Bluejay Volleyball Off to a Hot Start

Bluejay Volleyball Off to a Hot Start

Coach Bernthal Booth's team opened the season with a tournament win.

Nationally ranked Creighton (2-0) volleyball opened the season in Bowling Green, Ohio at the Hampton Inn Invitational with two wins.

Friday the Jays defeated 13th ranked BYU 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-15), which was followed up with a three game sweep of host Bowling Green (25-23, 26-24, 27-25) on Saturday.

In the opener freshman Jess Bird let the team with 14 kills in 29 total attacks, good for a .310 hitting percentage. Junior Leah McNary provided 12 kills while sophomore Melanie Jereb contributed 11 kills giving CU three players in double figures. As a team, the Jays offense had 60 total kills to just 47 for the Cougars behind the offense junior setter Michelle Sicner, who totaled 43 assists. Co-BIG EAST player of the year Kelli Browning had six total blocks. Four were assisted while Browning acted alone for the other two.

BYU took the opening set 25-22, which was followed up with Creighton winning the next three in convincing fashion 25-20, 25-19 and 25-15 to close out the game. The win was the highest ranked team CU has taken down in program history.

Saturday, the blue and white made short work of the Falcons in three sets, but the combined winning margin was six points. McNary had a team high 11 kills with Bird behind her supplying 10. Browning helped on both offense and defense throwing down nine kills while assisting with 10 blocks. Sicner added 38 more assists to her weekend total in the victory.

Next: The Bluejay Invitational featuring California (PAC-12), North Colorado (Big Sky) and South Florida (American Athletic) at D.J. Sokol Arena this weekend. Creighton will play at 6 pm Friday night against Northern Colorado, Saturday at noon against South Florida then at 7:30 pm against Cal.

Honors: Sicner made program history becoming the first Jays player to capture BIG EAST player of the week honors. She took MVP honors of the Hampton Inn Invitational averaging 11.57 assists, 3.43 digs, 1.71 kills and 0.86 blocks a game against preseason favorites from the West Coast and Mid-American Conferences.

Polls: Creighton rose from 25th to 19th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association top 25 poll after a 2-0 opening weekend. This is CU's first time cracking the top 20 in the AVCA poll in school history, the Jays finished last year 24th in the poll with their highest ranking coming the week of November 19 at number 21.

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