Three Big 12 volleyball squads earned preseason rankings by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. The reigning Big 12 champion and preseason favorite Texas Longhorns checked in at No. 2, matching the highest preseason ranking for UT as a member of the league. Texas was also ranked second in the nation in the 2009 preseason poll. Iowa State ranks 10th, while Kansas State earned a No. 22 ranking. The Longhorns finished 2011 ranked fourth, while Iowa State was eighth and K-State 22nd.
The Conference finished 2011 with the nation's best RPI and advanced seven teams to the NCAA postseason. The Big 12 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.
In a poll conducted by Big 12 coaches, Texas was unanimously selected as the 2012 preseason favorite to win this year's Conference volleyball title. This marks the fifth season the Longhorns have earned the top preseason spot (1996, 2008, ‘09, ‘11).
UT also highlighted the 2011 preseason individual awards, picking up three preseason team selections and sweeping the preseason individual honors as Bailey Webster and Molly McCage were named Preseason Player and Freshman of the Year, respectively Along with the Longhorns, Iowa State and K-State each garnered a trio of preseason team members.
Last season marked 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.
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.
Big 12 squads have combined to average over 1,500 fans per match since 2005. The Big 12 has ranked in the top 3 nationally in conference attendance since 2003.
Five league coaches enter 2012 ranked in the top 10 for most conference wins in Big 12 history. Jerritt Elliott (Texas) sits in third with 170 league wins, while Suzie Fritz (K-State), Ray Bechard (Kansas), Christy Johnson-Lynch (Iowa State) and Santiago Restrepo (Oklahoma) make up the 4-7 spots, respectively.