Creighton’s Booth named National Coach of Year

OMAHA-Creighton Volleyball’s Kirsten Bernthal Booth has been named the 2016 VolleyballMag.com National Coach of the Year, it was announced on Thursday.

This is Booth’s third National Coach of the Year award this decade, as she was previously named National Coach of the Year by CVU.com in 2010 and the CaptainU National Coach of the Year in 2012.

Booth led Creighton to a 29-7 season in 2016 as the program reached its first Elite Eight. The postseason run included five-set victories over Northern Iowa, No. 4 Kansas and No. 12 Michigan, and helped CU attain a program-best No. 9 ranking in the final AVCA poll.

Creighton’s 29 victories tied a school record first set in 2012, and CU became the first team in BIG EAST Volleyball history to finish league play 18-0. The Bluejays won the BIG EAST regular-season and tournament titles and compiled a school-record 23-match win streak at one point. Booth and assistants Angie Oxley Behrens, Ryan Meek and Micah Rhodes were named BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year for their efforts.

Booth owns a 291-153 record in 14 seasons as Creighton head coach, leading the Bluejays to six NCAA Tournaments and four conference titles in the last seven years.

In other volleyball news on Thursday, three Creighton women were named All-Americans by PrepVolleyball.com. Sophomore Jaali Winters was named a Second Team All-American, while Lydia Dimke and Taryn Kloth were named Honorable Mention All-Americans.

A 6-foot-3 outside hitter from Ankeny, Iowa, Winters led Creighton with 448 kills (3.61 kps.) and 500.5 points (4.03 pps.), and was second with both 360 digs (2.90 dps.) and 36 service aces (0.29 saps.). The Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year was named BIG EAST Tournament MVP, earned a spot on the All-Austin Regional Team, and was named an Honorable Mention All-American by the AVCA, as well as a Third Team All-American by VolleyballMag.com.

A 6-foot-3 setter from Ham Lake, Minn., Dimke was named BIG EAST Player of the Year in her first season on The Hilltop after transferring in from Purdue in January. Dimke finished second in the nation with 1,454 assists this season, which also ranks second-most in Creighton single-season history. The junior ranked 12th nationally with a BIG-EAST leading 11.36 assists per set, and helped set CU to a school-record .273 hitting percentage on the year. Dimke’s 2.67 digs per set were tops among BIG EAST setters and helped her attain a team-high 17 double-doubles on the fall. She was named a Third Team All-American by the AVCA and an Honorable Mention All-American from VolleyballMag.com.

Kloth averaged 3.20 kills per set and hit .277 during her sophomore season. The 6-foot-4 outside hitter from Sioux Falls, S.D., earned First Team All-BIG EAST and All-East Region accolades after a breakthrough campaign that saw her rank in the top-10 in the BIG EAST in kills per set and points per set. She also earned Honorable Mention All-America status from the AVCA.