For the sixth straight year, the Big 12 will represent with at least three teams in the NCAA Volleyball Championship Regional Semifinal field. On Saturday night, Iowa State and Texas recorded sweeps over second round opponents to join Kansas State in the Sweet Sixteen.
The Cyclones (24-5) posted a 3-0 (25-21, 25-10, 25-14) win over Miami (Fla.) (26-5) in Ames to advance to the Minneapolis Regional where they will face Minnesota/Washington. The Longhorns (24-4) claimed a 3-0 (25-25-11, 25-18, 25-22) victory over Michigan State (22-12) in Austin to move on to the Lexington Regional. UT will play Kentucky (28-5).
Kansas State (22-10) recorded a 3-2 upset over No. 2 national seed Nebraska (25-5) in Lincoln on Friday night. The Wildcats advance to the Honolulu Regional where they will face Pepperdine (24-6) on Friday, Dec. 9.
The Big 12 is 7-4 in the 2011 postseason, including a 3-1 mark in second round action. The Conference was one of three leagues to advance four or more teams to second round play.
Third round matches are slated for Friday, Dec. 9 with quarterfinal contests on Saturday, Dec. 10. All regional semifinal games will be shown on ESPN3.com while regional final games will air on ESPNU.
This is the sixth straight year the Longhorns have advanced to the Regional Semifinals. The Wildcats (22-10), picked to finish eighth in the Big 12's preseason poll, also advanced to the third round in 2003 and 2000. This is the fourth Regional Semifinal appearance for Iowa State in the past five years. The Cyclones moved on to the Regional Finals in 2008. Texas has appeared in the National Semifinals the past three years.
In the Cyclones' sweep, Jamie Straube led the offense with 12 kills at a .357 hitting percentage. The junior also led the Cyclones in blocking with one solo block and two block assists. Victoria Hurtt posted 10 kills at a career-best .429 hitting clip. It was the fourth time in 2011 the freshman had double-figure kills. Hurtt was also a presence at the net with two block assists. Kristen Hahn led the Iowa State defense with 18 digs, nine coming in the first set.
Freshman Haley Eckerman contributed a team-high 12 kills in the Horns' win. Hannah Allison had 34 assists, while Rachael Adams posted eight blocks and Madelyn Hutson added seven. Sophomore Bailey Webster hit .571 with nine kills.
The regional winners will advance to the semifinals and final hosted by UT-San Antonio and San Antonio Sports at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Dec. 15 and 17. Both national semifinal games as well as the championship game will be telecast by ESPN2.
BIG 12 IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Friday, Dec. 9
Iowa State vs. Minnesota, 7:00 p.m. - Minneapolis, Minn.
Kansas State vs. Pepperdine, 10:59 p.m. - Honolulu, Hawaii
Texas vs. Kentucky, TBA - Lexington, Ky.
SECOND ROUND RESULTS
Friday, Dec. 2
Kentucky 3, No. 16 Texas A&M 0
Kansas State 3, No. 2 Nebraska 2
Saturday, Dec. 3
No. 1 Texas 3, Michigan State 1
No. 4 Iowa State 3, Miami (Fla.) 0
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
Thursday, Dec. 1
Kansas State 3, Wichita State 0
No. 16 Texas A&M 3, Lipscomb 1
Friday, Dec. 2
No. 1 Texas 3, Texas State 0
No. 4 Iowa State 3, Milwaukee 0
Florida 3, Missouri 1
Michigan 3, Baylor 1
Tulsa 3, Oklahoma 1
Times are listed in CST.