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Oct. 4 6 pm CST #22 Creighton at Butler Indianapolis, Ind. (Hinkle Fieldhouse)
Oct. 5 3 pm CST #22 Creighton at Xavier Cincinnati, Ohio (Cintas Center)
No. 22 Creighton Volleyball opens BIG EAST Conference play with a pair of road matches.
The Bluejays (9-3, 0-0 BIG EAST) will visit Indianapolis, Ind., to take on Butler (13-3, 0-1 BIG EAST) on Friday night. That contest begins at 6 pm Central from Hinkle Fieldhouse (10,000).
Creighton then travels to Cincinnati, Ohio, to face Xavier (8-6, 1-0 BIG EAST) for a Saturday afternoon tilt. That match will begin at 3 pm Central at Cintas Center (10,250).
Neither match will be broadcast on radio.
Neither match will be video webcast.
Live Stats Information
Both contests 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 for home matches are also available on your mobile phone at www.gocreightonstats.com.
Scouting #22 Creighton
Creighton is 9-3 on the year, including five wins over NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago (No. 13 BYU, Bowling Green, Northern Colorado, Kansas, Wichita State). The only teams to defeat the Bluejays have been Hawai’i as well as 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 (3.11 kps.), Melanie Jereb (2.13 kps., 2.73 dps.) and Jess Bird (2.07 kps., 2.44 dps.).
Creighton remains strong in the middle, where Kelli Browning (2.13 kps., 1.60 bps., .304%) and Lauren Smith (2.29 kps., 1.07 bps., .384%,) roam. Setter Michelle Sicner (10.20 aps, 2.51 dps, 1.31 kps.) directs CU’s offense.
The Bluejays returned four starters plus libero Kate Elman (3.62 dps.) 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 Jereb were named preseason all-league picks.
Creighton averages 13.16 kills, 1.11 aces, 14.18 digs and 3.04 blocks per set while hitting .229 as a team.
Butler is 13-3 on the season but lost its BIG EAST opener in four sets to Xavier last Friday. The Bulldogs are 8-2 at home and will be playing its 10th straight home match on Friday.
Junior OH Belle Obert leads BU with 3.59 kills per set and also owns 1.11 blocks per set on .280 hitting. Middle blockers Claire Randich (2.36 kps., .345%, 1.27 bps.), Maggie Harbison (1.96 kps., .297%, 1.14 bps.) and Erica Stahl (1.91 kps., .350%) join Obert by averaging more than a block per set.
Junior DS Brooke Ruffolo (4.65 dps.) leads the team in digs, while senior setter Morgan Peterson averages 9.52 assists per set.
As a team, Butler averages 13.06 kills, 1.33 aces, 15.96 digs and 2.91 blocks per set on .258 hitting.
Xavier is 8-6 (1-0 BIG EAST) on the season heading into Friday’s home match with Seton Hall after a 3-1 win at Butler last Friday. The Musketeers are 3-1 at home, with the only loss coming to nationally-ranked Michigan in the season-opener.
Freshman OH Abbey Bessler (3.37 kps.), senior MB Alex Smith (2.69 kps., .418%) and senior OH Sarah Brown (2.50 kps., 3.48 dps.) lead the offense, which is directed by Alex’s sister, junior S Aubree Smith (10.83 aps.).
Sophomore DS/L Lauren Metzger (3.75 dps.) leads the team in digs, while junior MB Alex Blair (1.00 bps.) is the team’s top blocker.
As a squad, Xavier averages 14.23 kills, 1.35 aces, 16.52 digs and 1.99 blocks per set on .235 hitting.
Creighton is coached by Kirsten Bernthal Booth (Truman State, 1997), who owns a 196-122 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.
Sharon Clark (Sacramento State, 1989) is 218-186 in her 14th year at Butler, which moves her career mark to 320-295 in 21 seasons overall when you factor in one year at Humboldt State (1993) and six seasons at UC Davis (1994-99). The winningest volleyball coach in program history, she is assisted by Lenika Vazquez and Dottie Porch.
Mike Johnson (Washington, 2003) is in his fourth year at Xavier, where he owns a 70-38 record and won 20 or more matches each of his first three seasons. His career record stands at 92-47 in five years when you include one year as head coach at Austin Peay. He is assisted by Kirsta Cobb, Dave Franklin and Ilvanna Hernandez.
Series History vs. Butler
Creighton and Butler have never met.
Series History vs. Xavier
Creighton and Xavier have never met.
Last Action Summary
Creighton had last weekend off, but went 2-1 at the Shocker Volleyball Classic from Sept. 20-22. CU fell in five sets to No. 7 Hawai’i before picking up a 3-0 win vs. South Dakota and a 3-2 win at tournament host Wichita State. Jess Bird and Kate Elman were named to the All-Tournament Team for the Bluejays.
Creighton enters this weekend with quite a winning streak in October matches. The Jays have won the last 11 times it has taken the floor in the 10th month of the year, dating to a Oct. 15, 2011 setback at No. 12 Northern Iowa. Before the current streak, CU had never won more than five straight in the month of October.
