KEARNEY, Neb. — The Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team is smiling as it heads to the NCAA regional tournament.

Members of Kearney Special Olympics, UNK students and other fans gathered Thursday morning at the Health and Sports Center to give the team a send off. The supporters held up homemade signs as they posed with players for a photo.

The Lopers are 28-5 on the season and are the seven seed in the central region. Wayne St. is hosting the tournament. UNK’s first match is Friday at 2:30 against two-seed Concordia-St. Paul. This is UNK’s 23rd straight season being selected for the NCAA tournament.