Posted On: 03/16/15 12:54 AM

OMAHA – Omaha Marian senior middle hitter Kelsey O’Connell has committed to play at Creighton.

O’Connell, 6-foot-2, was dominant in the 2013 state volleyball tournament, helping lead Omaha Marian to the state championship with a 3-2 win over Millard West. At that time she was getting recruiting interest from several Division I schools, but she suffered an ACL injury during the 2014 club season which put much of the recruiting on hold.

O’Connell came back about half-way through the 2014 high school season for Marian to help lead them to another state championship, finishing fourth on the team in kills and second in blocks despite missing a good chunk of the season.

Playing for Premier 18 Gold out of Omaha this club season, O’Connell has continued to get stronger now that she is about a year removed from the injury. With the commitment of O’Connell, Creighton coach Kirsten Bernthal-Booth not only gets an absolute steal this late in the recruiting season for 2015, but it only adds to what is most likely one of the nation’s best recruiting classes.

For 2015, Creighton already has commitments from the #18 recruit in the nation (per PrepVolleyball.com) in 6-foot-4 outside hitter Taryn Kloth of Sioux Falls, S.D., as well as the #41 recruit in the nation in 6-foot-2 middle/outside hitter Jaali Winters of Ankeny, IA. Creighton also has 2015 commitments from 6-foot-2 Iowa All-State middle/outside hitter Megan Ballenger of Ankeny, IA, and Iowa 2nd team All-State defensive specialist/libero Samantha Bohnet of Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln High School.

Creighton loses four seniors off of last year’s team which went 25-9 and lost to Oregon State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bluejays won both the Big East regular season and tournament championships in 2014. The team loses its top two kill leaders from a year ago in All-American middle Kelli Browning and outside Leah McNary, as well as outside Katie Neisler and setter Michelle Sicner. Outside hitter Toni Tupper left the program after her freshman season in 2014.

Aside from the 2015 recruits coming in, Creighton will also have 6-foot-4 freshman Brittany Lawrence and 6-foot-4 sophomore Lauren Smith back in the middle for next year.