It is easy to look ahead. However, all season, Kirsten Bernthal Booth and the rest of the Creighton volleyball coaching staff have told their players to take one game at a time.
During the non-conference season they did exactly that, preparing from game to game amidst quick turnarounds. That strategy translated well to conference play. But now sitting at 20-3 and 11-1 in MVC play, the Bluejays have a tough task ahead of them continuing to take one game at a time. CU plays four of its final six regular season matches on the road. Then the Jays head to Springfield, Missouri, for the MVC Tournament the week of Thanksgiving.
First up this weekend is Bradley on Friday night. Although the Bluejays have had some good success against the Braves, they probably don’t want to remember what happened last season in Peoria. Creighton was coming off a loss to Northern Iowa the night before and ended up losing in five sets to Bradley, extending their losing streak to three games.
This season the road trip is flipped; Creighton hits Peoria first before heading to Cedar Falls for a showdown with UNI. Sure, CU beat UNI earlier this season, the Panthers’ first loss in MVC play in 60 matches. But Creighton’s only MVC loss this year came immediately before that game against UNI, a road loss at Southern Illinois. Bernthal Booth is confident the Bluejays won’t overlook Bradley this time.
“I sure hope not,” said Bernthal Booth. “The coaches will be talking about it a lot. That is where leadership steps in and coaching steps in. We lost to Bradley last year. That may be a positive actually for us that we need to be ready to go. Bradley is a good team. So it will definitely be addressed.”
Senior Megan Bober has heard that loud and clear. Bober, along with teammates Heather Thorson and Brooke Boggs, have not scored a victory in Cedar Falls. However, when they get to UNI on Saturday night, there could be some carry over from the win in Omaha a few weeks ago as they face a rowdy McLeod Center crowd.
“Each night is a new night in conference and anything can happen,” said Bober. “We know we have to look at what we did this past weekend and build on it and prepare for them.”
If they take one game at a time twice this weekend, they will be that much closer to winning an MVC regular season title and continue the historic season for the program.
- Both matches this weekend can be heard on Mighty 1290 AM. You can also follow the live stats at 7:00 p.m. Friday and 6:00 p.m. Saturday.
- In this week’s AVCA Coaches’ Poll, Creighton continues to receive votes (31), which equates to a current rank of No. 27, a program-best ranking.
- The Valley is one of nine conferences to have at least five teams in the RPI top-100.
- Megan Bober was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Week for her performance last weekend against Southern Illinois and Evansville, where she had a career-high 19 digs against the Purple Aces.
- Bober has three straight triple-doubles against Bradley.
- Creighton is only 10-8 in Peoria against Bradley, but has won 13 of the last 14 matches against the Braves.
- The Bluejays are 4-40 overall against UNI, but half of those wins have come in Cedar Falls.