September 22, 2014

Creighton volleyball picked fourth in MVC

The Creighton volleyball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference, according to a poll of league coaches announced today.  Creighton’s preseason prognosis of fourth place marks the ninth straight season of a top-five prediction. In the previous 18 seasons, Creighton has improved its preseason ranking nine times, been ranked correctly five times, and dropped from preseason expectations just four times. Notably, eight of Creighton’s nine previous teams under head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth have met or exceeded preseason poll predictions.

Defending regular-season and tournament champion Northern Iowa received all 10 first place votes to earn the preseason favorite role. UNI, which is coming off three consecutive 18-0 league marks, lived up to its unanimous preseason favorite status a year ago as well.

Missouri State was picked second with 86 points, just ahead of third-place Wichita State (84). Trailing fourth-place Creighton (68) was Illinois State (57). Rounding out the bottom half of the poll were sixth-place Southern Illinois (41), Bradley (35), Indiana State (34), Evansville (27) and Drake (18).

Additionally, six women were named to the Preseason All-Missouri Valley Conference Team. That group consisted of Creighton’s Megan Bober, UNI’s Amy Braun and Krista DeGeest, Missouri State’s Carly Thomas and Wichita State’s Ashley Andrade and Emily Adney. Bober and Adney are the lone repeat picks from a year ago.

Creighton returns five starters and nine letterwinners from last year’s team that went 17-14 and finished fourth in the MVC with a 12-6 mark. The team opens its season with the “Blue-White” exhibition match on Friday, August 17th at 6 pm. CU then opens the regular-season by playing in the USF Invitational in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 24-25.

2012 MVC Preseason Poll

1. Northern Iowa (10) 100

2. Missouri State 86

3. Wichita State 84

4. Creighton 68

5. Illinois State 57

6. Southern Illinois 41

7. Bradley 35

8. Indiana State 34

9. Evansville 27

10. Drake 18