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Texas (No. 2) and Kansas (No. 22) open the 2014 campaign ranked in the AVCA top 25 while Oklahoma and Iowa State are receiving votes. UT has been ranked in the preseason top 5 every year since 2007, while KU is making its second preseason poll appearance.
The Longhorns have claimed the Big 12 regular season crown for the past three seasons and hold a 49-match conference winning streak at home, having not lost a league match in Austin since 2008. UT is the unanimous choice to win the conference title in 2014.
The Big 12 finished 2013 ranked third in the nation in conference RPI and second nationally in attendance with its second-highest attendance average in league history.
Predicted to finish second in the league, the Jayhawks earn their best preseason poll ranking in Big 12 history. KU made its first “Sweet Sixteen” appearance in school history in 2013 and posted its second straight season with 20-plus wins under Big 12 Coach of the Year Ray Bechard.
Texas’ Haley Eckerman, who was unanimously selected as the preseason Player of the Year, aims to become the second player in league history to garner Player of the Year honors in three seasons. In all Big 12 sports, only 12 student-athletes have been named three-time Player of the Year recipients.
The Big 12’s nine volleyball squads compete in a double-round robin schedule, playing each conference opponent twice during the regular season to determine One True Champion. The Big 12 is the only “Power Five” conference in which each squad faces its conference opponents twice during the year.