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KU Volleyball advances in NCAA Tournament

Jayhawks to face national power Penn State in the second round.

Syndication: The Topeka Capital-Journal Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kansas dominated Nebraska-Omaha in the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament at home on Thursday night with a 3-0 win to move to the second round. The 4-seed Jayhawks will take on 5-seed Penn State on Friday night (Dec 1); PSU defeated Yale 3-1 in their first-round matchup.

Kansas went 24-5 (14-4 B12) in the regular season, finishing in second place behind league-champ Texas. KU finished the regular season at #15 in the AVCA rankings. The Jayhawks resumé boasted wins over top-30 teams Pepperdine, Marquette (6-seed), BYU (4-seed), Baylor, Iowa State (7-seed), and Houston (8-seed). KU was undefeated (9-0) at home this year, which propelled them to the best regular season finish since 2016, when Kansas won the league outright.

The top four seeds in each bracket get to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

This season, KU went 0-2 against Texas, who earned a 2-seed, only taking one set off the Longhorns. However, KU lost a hotly contested 5th set to Purdue early in the season; the Boilers earned a 3-seed in this tournament. Now, the ‘Hawks face another tough test in the 5-seed, Penn State.

Penn State is a national brand in NCAA women’s volleyball, right up there with Nebraska, Texas, and Stanford. The Lions haven’t won a title since 2014, but won 6 of 8 NCAA Tournaments from 2007 through 2014. While this may be a “down” year for their standards, you have to think of it like KU basketball. They are always going to have good players and good coaching; they are one of the blue-bloods of college volleyball.

Penn State finished the season strong, winning their last six matchups and only dropping two sets. That win streak included a 3-1 win over 1-seed Wisconsin, who likely awaits the winner of this matchup in the Sweet 16.

You can follow the bracket for the 2023 Tournament here. Kansas and Penn State are set for first serve at 5:30 PM tonight (Dec 1) in Lawrence. Good luck getting a ticket, but you can catch the action on ESPN+ (subscription required).