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2013 Big 12 Volleyball Season Review
January 09, 2014

• Texas and Kansas finished the 2013 season ranked in the AVCA national poll. The Longhorns checked in at No. 4, marking their eighth straight top 10 finish. The Jayhawks’ No. 17 finish is the highest in program history. Oklahoma also received votes in the final rankings. The Big 12 has totaled 69 postseason top 25 finishes.

• Texas claimed the 2013 Big 12 regular season title with a perfect 16-0 mark in conference play. It is the fifth time a league team has gone undefeated in league play and first since 2004. The Longhorns closed out the season with a 49-match Big 12 win streak at Gregory Gym in Austin. UT has not lost at home in conference action since 2008. The 8-0 Big 12 home record is the third straight for Texas.

• UT’s Big 12 title marks its seventh overall, third outright and third consecutive. Texas is 61-2 in its last 63 Big 12 matches.

• Kansas claimed its best conference finish in program history checking in at second place. Prior to last season, the Jayhawks had not finished higher than third in the Big 12 standings. Kansas posted 20-plus wins for the second straight season, marking the first time in the Ray Bechard era that a KU team has achieved back-to-back 20-win seasons with the last time in school history occurring in 1982 and 1983.

• The 2012 national champion, Texas led a quartet of league teams selected to the NCAA postseason championship. UT was the No. 1 national seed, while Kansas was seeded 14th. Iowa State and Oklahoma also joined the field. Overall, the Big 12 has earned 106 bids in 18 years of competition. With a 7-4 mark in the 2013 event, the league improved to 171-103 in NCAA action.

• Kansas and Texas advanced to the NCAA regional field marking the seventh straight year the Big 12 has had multiple teams represent in the “Sweet 16.” KU was making its first appearance in program history, while Texas advanced to the national semifinal field for the fourth time in the past five years with a sweep of Nebraska in the regional finals.

• Texas’ “Final Four” appearance marked the 12th time a league school has advanced to the national semifinals. To get there, Texas handed Nebraska its only sweep in postseason play at home in program history and NU’s first sweep in Lincoln in 24 years.

• This season, Texas posted a 23-match winning streak and extended their postseason winning streak to 10 matches – a school record. Wisconsin snapped the streak with a win over the Longhorns in the NCAA national semifinals.

• The Big 12 finished third in conference RPI for the second straight season. Texas posted the highest finish at No. 2. Since 2001, the league has had five teams finish in the top 60.

• Texas' Haley Eckerman claimed her second straight Big 12 Player of the Year honor, while Iowa State's Kristen Hahn became a three-time Libero of the Year and Kansas' Ray Bechard repeated as Coach of the Year to highlight the 2013 Big 12 volleyball postseason individual awards. In addition, Erin McNorton (Kansas) was named the Setter of the Year and Chiaka Ogbogu (Texas) earned Freshman of the Year. Hahn and McNorton were unanimous selections for their respective individual awards.

• With back-to-back Player of the Year distinctions, Eckerman became just the fourth player to achieve the feat. She was also named the 2011 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and is one of five players to claim both honors in her career.

• Hahn became only the second player to earn the Libero of the Year award for three years, joining former Cyclone Ashley Mass (2008-10). She is one of four players to earn three Big 12 volleyball yearly awards in their career.

• Bechard is now one of five league coaches to earn the Coach of the Year recognition multiple times. He is also one of three coaches to win the award in back-to-back seasons.

• Eckerman claimed Texas’ seventh Player of the Year honor, while Ogbogu earned UT’s third Freshman of the Year accolade. Ogbogu is the 14th freshman in Big 12 history to earn a spot on the All-Big 12 First Team.

• The 2013 All-Big 12 First Team is highlighted by five Texas selections and four Kansas honorees with Iowa State also landing multiple members.  The four Jayhawks named to the All-Big 12 First Team doubled KU’s previous season-high of First Team award winners (two, 2012).

• Kaitlynn Pelger (Kansas State), Eckerman and Bailey Webster (Texas) become three-time first team selections. Pelger is only the second Wildcat to achieve the feat. Eckerman and Webster are among seven players to earn unanimous spots on the first team, joined by Hahn and McNorton as well as Mackenzie Bigbee (Iowa State), Kaitlynn Pelger (Kansas State) and Sallie McLaurin (Oklahoma). Hahn and McLaurin, along with Caroline Jarmoc (Kansas), Sara McClinton (Kansas) and Khat Bell (Texas) earn their second straight first team selections.

• Iowa State’s Kristen Hahn set the Big 12 record for most career weekly honors. With five Defensive Player of the Week awards in 2013, she ended her career with 17 total. Haley Eckerman closed her junior season with 15 for her career, which is tied for second-most in league history. ISU has totaled 35 Defensive honors in league history, 23 more than the next closest school.

