‘I just fell in love with it:’ UNO student reflects on volleyball’s lifelong impact
Kaitlyn Lorenzen remembers trying every sport under the sun as a child.
The Omaha native’s parents encouraged her to stay active. Growing up in Nebraska, volleyball was an easy choice for Kaitlyn. It didn’t take long before she was hooked, turning a childhood hobby into a passion that has lasted a lifetime.
“I just fell in love with it,” Kaitlyn said. “Really, my whole life revolved around the sport because it was what I loved the most.”
Kaitlyn’s love and dedication for the sport only grew through high school. That passion led to an opportunity to play volleyball at Southeast Community College in Lincoln. Now, she is pursuing a master’s degree in athletic training at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Even after stepping away from volleyball as a student-athlete, she wasn’t ready to give up the sport. So, Kaitlyn got involved with the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s club volleyball team, serving as the team’s president.
“It’s always been a part of what I do and it’s a huge stress reliever for me,” she said. “Finding somewhere that I could still play while still having time to focus on school was important to me. It made me realize that I could still have it be a part of my life.”
Kaitlyn’s love for the sport is representative of the connection so many Nebraskans have with volleyball. So, when the University of Nebraska announced its first-ever Volleyball Day in Nebraska earlier this year, Kaitlyn knew she had to be in Memorial Stadium Aug. 30.
“I instantly thought it was awesome,” Kaitlyn said. “The fact that these girls get to play in front of 90,000 people is just an amazing opportunity.”
Kaitlyn was one of the 92,0003 fans who filled Memorial Stadium on Aug. 30 as Nebraska Volleyball hosted the University of Nebraska at Omaha, making history by becoming the most attended women’s sporting event in history. The match was preceded by an exhibition match between the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Wayne State College in a local doubleheader celebrating the impact of volleyball in the state.
When Kaitlyn joined the sea of red, black and blue celebrating Volleyball Day in Nebraska in Memorial Stadium Aug. 30, she thought about all the student-athletes being celebrated during the historic event.
“It was really cool to see the joy on their faces and see how hard they’ve worked to get to a point in their lives where they have the opportunity to be a part of this,” she said. “It was also just incredible to see how many people in Nebraska really do love the sport of volleyball and love to support the state.”
Community members, alumni and friends are invited to take their support for Nebraska athletics further by investing in athletic programs at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Gifts will directly support current and future student-athletes by funding scholarships, travel expenses, equipment, medical care and nutrition, and help to attract, recruit and retain top talent. Gifts may be made at OnlyinNebraska.org/VBDay now through Sept. 30.