Led by the No. 1 overall national seed Texas, four Big 12 volleyball teams have earned spots in the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship field. Along with the Longhorns, Kansas earned a No. 14 national seed, while Iowa State and Oklahoma also made the postseason event.
Overall, the Big 12 has earned 106 bids in 18 years of competition. The Conference is 164-99 in NCAA postseason play, a winning mark of .624, and is 76-23 in the first round of NCAA action.
The defending national champion Longhorns (23-2) will face Texas State (24-12) in Austin on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT. Should Texas, which is 26-0 in first round competition, advance, UT will face the winner of UT San Antonio-Texas A&M. This marks UT’s 30th NCAA postseason appearance. Overall, Texas is 71-27 at the event. The Longhorns will be competing on the Lincoln Regional side of the bracket.
Kansas (23-7), placed in the Los Angeles Regional, will host Wichita State (28-6) in Lawrence on Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT. Should the Jayhawks advance, they will take on the winner of Arkansas-Creighton, two teams Kansas has played already this season. Kansas will look to redeem itself after falling to the Shockers in the second round in 2012. KU is making its second consecutive NCAA appearance and fifth overall.
The Cyclones (18-9) will open against former league member Colorado (17-13) on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT in Minneapolis as part of the Lexington Regional. Iowa State can meet either host Minnesota or Radford in the second round. ISU has advanced to the regional field in five of the past six years.
Oklahoma (23-7) is also in the Lexington Regional and will travel west to Stanford for an opening round match against Alabama (24-9) on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. CT. The Sooners potentially face seventh-seeded Stanford or Hampton in the second round.
Texas (No. 1), Kansas (No. 22) and Iowa State (No. 25) entered the week ranked in the AVCA top 25.
First and second round competition of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship is held at 16 campus sites Dec. 5-6 or Dec. 6-7. Winners advance to four regional tournaments, held Dec. 13-14. The four predetermined sites are: Galen Center, Los Angeles, Calif.; Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, Ky.; State Farm Center, Champaign, Ill.; and Bob Devaney Sports Center, Lincoln, Neb. Regional semifinals will be telecast on ESPN3 with regional finals available on ESPNU.
Each quarterfinal winner will advance to semifinal action in Seattle, Wash., held Thursday, Dec. 19, at 6:30 or 9:30 p.m. CT at the KeyArena. The national championship match will be played at 8:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 21. Both the national semifinal and national championship will be on ESPN2/ESPN3.
BIG 12 FIRST ROUND MATCHUPS
Thursday, Dec. 5
Oklahoma vs. Alabama, 6:30 p.m., Stanford, Calif. - Lexington Regional
Texas State at No. 1 Texas, 7:00 p.m., Austin, Texas - Lincoln Regional
Friday, Dec. 6
Iowa State vs. Colorado, 4:30 p.m., Minneapolis, Minn. - Lexington Regional
Wichita State at No. 14 Kansas, 6:30 p.m., Lawrence, Kan. - Los Angeles Regional
Times are listed in CT.
ABOUT THE BIG 12 TEAMS IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD
Texas (23-2, 16-0 Big 12) claimed its seventh conference crown this season (1997, 2007-’09, ‘11-’13) and posted the first undefeated Big 12 record since 2004. The Longhorns have been ranked first in the AVCA national poll for the past six weeks and are riding a 19-match winning streak. UT has not lost since Sept. 13 and has 11 wins over teams in the NCAA RPI top 25. UT is the defending national champion after sweeping Oregon in last year’s title game in Louisville, Ky. Texas has made the national semifinals in four of the last five seasons. UT is led by 2012 AVCA Coach of the Year Jerritt Elliott and All-Americans Haley Eckerman and Bailey Webster.
Kansas (23-7, 12-4) took second place in the Big 12 this season, marking its highest finish in program history. The Jayhawks have 11 sweeps on the year and have not been swept since Oct. 2012. Reigning Big 12 Coach of the Year Ray Bechard has seen his team ranked in the NCAA RPI top 20 all season. Additionally, KU entered the week ranked in the NCAA top 40 in assists (13th), kills (13th), hitting percentage (23rd) and blocks (35th).
Iowa State (18-9, 11-5) is making its eighth straight postseason appearance. The Cyclones have advanced to the NCAA field every year since 2006 and boast a 14-8 overall record in the event. ISU has made the regional finals on two occasions. The Cyclones have been one of the top serving teams in the nation this year, ranking in the top 10 in aces per set. Additionally, ISU has been ranked or receiving votes in every AVCA national poll on the year.
Oklahoma (23-7, 11-5) is making its 10th overall appearance and seventh in the last eight years. OU has had an RPI in the top 25 all season. The Sooners are 9-9 in postseason play with three trips to the regional field, including one in 2010. Senior Sallie McLaurin leads the league in hitting percentage with a .423.