OMAHA, Neb. — Head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth and three women from the Creighton Volleyball team were honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association on Tuesday. Booth was named East Region Coach of the Year for the third time in four seasons, while Madelyn Cole, Taryn Kloth and Jaali Winters were selected as First Team All-East Region choices.
This year’s awards mark the third straight year that Creighton has had three or more student-athletes earn First Team All-Region acclaim, putting the Bluejays in elite company with the likes of Minnesota (4 straight years), Nebraska (7), Stanford (6) and Texas (8).
Winters is one of three athletes nationwide to earn a fourth straight First Team All-Region honor in 2018, joining Samantha Seliger-Swenson (Minnesota) and Mikaela Foecke (Nebraska). The senior outside hitter from Ankeny, Iowa, set more than 80 school-records in her career, including marks for career kills (1,843), attacks (5093), points (2045.5) matches played (139) and matches started (138). Winters was named BIG EAST Player of the Year and BIG EAST Tournament MVP in 2018, averaging 3.82 kills and 3.06 digs per set. Winters is the first Bluejay volleyball player to earn First Team All-Region honors four times, breaking a tie she had held with Kelli Browning.
Kloth led Creighton with 4.15 kills per set and also ranked among the BIG EAST leaders by hitting .283. Her 490 kills are the most in CU history by a senior, and the Sioux Falls, S.D., native ranked fourth in school history with 1,427 career kills. Kloth previously was named First Team All-Region in 2016 and an Honorable Mention All-Region selection in 2017.
Cole earns All-Region acclaim for the first time, as the junior from Dallas, Texas, led the BIG EAST with 10.92 assists per set and ranked second with 51 service aces. She started all 34 matches for the Bluejays after transferring in from Marshall University.
Booth earns All-Region Coach of the Year honors for the third time in four seasons, joining her 2015 and 2016 awards, and making her the nation’s only Division I coach to earn the Region Coach of the Year in three of the past four seasons. She led a team that was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST to a perfect 18-0 conference record, as the Bluejays dropped just six sets in league play. Creighton advanced to a seventh straight NCAA Tournament, and also spent a school-record 12 straight weeks in the top-10 of the national polls.
Creighton finished its 2018 season on Saturday with a 29-5 record after winning BIG EAST regular-season and tournament titles for the fifth straight season.
All-America honors will be announced on December 12 prior to next week’s Final Four in Minneapolis, Minn.