OMAHA, Neb. — The nine-time BIG EAST champion Creighton Volleyball team will appear in the NCAA Tournament for the 11th straight season, and 12th time overall, when it takes on Auburn (21-8) at 6:30 p.m. Central on Friday, Dec. 2. The field of 64 was announced on Sunday evening on ESPNU.
The No. 4 seed in the Stanford Region, Creighton (27-4) will host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in program history. South Dakota (29-3) and Houston (28-3) will also square off on Friday in a 3:30 p.m. match at D.J. Sokol Arena inside the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center.
Creighton clinched an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 3-2 win vs. No. 14 Marquette on Saturday in the title match of the 2022 BIG EAST Championship, Presented by JEEP. This year marks the ninth straight season that Creighton had the BIG EAST’s best regular-season record in conference play, and eighth time in that span it has won the league championship.
The winner of the Creighton/Auburn match-up will meet the winner of the South Dakota/Houston contest in the Second Round on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Central, also at D.J. Sokol Arena.
The Bluejays are led by three-time National Coach of the Year Kirsten Bernthal Booth, who owns a 441-183 mark in her 20th year at Creighton. Creighton had four women earn All-BIG EAST honors, including senior Kiana Schmitt (2.30 kps., .323%, 1.00 bps.), sophomores Kendra Wait (11.16 aps., 3.23 dps., .361%) and Norah Sis (4.25 kps., 2.51 dps.) and BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Ava Martin (2.48 kps.). Sis was named BIG EAST Player of the Year last Tuesday, then was named Most Outstanding Player of the BIG EAST Tournament for the second straight season on Saturday.
Creighton and Auburn have met just once previously on the volleyball court, a 3-1 win in Ames on Aug. 30, 2003 that was Booth’s first victory on the Bluejay sideline. Auburn coach Brent Crouch did face the Bluejays in 2018 and 2019 when he was head coach at USC. USC won in five sets in 2018 before Creighton won in 2019 in four sets.
Creighton was one of two teams in the BIG EAST to earn a spot in the field of 64, as Marquette earned an at-large bid and will make its 11th trip to the NCAAs in the last 11 seasons. The Golden Eagles, who shared the league’s regular-season title with Creighton, will face Ball State and also host Georgia Tech and Wright State in a pod that starts on Thursday.
Creighton is 6-4 against teams that made the 2022 NCAA Tournament field, going 2-1 vs. Marquette, 0-1 vs. Kentucky, Nebraska and Rice and 1-0 vs. Northern Iowa, Iowa State, USC and Florida State. Creighton volleyball season ticket holders will be emailed pre-sale ticket purchase information on Sunday night, with remaining tickets being made available to the general public on Monday morning at 10 a.m. at http://GoCreighton.com/buy.
Information regarding broadcasts will be announced in the days to come.
Notes About Creighton Volleyball’s Postseason History
– Creighton’s Volleyball program will make its 12th trip (2010, 2012-22) to the NCAA Tournament, and 11th consecutive appearance.
– Creighton is one of nine teams nationally to have appeared in each of the last 11 NCAA Volleyball Tournaments (2012-22). That group features BYU, Creighton, Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, Penn State, San Diego, Texas and Washington.
– Creighton is 12-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 9-2 record in the First Round. The Bluejays made the Sweet 16 in 2015 and reached the Elite Eight in 2016.
– Creighton is hosting for the fourth time, having previously gone 1-1 at D.J. Sokol Arena in 2017, 2018 and 2021.
– This is the fifth time that Creighton has earned a national seed, having been a No. 16 seed in 2015 a No. 9 seed in both 2017 and 2018 and the No. 14 seed last fall.
– The volleyball program is the only team in school history to reach 11 consecutive NCAA Tournaments in any women’s sport.
– Earlier in the month the postseason bid earned by the men’s soccer program marked the 35th straight academic year that that Creighton Athletics boasts at least one NCAA Tournament team.
– Kirsten Bernthal Booth leads her 12th different Creighton team to the NCAA Tournament, break a tie for most in school history by any coach that she had held with former men’s soccer mentor Bob Warming.