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Big 12 Volleyball Season Review
January 03, 2013
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• Texas (No. 1), Iowa State (No. 14) and Kansas (No. 25) finished the season ranked in the AVCA final poll, while Kansas State received votes. The Big 12 has had three teams finish in the top 25 in each year and a total of 67 top 25 finishes all-time. This marked the first time KU has ended the season ranked while in the league. Texas has finished in the top 10 since 2006 and Iowa State has finished ranked each year since 2007.

• The Big 12 champion Texas volleyball team (29-4) claimed the 2012 NCAA Division I National Championship with a 3-0 win (25-11, 26-24, 25-19) over No. 5 national seed Oregon (30-5) at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. It is the second national title for the Longhorns (1988). The Longhorns finished the season winning 23 of their last 24 matches, recorded 22 sweeps, and hit .438 in the championship match - a three-set championship finale record.

• It marks the third national championship claimed by the Big 12 in the sport of volleyball, with Nebraska winning the title as a member of the Conference in 2000 and '06, and was the fifth overall appearance in the championship final for the league. It is the 49th national team title by the Conference and the 48th by the University of Texas, including its 15th as a member of the league.

• The title had been long awaited as the Longhorns also reached the NCAA Final Four in 2008, ‘09 and ‘10, including a trip to the finals in ‘09, which resulted in a five-set loss to Penn State. This was UT's eighth overall Final Four appearance and the 11th occasion a Big 12 team has advanced to the Final Four.

•The Big 12 is 165-99 in NCAA play all-time, including 76-23 in first round action, 45-34 in second round play, 25-20 in regional semifinals and 11-14 in regional finals. Additionally, the league is 5-6 in national semifinal matches and 3-2 in championship matches.

• This marked the fourth straight season five or more Big 12 teams earned bids to the NCAA postseason event. The league has sent at least five teams to the tournament in all but one season. Along with Texas, Iowa State, Kansas, K-State and Oklahoma made this year's field.

• For the second straight year, five league teams finished in the NCAA RPI top 30 - Texas (2), Kansas (9), Iowa State (15), Kansas State (25) and Oklahoma (27). The Big 12 ranked third overall.

• Iowa State and Texas finished 2012 undefeated at home in league play. The feat has been achieved on 20 total occasions, including six other times by Texas. This marks the third season (2005, ‘07) that multiple teams have been perfect in conference play at home.

• For the second straight year, six or more Big 12 teams recorded 20+ wins. This marks just the third time in league history that six-plus squads have hit the 20-win mark (six in 2011 & seven in 1997).

• Kansas made its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2005. The 2012 Jayhawks finished the year as the winningest team in program history (.765), collected more home wins (17) than any other year, earned a program-best No. 6 RPI ranking and posted its highest Big 12 Conference finish (3rd, 12-4).

• The Big 12 posted a 104-33 record against non-conference opponents this season, including an 16-11 mark against non-Big 12 ranked opponents. Texas went 12-4 against teams in the top 25, marking just the sixth time a league team has tallied a dozen or more wins against ranked opponents and first since 2009 when the Longhorns went 13-2.

• A quartet of Iowa State student-athletes led the 2012 edition of the Big 12 volleyball postseason individual awards. For the second straight year, Kristen Hahn earned the Libero of the Year honor, while Alison Landwehr (Setter of the Year) and Mackenzie Bigbee (Freshman of the Year) also collected accolades. Jamie Straube shared the inaugural Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor with Tayler Tolefree (Kansas).

• For the fourth straight year, Texas claimed the Player of the Year award as 2011 Freshman of the Year Haley Eckerman was selected as the unanimous choice, becoming just the fourth sophomore to earn the honor. She also is the fourth player to earn Player and Freshman of the Year honors in her career.

• Kansas head coach Ray Bechard rounded out the individual award winners, garnering the Coach of the Year accolade - the first by a KU coach. Texas' Jerritt Elliott was named the AVCA Division I Coach of the Year - the third by a Big 12 coach.

• Kristen Hahn (Iowa State) established the record for most Big 12 weekly awards in a season with eight Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors in 2012. Hahn has accumulated 12 of the distinctions in her career, which ranks as the third most weekly awards for a volleyball student-athlete during their career. Haley Eckerman totaled five Offensive Player of the Week honors, which gives her 13 career recognitions, tied for second-most all-time.

• Ten league players earned AVCA All-America honors, including first team distinctions for Texas' Haley Eckerman and Bailey Webster. The Big 12 has had at least a pair of All-America selections in all but one year since 1996.

• Three Big 12 student-athletes earned AVCA National Player of the Week honors, giving the Conference a total of 35 since 1996.

• Texas' .325 hitting percentage led the nation, marking the first time a league team has led the NCAA in that category. It is the sixth consecutive year the Longhorns have led the Conference in hitting.

• Five league teams ranked in the top 75 nationally for average attendance, including four in the top 30.

• Oklahoma's Maria Fernanda finished her career ranked second on the Big 12 digs chart for digs with 2,204. Brianne Riley established a league record for most digs in a five-set match with 43 over the Sooners on Oct. 10.

 

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