Creighton adds two volleyball players
OMAHA, Neb. -- The Creighton Volleyball program signed a pair of preps to
letters-of-intent on Wednesday, as Jess Bird and Kenzie Crawford signed on
the dotted line to become Bluejays next fall. Both women will enter as
freshmen and have four years of eligibility remaining.
Bird is a 6-foot outside hitter from the Omaha suburb of Bennington, Neb.,
who grew up going to Creighton camps and matches. She earned First-Team
All-State honors as a junior, whe she had 288 kills and led her team to a
28-5 record and narrowly missed the state tournament. She was also an
All-Omaha selection as a junior. Ranked the nation's No. 73 recruit by
PrepVolleyball.com, Bird also considered Notre Dame, Northern Iowa,
Northwestern, Virginia and Colorado State.
"Jess is really an outstanding player," said Creighton head coach Kirsten
Bernthal Booth. "The thing that makes her special is she's a phenomenal
hitter but she's also an incredible back-row player. She is a package
player, a great kid, and she'll really add something to the program."
Crawford is a 5-foot-8 setter from Grand Rapids, Mich., where she attends
Northview High School. Crawford will become Creighton's first Michigan
native to join the Bluejays since the volleyball program restarted in 1994.
She also considered Houston and Coastal Carolina before committing in
August. Her club volleyball team, MVA, finished 15th in the open division at
the AAU tournament in Orlando, Fla., last summer.
"Kenzie is going to come in as a setter and likely will redshirt next year.
She has all the pieces of what I think makes a setter great, and we've had
some great setters here," noted Booth, a former setter herself. "She's a
great athlete with great feet and we think she's also going to be a great
leader. Both these players will fit in with the culture of our team very
well. We've got great chemistry this year and I know that will just add to
our great chemistry next year."
Booth was quick to note the how the team's facility and recent success had
helped in recruiting.
"I think when we got D.J. Sokol Arena four years ago, our recruiting stepped
up another level that provided us the opportunity to get into additional
homes that maybe in the past we couldn't get into. There's no question we've
had added interest, and those kids that maybe in the past would have headed
to a BCS school are giving us a second look because they realize they can
get outstanding academics at Creighton and get the volleyball experience
they're looking for."
Creighton (24-3, 15-1 MVC) is ranked 23rd nationally heading into road
matches this weekend at Wichita State (Friday, 7 pm) and Missouri State
(Saturday, 7 pm).
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