HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss volleyball program was honored for excellence in the classroom for being one of 146 NCAA Division I women's programs earning the 2014-15 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award.
A total of 752 teams earned the AVCA Team Academic Award, once again, breaking the previous year's total of 676 and sets a new all-time high for this award.
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. Charlotte, Marshall, Rice, North Texas, UAB, UTSA and Western Kentucky were the other C-USA award recipients.
"A hearty congratulations to all the volleyball coaches whose teams won the AVCA Team Academic Award," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "Teams do not succeed in the classroom by accident any more so than they do on the court. The same coach who taught them volleyball skills cared enough about their academic achievement to gather their grades, calculate their GPA, and submit a nomination on their behalf. In doing so, these coaches sent a clear message that classroom success is just as important as volleyball success. All involved should celebrate this award!"
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 have increased every single year but one, while amassing a 476 team 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 752.
Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 23-year history, with exactly 6,878 awards been given out in total.
"I am so proud of this team and the hard work that they put in this past year to achieve the 2014-15 AVCA Academic Award," Coach Amanda Berkley said. "We have made a commitment to working as hard in the classroom as we do on the court and that hard work has paid off. I want to thank Stacy Breazeale and her academic counseling staff for the hard work they do every day to make our team successful."
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