Jays look to make an impression

Creighton’s volleyball team will give fans a dress rehearsal Friday before its season begins next weekend in Bowling Green, Ohio. Creighton’s Blue-White scrimmage will begin at 6 p.m. at D.J. Sokol Arena.


Creighton volleyball players will get one last chance to impress the coach in Friday night’s Blue-White scrimmage.

Coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth hopes to have her starting lineup installed early next week, and the 6 p.m. event at DJ Sokol Arena will give her and her staff a chance to evaluate the Bluejays in a game-like setting.

“We’ll probably make some final decisions this weekend,’’ Booth said.

Creighton opens the season next Friday against BYU at the Hampton Inn Invitational in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Bluejays then take on Bowling Green on Aug. 31.

Booth will be looking for consistency on Friday. Serving and passing will be a Creighton strength, she said, but the Bluejays have struggled some in those areas in practice.

The passing hasn’t been as strong as Booth would like, mainly because the Jays are facing such tough serves from their teammates. And while she likes those aggressive serves, the balls also have to be in.

“We still have a lot of work to do,’’ Booth said.

Booth held individual meetings this week to let players know where they stand, so there might be some nerves on display Friday as players fight for spots. But she said that’s OK as long as they’re trying to make the right decisions.

She’d always rather see someone swing hard for a kill and get blocked than be tentative.

No one will be pulled because of one error, and that will allow her to see how the Bluejays respond to adversity.

“How they perform will determine their playing time,’’ Booth said.

The scrimmage will be great for the new kids who haven’t seen much playing time, Booth said, and for fans to get a first look at the rookies.

Because there’s only 13 on the roster, volunteer assistant Amanda Gates Sjuts, a former Nebraska star, and practice player Andres Rodriguez-Burns will see some action as Booth moves players around between games.

Rodriguez-Burns, a student and club player, has been helping the Bluejays the past few years. This will be his last hurrah because Sunday he heads to Costa Rica for the semester.

“He can play everything,’’ Booth said. “Primarily hitting, but some years we’ve had him set. He can pass. For a male practice player, he’s a kid whose ego doesn’t get in the way. He’s going to play who we need him to play to help us get better.’’

Booth is glad to be getting to the point where the Jays can actually play someone else and see how they’ll try to exploit CU. She thinks the Jays have good depth, are strong blockers and are a good passing and defensive team.

She hopes fans like what they see Friday, too.

“I want to pass well, serve well and cut down on unforced errors,’’ she said.

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