Posted by: Sports
Courtesy: Creighton Athletics
OMAHA, Neb. -- For the third time in four years, Creighton Volleyball's recruiting class has been named one of the nation's top 25 classes by PrepVolleyball.com.
This year's class, which features outside hitter Keeley Davis (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), middle hitter Annika Welty (Riverside, Mo.), outside hitter Jaela Zimmerman (Malcolm, Neb.) and right side hitter Kari Zumach (Buffalo, Minn.), has been ranked 10th-best in the country. The ranking does not factor in the arrival of incoming transfers Madelyn Cole (Marshall), Grace Nelson (Ball State) or Megan Sharkey (Rutgers).
"We're not only trying to recruit great volleyball players, but great young women," said head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth when the prep quartet signed in November. "I think these four will add to our team culture. We think it's a pretty phenomenal class and we're excited about what they'll bring to the program."
PrepVolleyball.com ranks Davis as the No. 42 recruit in its Senior Ace listings, seven spots ahead of Zimmerman. The duo join other former top-100 recruits on the Bluejay roster such as Taryn Kloth (No. 18 in 2015), Jaali Winters (No. 41 in 2015) and Naomi Hickman (No. 98 in 2017).
Creighton previously has earned "highest honorable-mention" for its recruiting classes four times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2014), "high honorable-mention" three times (2010, 2012, 2016), "honorable-mention" once (2005) and "best of the rest" once (2004) in the PrepVolleyball.com recruiting rankings. Three years, ago, a class featuring top-50 recruits Kloth and Winters was named 11th-best in the country. Both women have already been named First Team All-BIG EAST, BIG EAST Championship MVP and AVCA All-American so far in their career. Last year's recruiting class was named the 25th-best in the country.
Creighton finished the 2017 season with a 26-7 season, capturing its fourth straight BIG EAST regular-season and Tournament titles. The Bluejays reached a sixth straight NCAA Tournament, hosting for the first time and reaching the Second Round. The Bluejays return eight letterwinnersin the fall, including All-BIG EAST performers Kloth, Winters and Libero of the Year Brittany Witt.
Season tickets for Creighton Volleyball, which includes non-conference home matches against Iowa State, Nebraska and Wichita State, plus the BIG EAST Championship, can be purchased online by visiting www.gocreighton.com/vbtickets. Single-match tickets will go on sale later this summer.
Below is the write-up from PrepVolleyball.com on Creighton's recruiting class:
10. CREIGHTON: Keeley Davis, 6-2 OH, Rock Canyon (Highlands Ranch, Colorado); Annika Welty, 6-3 MB, Park Hill South (Riverside, Missouri); Jaela Zimmerman, 6-2 OH, Malcolm (Nebraska); Kari Zumach, 6-2 RS, Buffalo (Minnesota)
COMMENT: Creighton comes off a 2017 season in which the Bluejays were ranked in the top 10 for most of the season. Head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth brings in what some consider the most heralded class in Creighton history, slightly better than her No. 11-ranked class of 2015. The incoming freshman class will provide size in the middle and depth at the pins. Two outsides ranked among the Top 50 Senior Aces by PrepVolleyball.com headline the class. Zimmerman, Senior Ace No. 49; and Davis, Senior Ace No. 42; both have elite arms and terminating ability in the front row as well as adept ball control skills on the back end. Creighton has two established standouts on the left currently, but both Jaali Winters and Taryn Kloth are seniors, meaning it won’t be too long before Zimmerman and Davis are making their marks on the program. Zumach, a Top 250 Senior Ace, could challenge immediately for a starting spot on the right side. A late sign for the Bluejays, Zumach is very long and has a great arm. She can play either pin but is particularly suited to the right side. Welty completes the incoming group of freshmen. She has long arms, good feet and a world of potential. Creighton also brings in two transfer setters to fill the void left by the graduated Lydia Dimke, with Megan Sharkey coming over from Rutgers and Madelyn Cole joining from Marshall.
Creighton in the PrepVolleyball.com Recruiting Rankings (list started in 2004)
Year Rank Freshmen Recruits
2004 Best of the Rest (Baumann, Decker, Goc, Lahm, Mehal)
2005 Honorable-Mention (Cvejdlik, Houts, Lebeda)
2006 None (Bloemke, Schulze, Workman)
2007 None (Feldman, Oelke, Vrbicky)
2008 Highest Honorable-Mention (Almgren, Bober, Sanford)
2009 Highest Honorable-Mention (Boggs, Greisch, Moon, Templeton, Thorson)
2010 High Honorable-Mention (Fliss, Hackbarth, Malm, Mandolfo, S. Smith)
2011 Highest Honorable-Mention (Browning, McNary, Neisler, Sicner, Stivers)
2012 High Honorable-Mention (Elman, Jansen, Jereb, L. Smith)
2013 None (Bird, Crawford, Foje)
2014 Highest Honorable-Mention (Lawrence, Tupper, Wilkinson)
2015 11th (Ballenger, Bohnet, Kloth, O'Connell, Winters)
2016 High Honorable-Mention (Conlon, Taylor, Witt)
2017 25th (Gaston, Hickman, Roumeliotis)
2018 10th (Davis, Welty, Zimmerman, Zumach)