About Jack Haley

Jack covers Creighton sports for The World-Herald as part of the Sports Reporting Fellowship program. He is a junior at Creighton University and a 2010 graduate of Omaha Roncalli. He can be reached at jacobhaley@creighton.edu or 402-709-6350.

Posts by Jack Haley

Women’s Basketball: Janning’s been on point in first year

Leading a team in scoring in a victory over a ranked in-state rival could be the highlight of a player’s career.

It didn’t take long for Marissa Janning to accomplish that.

In her sixth game as a member of the Creighton women’s basketball team, the freshman point guard tallied 19 points, three assists and two rebounds as she ignited a second-half surge that culminated in a 66-57 victory over 25th-ranked Nebraska.

Janning has been on a hot streak, averaging 17.7 points in her last three games.

Janning says that the key to her recent success is simple: She has just been more confident.

“The only thing that’s been different is I have more confidence. I know that I can score in different situations …

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Q&A: Creighton volleyball’s Melanie Jereb

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 …

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Women’s basketball: Top teams don’t frighten Jays

A loss to open the season wasn’t what the Creighton women’s basketball team had hoped for.

However, the experience of playing a nationally ranked foe like Oklahoma is something that players and coaches believe will help them as the season progresses.

“It sets a bar for us so we know what we have to achieve to get to that level too,” junior forward Sarah Nelson said. “It’s a good experience for us and it helps (coach Jim Flanery) pick out our strengths and weaknesses as a team.”

The Jays lost to the 11th-ranked Sooners 69-48, but Flanery liked the way his team competed, especially against one of the nation’s elite programs.

“We played better than the score indicated,” Flanery said. “To some degree, …

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Q&A: Creighton volleyball’s Natalie Hackbarth

Natalie Hackbarth has had her ups and downs as a member of the Creighton volleyball team.

After starting 16 games last season as a sophomore, Hackbarth has taken more of a leadership role while coming off the bench for emerging underclassmen Melanie Jereb and Leah McNary. With one year of eligibility remaining, Hackbarth will graduate a year early in May with a degree in journalism.

She will be honored before Saturday’s match with Illinois State along with seniors Brooke Boggs, Megan Bober and Brittany Moon.

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Q: When you and the team aren’t on the court, what are some of your favorite things to do off of it?

A: One of our favorite things is to go get dessert together. We don’t get …

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Volleyball: Consistency key for continued success

The Creighton volleyball team is in the midst of one of its best seasons in school history.

The Jays are 21-3, while their 12-1 Missouri Valley record has them atop the conference standings. They are also riding a school-record nine-game winning streak.

With all of these accomplishments, the Jays could be looking towards the MVC tournament and beyond with only five conference games left.

But as coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth or any of her players would tell you, it’s all about taking things one game at a time.

“Every game is big right now, and they all count equally,” Booth said. “Each win takes us closer to our goal, but our focus right now has to be one game at a time.”

Booth’s message is …

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Q&A: Creighton volleyball’s Heather Thorson

Heather Thorson, a 6-foot-3 senior middle blocker, has started the last 71 matches for the Creighton volleyball team and has been a key part of its 17-3 start. The Bluejays’ next match is Saturday against Drake.

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Q: Is the 17-3 (8-1 Missouri Valley) start the best one you have had in your four years at Creighton?

A: Yeah, it definitely is. It’s really exciting to be off to this start, but we still have to be focused on one game at a time and not get wrapped up in all that.

Q: There have been a number of freshmen who are getting significant playing time this year. Did you expect them to come in and contribute in the ways they have?

A: …

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Club hockey team no longer on thin ice

Lee Noel has experienced many ups and downs in his three years as a member of Creighton’s club hockey team.

He started as a freshman, then nearly saw the entire season canceled his sophomore year. Now as a junior, Noel is excited about the prospects of the upcoming season.

The Bluejays are set to move into the new Ralston Arena this fall. They are also in talks to set up a contest with Nebraska as part of the Feb. 9 “Battles on Ice,” which already features an outdoor doubleheader with UNO and Omaha Lancer games at TD Ameritrade Park.

“It’s been really exciting for us,” Noel said. “We’re doing everything we need to do to make a legitimate program.”

Creighton plays in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, …

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Volleyball: Elman, Jereb find success early

Kate Elman and Melanie Jereb are off to a fast start in their Creighton volleyball careers.

The true freshmen are making a name for themselves, each playing in every match so far this season.

Jereb, an outside hitter from Cary, Ill., has started every match and ranks third on the team in digs and kills and fourth in aces.

She was recently named Missouri Valley freshman of the week for the second time after amassing 32 kills, 35 digs, and 12 blocks in three games, helping her team go 3-1 in the stretch.

Those are impressive stats for a player who didn’t think she would see much action this season.

“I knew Creighton was a great program coming in and that they had a lot …

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Women’s Soccer: Swanson lets play speak for itself

Creighton women’s soccer goalkeeper Katie Jo Swanson was short, sweet and to the point when asked to evaluate her individual performance so far this season.

“I think I’ve done pretty well” Swanson said.

Pretty well is an understatement.

Swanson leads the Bluejays (3-6-2) into their 7 p.m. conference opener Saturday night against Illinois State at Morrison Stadium.

Swanson is in her first full year of starting after backing up Alicia Montgomery the past three seasons. Now the senior is making the most of the time she has.

Swanson has limited opponents to 18 goals in 11 games for a 1.54 goals against average. She also boasts an .812 save percentage.

Swanson has another stat that coach Bruce Erickson said he is most impressed with.

“To …

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