This weekend the 25th-ranked Creighton Bluejays open the 2013 regular season at Bowling Green.
Monday they were picked to win the BIG EAST Conference. The Jays received seven of eight first place votes, as coaches couldn't vote for their own team, and received 63 points. Marquette was picked second with 57 points.
In addition to the team honors, three Bluejays were selected to the preseason All-Conference team, highlighted by preseason co-Player of the Year Kelli Browning. This marks 10th straight seasons Creighton has been picked in the top five in its league, with the previous nine coming as members of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Creighton usually has met conference expectations during head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth's tenure on the hilltop. The nine previous squads coached by Booth have ended the season having met or exceeded preseason expectations.
Joining Browning on the All-BIG EAST squad is a pair of outside hitters. Sophomore Melanie Jereb and junior Leah McNary fill out the squad. Rounding out the rest of the team are two players apiece for Marquette and Xavier, and one from Butler, DePaul, Georgetown, St. John's and Seton Hall. Marquette's Elizabeth Koberstein shares co-player of the honors with Browning.
Preseason BIG EAST Poll
1. Creighton (7) 63
2. Marquette (2) 57
3. Xavier 50
4. Seton Hall 38
5. St. John's 36
6. Butler 26
7. Villanova 25
8. DePaul 16
9. Georgetown 13
First place votes in parenthesis
Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Erica Stahl, MB, Jr., Butler
#*Kelli Browning, MB, Jr., Creighton
*Melanie Jereb, OH, So., Creighton
Leah McNary, OH, Jr., Creighton
*Vesela Zapryanova, OH, Sr. DePaul
*Danielle White, MB, Jr., Georgetown
Lindsey Gosh, OH, Jr., Marquette
#*Elizabeth Koberstein, S, Sr., Marquette
Karin Palgutova, OH, Jr., St. John's
*Shelby Manthorpe, S, Jr., Seton Hall
*Sarah Brown, OH, Sr., Xavier
*Alex Smith, MB, Sr., Xavier
*denotes unanimous selection
#Preseason Co-BIG EAST Player of the Year
Friday the Jays open the season against 13th ranked BYU at Hampton Inn Invitational with the match beginning at 3:30 p.m. in Bowling Green, Ohio.
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