The American Volleyball Coaches Association ranked Texas, Iowa State and Kansas State in its final poll for 2011. The Longhorns close out the season with the No. 4 ranking, while the Cyclones also made the top 10 at No. 8. The Wildcats earned the No. 22 spot. The Big 12 has finished every season with at least three teams ranked in the final AVCA top 25 poll. All three squads advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinals, the sixth straight year the league has sent a trio of teams to the Sweet Sixteen.
The Conference also finished 2011 with five teams ranked in the NCAA RPI top 30 - tied for the most by a conference. Texas finished second, while Iowa State was third.
For the first time since 2005, seven Big 12 volleyball squads earned spots in the 2011 NCAA Championship field. The Big 12's seven selections and three national seeds tied for the second-most among all conferences. It was the third time the Conference has sent seven teams to the postseason (2004 & ‘05).
For the sixth straight year, the league represented with at least three teams in the NCAA Regional Semifinal field, the second-most of all conferences. Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas advanced. It marked the fourth Regional Semifinal appearance for ISU in the past six years, while KSU competed for the first time since 2003 and third overall (2011, ‘03, ‘00). UT was making its sixth-straight appearance.
The Big 12 went 9-7 in the 2011 postseason, including a 5-2 mark in the second and Regional Semifinal rounds. The Conference was one of three leagues to advance four or more teams to second round play. The Big 12 improved to 153-97 in the postseason.
The Cyclones and Longhorns are two of six Regional teams who swept their first and second round opponents to advance to the Regional Semifinals. Kansas State improved to 8-1 in five-set matches with a 3-2 upset over No. 2 national seed Nebraska in Lincoln in the second round. It was the first postseason home loss for NU. Nebraska was also ranked No. 2 nationally, marking the highest ranked team the Wildcats have ever defeated.
The Texas Longhorns claimed the 2011 Big 12 Volleyball Championship and No. 1 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. It is the Longhorns' fifth conference crown after earning the title in 1997 and from 2007-09 and marks the third time UT has won the championship outright (‘97 and ‘09). Texas has also finished as the league runner-up on five occasions. The Longhorns close out 2011 with the longest active home winning streak, having won 30-straight contests in Austin.
Six Big 12 squads notched 20-win seasons for the first time since 1997 when seven league teams won 20 or more matches. This marks the third-straight year at least five Big 12 teams have recorded 20 or more overall wins and overall is the 11th season that at least five league squads have had 20-plus win seasons.
Five league coaches picked up milestone wins in 2011 - Wayne Kreklow (MU) surpassed 400 career wins, while Jerritt Elliott (UT) went over the 300 mark and Santiago Restrepo (OU) the 250 mark. Suzie Fritz (KSU) notched her 200th while Christy Johnson-Lynch closed out the year with 150 victories at Iowa State. On the career Big 12 list, Baylor's Allison King climbed to the second-place spot on the all-time digs list, finishing with 2,110.