• Oklahoma’s Sallie McLaurin opened the 2013 season with three straight Offensive Player of the Week awards. It marked the first time a volleyball student-athlete has won the honor in that category three weeks in a row. McLaurin went on to tally five of the distinctions, becoming one of just three players to achieve the feat in conference history. The Sooners had claimed just four Offensive Player of the Week honors entering the 2013 season.

• The Jayhawks, which entered the season with 14 Big 12 weekly awards all-time, tallied 11 in 2013, which tying for fifth-most by one team in a single-season in league history. Seven different Jayhawks were weekly award recipients. The seven awards by a different player is a league record. Texas had six different players collect honors in 2008.

• Led by Haley Eckerman (Texas), the Big 12 placed 14 student-athletes on the AVCA All-America Teams. Eckerman earned first team honors for the second consecutive season, while Kristen Hahn (Iowa State) and Sallie McLaurin (Oklahoma), along with Chiaka Ogbogu and Bailey Webster (Texas) claimed second team spots. Kansas’ Caroline Jarmoc represented the league on the third team. Additionally, eight Big 12 players were named honorable mention. The league has had 126 AVCA All-America honorees, including 44 first-team members. This marks the 10th year the Big 12 has had at least seven or more combined selections.

• Additionally, 19 Big 12 players were honored on the AVCA Regional Teams with 14 first team honorees and five honorable mention selections between the Midwest and Southwest teams. The league also swept the Freshman and Coach of the Year honors in both regions with Ray Bechard (Kansas) and Jerritt Elliott (Texas) earning Midwest and Southwest Coach of the Year honors, respectively, and Tayler Soucie (Kansas) and Chiaka Ogbogu (Texas) claiming the Freshman of the Year awards in each region.

• For the seventh straight season, Texas led the league in hitting percentage and finished ranked seventh nationally.  For the first time in league history, Kansas led the conference in kills and assists for both overall and Big 12-only matches. KU’s 1,801 kills in all matches is the highest total for a team since 2007. This year also marked the first time in conference history that Iowa State has finished first in service aces.

• Oklahoma’s Sallie McLaurin is the first Sooner to lead the league in hitting percentage for overall matches since 1997 and only the second OU player to finish first in that category.

• ISU’s Kristen Hahn is the only libero to lead the league in digs three years in a row. Her 2013 average of 5.71 digs per set is the highest average in league history. Iowa State is also the only team to lead the conference in digs three straight years.

• Rachel Brummitt (Texas Tech) set a Big 12 record for digs in a four-set match with 36 against Oklahoma on Nov. 20.

• Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott became just the second coach in league history to record 200 conference wins. Elliott closed out 2013 with 201 Big 12 wins, second to John Cook (Nebraska) who recorded 207 during the Huskers’ time in the conference. Elliott’s winning percentage of .810 in league play is third-highest all-time.

• Four players made their way onto the Big 12 career leader’s charts. Sallie McLaurin (Oklahoma) finished her career as one of the top Big 12 blockers all-time. She ranks second in solo blocks, third in total blocks and fourth in block assists. She is only one of five players with 600 or more blocks in their Big 12 career and her 633 career blocks ranked as the most among active leaders nationally in 2013. Caroline Jarmoc (Kansas) ranks third in solo blocks and ninth in total blocks. The Big 12 career digs list also saw two additions as Brianne Riley (Kansas) finished her career ranked fourth while Kristen Hahn (Iowa State) ranks eighth. Riley is one of six liberos with 2,000 or more digs in Big 12 history.

• The Big 12 posted a 97-36 (.729) mark against non-conference opponents.

• Eight of the league’s top 10 assist leaders were underclassmen with every school but Kansas and Texas having a freshman or sophomore starting libero.

• Chiaka Ogbogu (Texas) finished second in the conference in hitting percentage while fellow freshman Jordan Anderson (West Virginia) finished second in kills and third in points.

• Haley Eckerman (Texas) is one of four finalists for the Honda Sports Award for Volleyball, presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics.” The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the AVCA.

• Sallie McLaurin (Oklahoma) and Bailey Webster (Texas) were named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America Team. The two were also among six Big 12 student-athletes honored on the 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-District Volleyball Teams. Webster, along with Caroline Jarmoc (Kansas) were among 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. The Big 12 is one of three conferences  with two or more finalists.

• The Big 12 Conference and Oklahoma City All Sports Association will host the 2014 NCAA Divison I Volleyball Championship at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City Dec. 18 & 20.

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