Skip to content

Moments That Popped: Kansas sweeps Omaha in NCAA Tournament

Highlights & memorable moments from a high-energy night at Horejsi

4 min read
The Kansas volleyball team celebrates a point during their first-round NCAA Tournament sweep of Omaha on Thursday night at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena. [Chance Parker photo]

The Kansas volleyball team picked up a straight-set sweep of Omaha in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena on Thursday night, moving the Jayhawks into the second round for the third consecutive season.

Kansas (24-5) displayed its perfect balance of offense, defense and roster depth in dismissing Omaha 25-16, 25-19 and 28-26 to win the match.

Afterwards, Jayhawks Camryn Turner and Caroline Bien said getting it over in three sets instead of having to go deeper into the night was crucial because of the fact that Round 2 will take place less than 24 hours later.

Fourth-seeded Kansas will host No. 5 seed Penn State at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.

Here’s a look back at some of the highlights and memorable moments from Thursday’s victory. It marked the second time this season that Kansas has swept Omaha, 3-0.




• Power, power and more power: It didn’t matter who was swinging, the Jayhawks brought all kinds of power and physicality to the net from the first serve on in this one. London Davis did her thing, swinging as hard as she could on every set. Ayah Elnady ripped several kills between and around the Omaha block. And Toyosi Onabanjo also cranked a couple of vicious kills in the middle while Reagan Cooper picked her spots to dissect the Omaha defense. That’s nothing new for these Jayhawks, but there was an extra element of jumping just a little bit higher, swinging a little harder and playing a little bit more physical than normal. It worked nearly every time.

• So much energy and effort: It didn’t take long for you to see how juiced the Jayhawks were by getting to play an NCAA Tournament match in their home gym. In the first set alone, several KU players were giving max effort, chasing down balls they might not otherwise have gotten and diving all over the floor. Adrenaline was pumping in full force and it showed up in nearly every player and all corners of the court. The KU crowd, which sold this match out in 60 seconds earlier in the week, was more than appreciative of the effort they were seeing, cheering during rallies and roaring after those extra efforts led to points for the Jayhawks.

KU setter Camryn Turner sprints to track down a ball during the early portion of Thursday's match with Omaha. Turner got to the ball and Kansas won the point en route to a sweep of the Mavericks. [Chance Parker photo]

• “One KU” One of the big pushes throughout this school year has been student-athletes supporting other programs and athletes across the department. Never was that easier to see than Thursday night at Horejsi. In addition to head football coach Lance Leipold sitting courtside with his wife, Kelly, — they’re big volleyball fans, their daughter played in college and they were at the selection show watch party on Sunday — several Kansas football players were in the stands and watching the action. We’re talking nearly two dozen. Maybe more. There were also KU swimmers, soccer players, basketball staff members, golf coaches, several administrators and more. Needless to say, for at least Thursday night, Horejsi was the place to be in the Kansas sports world.

• Turner the closer: She was solid throughout the match, hustling for well-placed Omaha shots, running KU’s offense and playing with a smile throughout. But winning time was Camryn Turner time and she made sure she came through. Her lefty kill late in the third set tied the set at 22-all and she had a block on the very next point to give KU a 23-22 lead en route to winning the final set 28-26 to complete the sweep. After all of it, Turner, who earlier this week was named the Big 12 Setter of the Year, flashed that unassuming smile like she was just thrilled it happened rather than knowing she was an absolute killer in making it that way.


• Nothing. Absolutely nothing: Thursday night was a sight to see and Friday should be even better with KU taking on elite program Penn State for a trip to the Sweet 16. The Nittany Lions are kind of like Kentucky basketball of late, one of the true traditional powerhouse programs with all kinds of success and history that hasn’t quite played up to that elite level during the past couple of seasons. Still, they have as good a culture, historically speaking, as anybody and just seeing the navy blue jersey and Nittany Lion logo on that court will be pretty darn cool. The match gets under way at 5:30 p.m. Friday, 2-and-a-half hours before No. 5 Kansas hosts No. 4 UConn in men’s basketball a couple hundred feet to the east.

— For tickets to all KU athletic events, visit

Getting to know the Jayhawks...

• How pure joy, growth spurt made Caroline Bien a Big 12 star

• Camryn Turner: An artist, a prophet & an All-American?

• Follow the path of the 2 newest Jayhawks to their reunion at Kansas

• Let it rip: KU's Ayah Elnady explains being in a zone while serving

• The philosophy that elevates London Davis' volleyball career

• Raegan Burns’ next big challenge

• Kennedy Farris' unique farewell

• The unexpected meet & greet that made Toyosi Onabanjo a Jayhawk

• Molly Schultz: 'The definition of happiness and sunshine'

• Familiarity, film & extra work the path back for Reagan Cooper

• Caroline Bien: From the back row back to the big time

• How sophomore Katie Dalton found a home at Kansas and on defense

• Early disappointment lead to dream ending for Kaiti Parks