LAWRENCE, Kan. The fourth-seeded Kansas Volleyball team won its opening match of the NCAA Tournament for the third-straight season as the Jayhawks swept Omaha 3-0 Thursday night in Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena. 

Set scores for the match were 25-16, 25-19, 28-26 in favor of the Jayhawks who improved to 24-5 on the year. Kansas advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and will face No. 5-seed Penn State on Friday, December 1 in Lawrence. 

With the win, the Jayhawks improved to 9-3 all-time in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Coach Ray Bechard and the Jayhawks are now 13-11 all-time in the postseason, with a chance to improve that Friday night. 

"We want to credit Omaha and how they played tonight. We served well and scored points when we needed to. We’re excited for the opportunity to advance to the next round."


The opening set kicked off evenly for both teams with back-and-forth action, until the Jayhawks were able to pull away early with a 7-4 lead. With a pair of kills from Reagan Cooper and Mykayla Myers, the Jayhawks rolled to a 13-6 lead forcing Omaha to call their first timeout to stop momentum. Kansas was unfazed, however, extending the lead 18-11. From there, the Jayhawks held the Mavericks to just five more points and took the first set in dominant fashion, 25-16.  

Omaha kicked off the second set with a solid scoring run, jumping out to a 5-2 lead. Kansas was able to close back in at 5-6, but the Mavericks extended their lead by going on a 4-0 unanswered scoring run. Camryn Turner knocked down back-to-back aces, putting a bit of life back into the Jayhawks from the service line. The tie finally came at 12-12 and Toyosi Onabanjo hit it off the Omaha block right after to finally put Kansas in the lead. An Onabanjo kill would be the next Jayhawk point, as Omaha errors would play a large part in Kansas’ continued lead from there.   

After back-to-back attacking errors from the Mavericks, the score read 20-16 and an Omaha timeout was called. A second Omaha timeout could come rather quickly with Kansas in front 22-18. A huge solo block by Onabanjo followed, and an Omaha kill came right after, but London Davis knocked down a kill of her own after. Onabanjo ended the set with a kill, her fourth of the match, and Kansas went up 2-0.  

Set three started with a bit of Omaha momentum once again as they got the score up 4-1. The Jayhawks kept their foot on the gas, however, a victorious challenge by Bechard put the Jayhawks back in it. Omaha held the Jayhawks down for a bit longer, getting up 8-4 and pushing Kansas to take their first timeout of the entire match. It was a tough climb for the Jayhawks midway through, with Omaha getting up to double figures and triggering another Jayhawk timeout up 12-6.

Kansas really started to clean up their play after this, going on a 4-1 run and getting Omaha to use their first timeout. The Mavericks got up 16-11, but Kansas went on another run and started forcing errors from the visiting Mavericks. Evenly tied up at 19, the Mavericks gained a leg up on the Jayhawks to make it 20-19, until London Davis recorded a kill with authority. From there, Kansas was able to fight through until the end regardless of the set going into extra points. Omaha was close to pushing the match to a fourth set, but the Jayhawks looked calm on their home court. 

Cooper ended the night with a team-leading 11 kills, while Turner anchored the defense with 10 digs. Turner also contributed team-high 27 assists and three aces, while Myers led the way on the block with three total.


No. 4 seed Kansas will face No. 5 seed Penn State on Friday, Dec. 1 in Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena. The contest will kick off at 5:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcasted on ESPN+.