IRVING, Texas – The Texas Volleyball team has been unanimously selected as the 2012 Big 12 preseason favorite by the conference coaches. It’s the fifth time that Texas has been picked to win the conference in the preseason poll (1996, 2008, 2009 and 2011). The poll was conducted by the conference coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own team.
Texas, who advanced to its sixth straight NCAA Regional Final appearance in 2011, tallied 64 points in the poll. Iowa State earned the No. 2 spot (54 points) with Kansas State tabbed third, just one point behind the Cyclones. Oklahoma ranked fourth, while Baylor placed fifth, matching its highest preseason ranking (2009). Kansas, TCU, Texas Tech and West Virginia make up the sixth through ninth spots, respectively.
The Longhorns return 2011 Big 12 Player of the Year and 2012 Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Bailey Webster and 2011 Big 12 Freshman of the Year Haley Eckerman, along with 2012 Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year Molly McCage, after the Longhorns finished with a No. 4 national ranking last season. UT compiled a 25-5 overall record in 2011 and won the Big 12 title with a 15-1 mark.
The Big 12 finished 2011 with the nation's best RPI and advanced seven teams to the NCAA postseason.
Texas begins the 2012 regular season against LSU on Friday (August 24) in a 6 p.m. match at Gregory Gym as part of the 26 West Longhorns Classic. The Longhorns currently lead the nation with a streak of 30 consecutive home victories.
2012 BIG 12 VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON POLL
Rank Team (First-place votes) Points
1. Texas (8) 64
2. Iowa State (1) 54
3. Kansas State 53
4. Oklahoma 40
5. Baylor 36
6. Kansas 30
7. TCU 22
8. Texas Tech 17
9. West Virginia 8