OMAHA, Neb. — The four-time defending BIG EAST champion Creighton Volleyball program has added a pair of transfers, as Megan Sharkey (Rutgers) and Grace Nelson (Ball State) have enrolled at Creighton for the spring semester, which starts today.
Sharkey will have two years of eligibility remaining, while Nelson owns three. Both will train with the Bluejays this spring and compete for CU this fall.
Sharkey is a 5-foot-10 setter from Bettendorf, Iowa. She averaged 7.78 assists, 1.48 digs, 0.35 kills and 0.26 aces per set last season at Rutgers in 98 sets. As a freshman, Sharkey averaged 4.83 assists, 1.20 digs and 0.14 aces per set in 108 sets. All told in 62 matches, Sharkey produced 1,284 assists, 275 digs, 54 kills, 40 aces and 30 blocks on .205 hitting with the Scarlet Knights. Sharkey was a four-year varsity starter at Bettendorf High School who won back-to-back 5A state titles in 2012 and 2013 before finishing as runner-up in 2014 and 2015.
“Megan is a great setter,” said Creighton head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth. “One of the things we talked about wanting is someone who can put the ball where it needs to be, and Megan can do that. She started for two years at Rutgers in the Big Ten, so she’s played at a high level. She’s a culture kid. Everyone that I’ve talked to said what a great kid she is. I think she’s a good leader and we’re excited to add her to the fold.”
Nelson is a 5-foot-9 defensive specialist from Bennington, Neb., who prepped at Elkhorn High School. Nelson started 13 of the 25 matches she played in last fall for Ball State, who finished 19-11. Nelson had 164 digs (2.19 dps.) and also authored nine aces (0.12 saps.). Her best individual defensive performance came on Sept. 1 vs. Bradley, when she compiled 15 digs. Nelson was an all-state performer in high school who collected 1,805 career digs and 73 aces with the Antlers.
“We’re really excited to add Grace,” commented Booth. “Ball handling is so key in this sport so you need to have people that can pass and play defense. What really attracted us to Grace is every coach that we talked to, including her Ball State coach, all said what a fantastic young woman and teammate she is. We’re excited about what she’ll bring physically, but we’re also looking forward to what she brings to the team from a culture standpoint.”
Creighton has had tremendous success in recent seasons with transfers, as Maggie Baumert (Georgia) and Lydia Dimke (Purdue) both developed into First Team All-Conference performers after arriving on The Hilltop.
“We’ve had great transfers that are not only great players, but they’re great people,” said Booth. “Sometimes when you pick up transfers you could be getting kids that are leaving because there’s red flags. We try to be really careful that not only are they going to help us on the court, but they’re also going to make Creighton Volleyball better from a chemistry standpoint and that’s what makes us special. I think both Megan and Grace fit that mold.”
Creighton finished the 2017 season with a 26-7 season and a No. 16 national ranking, but are looking to replace seniors Dimke, Kenzie Crawford, Brittany Lawrence and Marysa Wilkinson as well as redshirt freshman Jaclyn Taylor, who transferred to Nebraska-Omaha earlier this month. The Bluejays played in a sixth straight NCAA Tournament and set school records for home attendance in 2017.