For the second straight season, five Big 12 volleyball teams have punched tickets to the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship. Texas (No. 3) and Kansas (No. 9), two of the top 16 national seeds, are joined by Iowa State, Kansas State and TCU in the postseason field.
First and second round action takes place Thursday, Dec. 3 - Saturday, Dec. 5.
The Big 12 has totaled 116 bids in 20 years of competition. The Conference is 177-108 in NCAA postseason play, a winning mark of .621, and is 81-27 in first round action. The Big 12’s five teams are the third-most for one conference in the event.
Regular season champion Texas (25-2) enters the postseason as a top four national seed for the fifth straight year. The Longhorns will host Fairfield (21-9) in Austin on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT. Texas is 28-0 in the opening round and will face either SMU (27-5) or Purdue (22-9) on Friday in second round play. This is Texas’ 32nd postseason appearance as the Longhorns are placed in the Austin Regional and could play at home until the national semifinals should they advance.
Iowa State (18-10) is also in the Austin Regional and will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, for its first round match against Miami (FL) (21-9) on Thursday at 5 p.m. CT. With a win, the Cyclones will meet either sixth-seeded Wisconsin (24-6) or Oregon (16-13). Iowa State is making its 10th consecutive NCAA appearance.
With the No. 9 national seed, Kansas (26-2) will host first and second round action for the fourth straight season. KU, which opened the season 19-0, hosts Furman (21-8) on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. CT. With a win, the Jayhawks will take on either Missouri (26-5) or Missouri State (24-10). Kansas looks to advance to the San Diego Regional after appearing in its first regional semifinal in program history in 2013.
Kansas State (17-11) travels to familiar territory for its first round match as the Wildcats take on Wichita State (26-8) in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT. K-State, which defeated Nebraska in second round action in 2011, could face the Huskers (26-4) or Harvard (15-10) with a win as it looks to advance to the Lexington Regional.
In the Des Moines Regional, TCU (19-9) meets Hawaii (26-1) in College Station, Texas, on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT in just its second NCAA appearance in program history. With a victory, the Frogs will face either Texas A&M (23-6) or Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (31-4).
First & second round competition for the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship will be held Dec. 3-5 on 16 campus sites. The winning team from each of the 16 second rounds will advance to one of four regional tournaments, held Dec. 11-12. The four predetermined sites for 2015 are: Gregory Gym, Austin, Texas (University of Texas); Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa (University of Northern Iowa); Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, Ky. (University of Kentucky); and Jenny Craig Pavilion, San Diego (University of San Diego). First and second rounds will be broadcast across the ESPN Family of Networks, while regional semifinals will be telecast on ESPN3/ESPNU and regional finals available on ESPNU.
Each regional winner will advance to national semifinal action held at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. The pair of semifinal matches will be held on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 6:00 and 8:30 p.m. CT. The national championship match will be played at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 19. Both the national semifinal and national championship will be on ESPN2/ESPN3.
BIG 12 NCAA VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST ROUND MATCHUPS
Thursday, Dec. 3
Iowa State vs. Miami (FL), 5:00 p.m., Madison, Wis. - Austin Regional
Furman at Kansas, 6:30 p.m., Lawrence, Kan. - San Diego Regional
Fairfield at Texas, 7:00 p.m., Austin, Texas - Austin Regional
Friday, Dec. 4
Kansas State vs. Wichita State, 4:30 p.m., Lincoln, Neb. - Lexington Regional
TCU vs. Hawaii, 4:30 p.m., College Station, Texas - Des Moines Regional
Times are listed in CT.
ABOUT THE BIG 12 TEAMS IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD
Iowa State (18-10, 11-5) is making its 10th straight postseason appearance. The Cyclones have advanced to the NCAA field every year since 2006 and have made the regional finals on two occasions. ISU leads the Big 12 in service aces while ranking second in digs per set.
Kansas (26-2, 14-2 Big 12) opened its season 19-0 finishing the regular season with its best winning percentage in program history. The Jayhawks concluded the season second in the Big 12 standings for the third straight year. KU ranks second in the nation in assists per set and kills per set while its hitting percentage is the fourth-best nationally. KU is appearing in the event for the seventh time, including its fourth straight. Kansas advanced to its first Sweet Sixteen in program history in 2013.
Kansas State (17-11, 9-7 Big 12) makes its 16th NCAA appearance and fourth in the past five seasons. The Wildcats advanced to regional play in 2011, ‘03 and ‘00. K-State leads the Big 12 in digs.
TCU (19-9, 9-7 Big 12) is making just its second appearance in the NCAA field after earning the program’s first berth in 2009. The Frogs are led by Jill Kramer, who was the first volleyball scholarship student-athlete in program history, and is in her first season at her alma mater. TCU went 9-2 at home, including a win over No. 2 Texas. The Frogs rank ninth nationally in blocks.
Texas (25-2, 15-1 Big 12) claimed its ninth conference crown this season (1997, 2007-’09, ‘11-’15) and went undefeated at home in the Big 12 for the fifth time in the past six seasons. The Longhorns have been ranked in the AVCA top five all season with the No. 1 RPI ranking entering the final week of the regular season. Texas has advanced to the national semifinals in six of the last seven seasons. UT ranks second in the nation in hitting percentage.