Melanie Jereb has had a freshman season most could only dream of.
She became the first freshman in Creighton history to be named first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference, in addition to recently being named to the MVC all-freshman and all-tournament teams. Her 10 kills in the MVC tournament final against Wichita State helped Creighton to its first MVC tournament title.
Jereb and the Bluejays will play in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Marquette at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Minneapolis.
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Q: The team is headed to Minneapolis to take on Marquette, are you excited about getting to play in the NCAA tournament and has that been a dream of yours?
A: Yeah, since high school the thought has always been in my head of “oh, maybe someday I’ll go to the NCAA (tournament),” but I never thought it would be reality necessarily.
Q: Did you expect this kind of success to come so early in your career? Or were you expecting it more down the road?
A: Down the road for sure. I guess I should have believed that this was possible, but now that we’re actually here, it’s been amazing.
Q: You played very well in the MVC tournament final against Wichita State (10 kills, eight digs). Were you in a different mindset than normal in that match?
A: We were just so pumped up and excited to play and get that tournament title for Creighton. It was a match where we were just focused on getting the win.
Q: Is that the same kind of focus you are going to take into the match against Marquette?
A: Definitely. Now that we get toward the end of the season, every match just gets that much more intense and that much more fun to play.
Q: You are currently on a 16-match winning streak. Does the team have any kind of superstitions to keep the streak alive?
A: Oh, you mean like funny things that people do to try to keep the streak going? We’re not really a superstitious team, which I like because I’ve never been superstitious.
Q: How do you feel you have grown this year, especially as a freshman starter?
A: I feel like I’ve gotten so much better since I first walked into this gym. The older girls have taught me so much. They’ve taught me how to represent my school and have been very helpful.
Q: What are your expectations for how far this team can advance in the NCAA tournament?
A: I think we can go as far as our minds can take us. I’ve seen everyone on this team do amazing things and I know that we’re all capable of pulling together and having a really great weekend.