelli Browning was named an All-American as a sophomore and Preseason BIG EAST Co-Player of the Year as a junior, but Browning recorded season totals of 54 kills and 33 blocks on .197 hitting in 2011 as a freshman.
Put It In Neutral
Creighton has won nine of its last 10 matches against teams on neutral floors, including wins vs. No. 13 BYU in the 2013 season-opener, a win over Marquette in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, and a victory over Wichita State in the 2012 MVC Tournament final.
Creighton, which meets No. 7 Hawai’i on Friday, has won two of its last three matches on neutral floors against ranked foes (No. 13 BYU on Aug. 30 and also No. 16 Iowa State on Dec. 3, 2010).
Ranked 23rd Nationally
Creighton is ranked 23rd in the AVCA poll this week, collecting 164 points in the voting.
Dating to last season, this is the eighth 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
09/09/13 180 24th
09/16/13 164 23rd
Creighton Volleyball will play in familiar territory this weekend when it plays three matches at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan.
The Bluejays and Shockers have played every season since 1994, but this will be the first time they’ve met as members of difference conferences after Creighton joined the BIG EAST in July.
Wichita State will be the first MVC team Creighton Volleyball has faced since departing “America’s Renaissance Conference”.
The only other MVC team Creighton Athletics has faced in a head-to-head meeting this academic year was Northern Iowa in a women’s golf dual on August 27th in Omaha.
Been There, Done That
Six of Creighton’s last nine wins against the Shockers have been five-set victories. Both Wichita State and Creighton are 1-0 in five-set contests this fall.
Creighton is 7-1 in its last eight five-set matches against Wichita State, and has won a five-set match against the Shockers in each of the last three seasons.
Last year Creighton overcame an 0-2 deficit to win at Wichita State, the program’s first win (against any foe) after trailing 0-2 since 2007.
It’s also worth noting that Creighton has survived a Wichita State match point and rallied to win three times in 11 years under Kirsten Bernthal Booth.
The state of Nebraska annually is among the national leaders for volleyball players per capita, and this weekend’s tournament will help prove that fact.
Creighton owns six players from Nebraska, including four players who have started every match.
Wichita State setter Chelsey Feekin hails from the Omaha suburb of Papillion, Neb., where she attended Papillion-La Vista High School.
South Dakota’s roster includes three Nebraska natives, Riley Haug (Gretna), Kendall Kritenbrink (Gretna) and Kelsey Biltoft (Nelson).
Rare Setback With Strong Hitting
Creighton suffered a rare loss on Saturday when it hit .259 in a loss vs. #11 UCLA.
Creighton fell to 102-4 under Kirsten Bernthal Booth when hitting .250 or better. The Bluejays had won 37 straight matches when hitting .250 or better dating to a September 12, 2009 loss in which it hit .271 vs. Connecticut in Dayton, Ohio.
On the flip side, Creighton has lost 72 straight matches when it allows the opposition to hit .250 or better dating to a 3-1 win vs. Southern Illinois on Oct. 6, 2001 when the Salukis hit .258.
Creighton MB Kelli Browning tied for the national lead with 204 blocks last season, and is picking up where she left off. The preseason BIG EAST Co-Player of the Year entered this week with 1.56 blocks per set, ninth-best nationally, amongst the NCAA stat leaders.
Browning owns 287 career blocks, 10th-most in Creighton history. She has played in 63 career matches at CU, and could break the CU mark for fewest matches to 300 total blocks currently held by Jessica Houts (68).
Creighton boasts two freshmen who are averaging at least 2.20 kills per set, Jess Bird (2.22) and Lauren Smith (2.31).
There have been just three previous seasons where multiple freshmen averaged 2.20 kills per set or more. It’s also happened in 1998 (Melissa Walsh & Erin Swanson), 2004 (Kelly Goc & Carolyn Decker) and 2005 (Amanda Cvejdlik & Jessica Houts).
Those six women listed above combined for eight First-Team all-MVC honors and three additional Second-Team all-MVC accolades in their careers.
Speaking of Freshmen
Lauren Smith is averaging 2.31 kills and 1.06 blocks per set after nine career matches. Only one player in CU history has finished her freshmen year surpassing both those marks, Jessica Houts.
Houts averaged 2.84 kills and 1.27 blocks per set as a freshman in 2005. After nine matches, Houts was averaging 2.43 kills and 1.17 blocks per set.
Higher & Higher
Michelle Sicner’s 51 assists last Tuesday vs. Kansas were a career-high for the junior, eight more than her previous best.
Last year, while playing on the right-side, Sicner recorded 60 assists total.
Creighton had a pair of players named to the Bluejay Invitational All-Tournament Team, Leah McNary and Melanie Jereb.
McNary and Jereb shared team-best honors with 26 kills last weekend. Jereb hit .221 and added three aces and 20 digs, while McNary was second on the team with eight blocks in nine sets played.
Through three weekend tournaments, Creighton has had five players earn All-Tournament Team honors at least once.