Butler enters Friday’s match ranked fourth in the BIG EAST with a team hitting percentage of .258. Creighton has lost 72 straight matches in which it has allowed the opposition to hit .250 or better, dating to a October 6, 2001 win at Southern Illinois.
Creighton is allowing teams to hit .185 against it for the season, including a .153 mark in nine CU victories and a .275 mark in three Bluejay losses.
Creighton Volleyball finished its non-conference season with a 9-3 record against some of the nation’s best teams. Six of the opponents have been ranked in the top-25 this season, and all 12 are currently in the top-135 of the Pablo rankings.
Not counting their result vs. Creighton, the 12 squads are a combined 107-49 (.686).
Strength In Numbers
Creighton finished non-conference play with five victories over teams that reached the 2012 NCAA Tournament. On a national level, Hawai’i and Wisconsin were the only schools more such victories (both six), while Penn State and VCU joined Creighton as the only other schools to claim five such wins.
Creighton has won its last 13 regular-season conference matches. Creighton last lost a league contest at Southern Illinois on Sept. 28, 2012.
Since then, Creighton won its final 13 MVC contests and joined the BIG EAST Conference.
Home On The Road
Creighton is off to a 3-0 start in true road matches this season, with wins over Bowling Green, Denver and Wichita State.
The only other Bluejay teams to win their first three true road contests were in 2004 and 2010.
The 2004 team won its first three road matches before a 3-1 loss at Wichita State.
The 2010 team won its first six road contests before a 3-1 loss at Drake.
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 9-3 start and Creighton is 38-7.
The 38-7 mark gives the Jays a .844 win percentage in that span, tied for ninth-best nationally.
Creighton’s 38 wins in the same span rank tied for 12th nationally.
Best Win Percentages, Since 2012 (thru 9/29/13)
Name W L Pct.
Hawai’i 40 4 .909
Penn State 43 5 .896
Florida 40 6 .870
North Carolina 39 6 .867
Stanford 39 6 .867
Texas 37 6 .860
Southern California 42 7 .857
Western Kentucky 45 8 .849
Creighton 38 7 .844
BYU 38 7 .844
Central Arkansas 42 8 .840
Most Wins, Since 2012 (thru 9/29/13)
Name W L Pct.
Western Kentucky 45 8 .849
Penn State 43 5 .896
Southern California 42 7 .857
Central Arkansas 42 8 .840
Minnesota 41 9 .820
Hawai’i 40 4 .909
Florida 40 6 .870
North Carolina 39 6 .867
Stanford 39 6 .867
Georgia Southern 39 9 .813
College of Charleston 39 12 .765
Creighton 38 7 .844
BYU 38 7 .844
Oregon 38 9 .809
Michigan State 38 11 .776
Tulsa 38 14 .731
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 nine matches (from now until Nov. 1) are against teams currently .500 or better.
BIG EAST Opener
Friday’s match vs. Butler will mark Creighton Volleyball’s first match in BIG EAST Conference play.
Creighton’s first Missouri Valley Conference match was Sept. 9, 1994, a four-set home loss to Bradley.
In other Creighton sports, Creighton men’s soccer defeated St. John’s in its league lid-lifter, while Creighton women’s soccer lost to Marquette in its BIG EAST debut.
League Opener Histories
Creighton is new to the BIG EAST Conference, so let’s look back and see how the Bluejays did in past league openers as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Creighton owned a 12-7 record all-time in Missouri Valley Conference openers, including seven straight wins and a 9-1 record under Kirsten Bernthal Booth.
In the 12 seasons that Creighton won its MVC opener, it never finished worse than 9-9 in league play and owned a combined .662 (143-73) winning percentage in MVC action.
In the seven years in which Creighton lost its MVC opener, the Jays had a losing record five times and own a combined .315 (41-89) winning percentage during league contests.
In MVC road openers, Creighton was 11-8 overall and 8-2 under Booth.
In MVC home openers, Creighton is 14-5 overall and 8-2 under Booth.
Ranked 22nd Nationally
Creighton is ranked 22nd in the AVCA poll this week, collecting 216 points in the voting.
Dating to last season, this is the 10th 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
09/23/13 211 23rd
09/30/13 216 22nd
Creighton has been ranked in the AVCA Top-25 each of the last 10 weeks.
On a national basis, the only other schools that can claim this are Creighton, Florida, Florida State, Hawai’i, Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Oregon, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC and Washington.
Creighton, UCLA and Washington are the only programs with nationally-ranked teams each of the last 10 weeks in the AVCA Volleyball and NSCAA Men’s Soccer polls.
Taking The Fifth
One major reason for Creighton’s success in recent seasons has been its play on the road in the fifth set.
Creighton has won five straight road matches to go five sets, including wins last year over Northern Iowa, Wichita State and Missouri State, and wins this year at Denver and Wichita State.
Let’s take a look at how Creighton’s start in 2013 compares to the last three seasons after 12 matches.
