Volleyball earns AVCA Team Academic Award
Bluffton volleyball earns fourth AVCA Team Academic Award
By: Brittany Roth, sports information assistant
August 7, 2013
BLUFFTON, Ohio – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced yesterday that 622 teams have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2012-2013 season. This number once again breaks the previous year's total of 536 and sets a new all-time high for this award. This marks the second consecutive year (fourth time altogether; 2003, 2007, 2012) that the Bluffton University Volleyball Team has been recognized with this award. Bluffton and Anderson University were the only schools from the Heartland Conference to earn this distinction.
The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale. The GPA of the 20 Bluffton volleyball athletes cumulated at the end of the year to 3.4290.
"Excellence doesn't happen by accident, either on the court or in the classroom," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "It takes consistent preparation, relentless effort, and determined leadership. A full year of academic achievement, by an entire team of individual students, is a remarkable achievement. What better way to start a new season than with a celebration of an award so emblematic of all that is necessary for sustained success."
The AVCA Team Academic Award has become one of the AVCA's fastest growing awards programs, seeing an impressive surge in teams honored over the past several years. Since the 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 300% increase over the span of the last decade. Since the award's inception in 1993, the amount of award winners has increased from 62 to its current number of 622.
NCAA Division I recorded their highest-ever total number of recipients, honoring 130 programs while Division II surpassed last year's record of 69 winners with 77 this year. Division III also set a new record with 93 winners and the high school division increased their all-time high of 220 recipients to 253. Finally, the NAIA set a new record with 46 winners garnering the award.
Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 20-year history, with exactly 5,450 awards been given out in total.