OMAHA, Neb. — The four-time defending BIG EAST champion Creighton Volleyball team will appear in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight time, and seventh overall, when it takes on Coastal Carolina on Friday at 7 p.m. Central in Omaha, Neb. The field of 64 was announced on Sunday night on ESPNU.
Creighton earned the No. 9 national seed, the second time in program history it has been seeded. The 2015 team was seeded No. 16.
The matches in Omaha will take place at D.J. Sokol Arena inside the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center on the Creighton campus.
The winner of the Creighton/Coastal Carolina match-up will meet the winner of Friday’s Michigan State vs. Missouri State match-up that starts at 4:00 p.m. Central at D.J. Sokol Arena. Saturday’s Second Round contest will begin at 6 p.m. Central.
Creighton will be making its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, all in the last eight years. With tonight’s announcement, the Bluejays become the school’s first women’s squad in any sport to reach six consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Creighton is 8-6 all-time in the NCAA’s, including a 3-1 record last year when the team won the Lawrence sub-Regional and advanced to the program’s first Elite Eight after defeating Michigan in the Regional Semifinal in Austin, Texas.
Creighton (25-6, 16-2 BIG EAST) earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament with Saturday’s 3-2 win at Marquette in the BIG EAST Championship final. The Bluejays are led by three-time National Coach of the Year Kirsten Bernthal Booth, who owns a 316-159 mark in her 15th year at Creighton.
Creighton had five women earn All-BIG EAST honors, including first-team selections Lydia Dimke (10.78 aps., 2.58 dps., .372%), Marysa Wilkinson (2.85 kps., 0.93 bps., .370%), Jaali Winters (3.41 kps., 2.82 dps.) and BIG EAST Libero of the Year Brittany Witt (4.30 dps.). Junior outside hitter Taryn Kloth (3.05 kps.) was named Second Team All-BIG EAST and earned MVP honors at the BIG EAST Championships after leading CU to the title in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Marquette.
Coastal Carolina is 20-7 and earned an automatic bid by winning the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The Chanticleers feature Leah Hardeman (4.62 kps., 3.01 dps., .301%), who had 27 kills in a 2015 match against the Bluejays. Lincoln native Sara Booth splits time at setter and averages 7.24 assists per set in CCU’s 6-2 offense. The Chants hit .247 as a team and average 13.33 kills, 15.11 digs and 2.32 blocks per set. Jozsef Forman is in his sixth year as head coach of Coastal Carolina.
Creighton is 1-0 all-time against Coastal Carolina, defeating the Chanticleers in the First Round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament in Chapel Hill, N.C.