Stat 2013 2012 2011 2010
W-L Thru 12 9-3 10-2 6-6 7-5
Final W-L ? ? ? 29-4 17-14 21-12
Postseason ? ? ? NCAA --- NCAA
Tourney Titles 1 2 0 0
Kills/Set 13.16 13.18 12.38 13.20
Hitting % .229 .254 .196 .194
Aces/Set 1.11 1.22 1.40 0.98
Digs/Set 14.18 16.07 16.36 18.05
Blocks/Set 3.04 3.13 2.44 2.60
Quest For 1,000 Assists
Michelle Sicner figures likely to become the sixth player in Creighton Volleyball’s modern (since 1994) history to reach 1,000 career assists.
Sicner enters the weekend with 963 assists in 71 career matches (263 sets).
When she does it, Sicner will become the first junior in program history to reach the 1,000-assist career mark. Each of the first five players reached that mark as freshmen or sophomores.
Sicner has eclipsed 37 or more assists in seven of 12 matches so far this season.
Give Me Five
Kelli Browning has compiled five blocks or more in each of her last five matches. That streak is tied for the sixth-longest in CU history, and one behind her personal best done last season.
Browning’s current streak does make her the only player in CU history with five straight matches of six or more blocks, as she’s had 8, 6, 8, 6 and 8 blocks in the past five contests.
Consecutive Matches, 5 or More Blocks
9 Jessica Houts (Oct. 15-Nov. 19, 2005)
7 Laurel Sanford (Oct. 29-Nov. 24, 2011)
6 Melissa Walsh (Sept. 27-Oct. 16, 1998)
6 Jessica Houts (Sept. 1-10, 2006)
6 Kelli Browning (Sept. 25-Oct. 2, 2012)
5 Ashley Williams (Oct. 3-11, 2003)
5 Laurel Sanford (Oct. 16-30, 2009)
5 Kelli Browning (Sept. 13, 2013-Present)
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 1.60 blocks per set, third-best nationally, amongst the NCAA stat leaders.
Browning owns 309 career blocks, ninth-most in Creighton history. She set the Creighton record for fewest matches to 300 career blocks against South Dakota on Sept. 21st. That came in her 65th career match, three quicker than the previous mark held by Jessica Houts (68).
Creighton boasts two freshmen who are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set, Jess Bird (2.07) and Lauren Smith (2.29).
There have been just three previous seasons where multiple freshmen averaged 2.00 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 2.29 kills and 1.07 blocks per set after 12 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 12 matches, Houts was averaging 2.65 kills and 1.18 blocks per set.
Smith’s Record-Setting Week
Redshirt freshman Lauren Smith etched her name in the Creighton record book in two different matches in mid-September. Smith’s nine blocks vs. Kansas on September 10th tied the Creighton record by a freshman in one match, previously done by Megan Bober on Sept. 4, 2009 vs. Lipscomb.
On September 13 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 103 kills and 48 blocks while hitting .384 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.
Higher & Higher
Michelle Sicner’s 51 assists on September 10 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 has had seven players earn All-Tournament Team honors at least once this season.
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 the Bluejay Invitational. Sicner and McNary were honored at the Denver Invitational, while Jess Bird and Kate Elman picked up recognition at the Shocker Volleyball Classic.
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 this weekend averaging 2.07 kills and 2.44 digs per set. By comparison, Melanie Jereb averaged 2.27 kills and 2.58 digs per set after her first 12 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.
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. 22 nationally. All-time, Creighton is 16-4 when playing as a ranked team in the AVCA poll, including a 15-1 mark versus unranked teams.
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
09/20/13 23 vs. #7 Hawai’i L 2-3
09/21/13 23 vs. South Dakota W 3-0
09/22/13 23 at Wichita State W 3-2
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 3-50 all-time against ranked schools (3-34 under Kirsten Bernthal Booth), and 0-18 vs. top-10 clubs. That includes an 0-26 road record, 1-17 at home and 2-7 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
09/20/13 vs. #7 Hawai’i (Wichita, Kan.) L 2-3
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 had 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.
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 186-8 (.959) all-time when leading a match 2-0, including a 128-2 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 7-173 (.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 196-1 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 308 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 196 matches since arriving at Creighton in 2003.
Booth’s 196 wins at Creighton are 128 more than the previous recordholder in CU’s modern (since 1994 reinstatement) era held by Howard Wallace.
Taking The Fifth
Creighton is 35-18 in five-set matches under Kirsten Bernthal Booth, including a 2-1 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 2-1 9-3
Total 50-46 289-274
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 nine wins include five triumphs over squads that were in the 2012 NCAA Tournament (BYU, Bowling Green, Northern Colorado, Kansas, Wichita State).
Year W-L vs. Previous Season NCAA Teams
TOTAL Under Booth 39-63
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 167-18 overall under Kirsten Bernthal Booth when it wins set one. In that same time span, CU is just 29-104 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.
This year’s team is 9-0 when leading in sets played at any point of a match.
Friday’s foe, Butler, is 11-0 when winning set one this season, while Creighton is 7-0 when up 1-0 in a match.
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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