Week one saw Michelle Sicner earn MVP honors and join Kelli Browning and Lauren Smith on the All-Tournament Team at the Hampton Inn Invitational, while Melanie Jereb and Leah McNary earned All-Tourney accolades at last weekend’s Bluejay Invitational. Last weekend at the Denver Invitational, Sicner and McNary were honored.
Use The Fours
Creighton went 13-2 last season in four-set matches. According to numbers crunched by Rich Kern of RichKern.com fame, the 13 four-set wins led the country in 2012, one more than Georgia Southern.
This year’s team is 2-1 in four-set matches.
Have You Heard?
Freshman OH 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, joining 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.
Bird enters the Shocker Volleyball Classic averaging 2.22 kills and 2.44 digs per set. By comparison, Melanie Jereb averaged 2.06 kills and 2.39 digs per set after her first nine matches as a freshman last year when she would go on to be named first-team All-MVC.
No Ordinary Smith
Redshirt freshman MB Lauren Smith averaged 2.57 kills and 0.71 blocks per set while hitting a league-best .531 at the season-opening Hampton Inn Invitational. 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 only CU player ever with nine or more kills on .350 or better hitting in each of the first two matches of her career.
Some Fab Freshmen
Including Jess Bird on Aug. 30 vs. BYU, 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.
Regular-Season Tournament History
Creighton is 74-72 in the 49 regular-season tournaments it has participated in all-time, including a 14-3 mark since the start of last season. Kirsten Bernthal Booth’s teams are 54-39 in 33 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 this year’s Hampton Inn Invitational.
Creighton had won just two of 16 regular-season tournaments prior to Booth’s arrival.
Home Streak Ends
Creighton Volleyball had its school-record home win streak of 13 straight home wins snapped in a Sept. 7 loss to California.
CU is 15-2 at home the past two seasons, with both setbacks coming during the Bluejay Invitational. Creighton is also now 32-4 in its last 36 home matches against unranked competition.
All four of Creighton’s streaks of six straight home wins or longer have been snapped in the Bluejay Invitational.
Creighton’s Longest Home Win Streaks
Wins Dates Snapped By
13 Sept. 1, 2012 - Sept. 7, 2013 California, 3-0
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
As A Ranked Team
Creighton enters Friday ranked No. 23 nationally. All-time, Creighton is 14-3 when playing as a ranked team in the AVCA poll, including a 1-2 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
09/06/13 19 Northern Colorado W 3-0
09/07/13 19 South Florida W 3-0
09/07/13 19 California L 0-3
09/10/13 24 Kansas W 3-1
09/13/13 24 vs. Cal St. Northridge W 3-0
09/13/13 24 at Denver W 3-2
09/14/13 24 vs. #11 UCLA L 1-3
Jays vs. Ranked Teams
Creighton’s win over No. 13 BYU on Aug. 30 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 3-49 all-time against ranked schools (3-33 under Kirsten Bernthal Booth), and 0-17 vs. top-10 clubs. That includes an 0-26 road record, 1-17 at home and 2-6 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
09/14/13 vs. #11 UCLA (Denver, Colo) L 1-3
The Votes Add Up
Creighton had 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 hosted Cal, which received enough points to finish 37th in the voting.
Even after two difficult weeks, three of Creighton’s next seven contests come against teams receiving votes in the Sept. 9th AVCA Top 25 poll (Cal State Northridge, UCLA, Hawai’i).
Among teams in the preseason top-25, Creighton’s five non-conference matches vs. top-25 foes was tied for the national lead with Texas, Hawai’i, Florida State and Western Kentucky.
2-0 Better Than 0-2
Creighton is 185-8 (.959) all-time when leading a match 2-0, including a 127-2 mark under Kirsten Bernthal Booth. They own an 86-4 all-time mark in home matches they lead 2-0 in.
Conversely, the Jays are 7-172 (.039) all-time when trailing a match 0-2, including an 0-59 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 194-1 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 306 career college wins. She picked up victory No. 300 on Aug. 30 vs. No. 13 BYU.
Booth claimed 112 wins at Kirkwood (Iowa) Junior College and has won 194 matches since arriving at Creighton in 2003.
Booth’s 194 wins at Creighton are 126 more than the previous recordholder in CU’s modern (since 1994 reinstatement) era held by Howard Wallace.
Taking The Fifth
Creighton is 34-17 in five-set matches under Kirsten Bernthal Booth, including a 1-0 mark this year and an 11-4 home record in five-setters. 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 1-0 7-2
Total 49-45 287-273
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
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).
This year’s seven wins include four triumphs over squads that were in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Year W-L vs. Previous Season NCAA Teams
TOTAL Under Booth 38-62
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 nine home matches this season.
The matches will air on KZOT (1180 AM) and KOIL (1290 AM) and be webcast online at www.gocreighton.com 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 Remaining Broadcast Schedule
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 166-18 overall under Kirsten Bernthal Booth when it wins set one. In that same time span, CU is just 28-103 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.
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