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Bluejays Ready for NCAA Tournament on Friday

The Creighton University volleyball team will take its place among the nation’s elite Friday when it faces Iowa State in Minneapolis.

Ranked 15th nationally, Creighton (24-5, 17-1 BIG EAST) enters the 64-team 2019 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament on the strength of a season that saw four wins over top-15 teams and a sixth consecutive regular-season BIG EAST title.

This will be the volleyball team’s ninth NCAA appearance in the past 10 years.

Head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth, who is the 2019 BIG EAST Coach of the Year, anticipates that a block of at least 200 Creighton fans will be on hand for the Iowa State game since the University’s allocation of 200 tickets has already been purchased by team members, their families and season ticket holders.

Others hoping to secure tickets should call the Minnesota ticket office at 612-624-8080 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets went on sale at 9 a.m. Wednesday and are expected to go quickly. A complimentary video stream of Friday’s match will be available here, and live stats of the match will be available at gocreighton.com.

Should the Bluejays be victorious Friday, they would advance to the second round and play either No. 7-ranked and No. 7-national seed Minnesota or Fairfield Saturday, Dec. 7. If Minnesota advances to the second round, Saturday night’s match will be first-serve at 8 p.m., with the match available on the Big Ten Network. If Fairfield advances to the second round, Saturday night’s match will be first-serve at 7 p.m., with the match available via complimentary video stream at gocreighton.com.

“Minneapolis is within driving range, which makes it a little easier than having to buy a flight,” she says. “We’re hoping for a strong, loud contingent of Bluejay fans.”

Bernthal Booth attributes the success of the volleyball team over the past decade to the athletes who performed during those years but also to those who helped lay the foundation for success.

“It’s a testament to the young women on the team and their commitment to creating a good culture, doing the right things to be successful,” she says. “You can have good years, but it’s hard to do it year in and year out. We’re building on the foundation that those people built who didn’t make the tournament back in 2005, 2006 — all those years prior that allow these student-athletes to be flying higher.”

Iowa State represents a big challenge for her high-flying Bluejays, Bernthal Booth says.

“They are very, very good,” she says. “We played them in an exhibition before the season started and they beat us, so we’re very familiar with their team and they’re very familiar with us. We played each other in the regular season up until this last year, and it’s always been a really competitive match.”

The tilt with Iowa State will begin at 4:30 p.m., at the Maturi Pavilion, 1925 University Avenue SE, Minneapolis.

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