LEXINGTON, Ky. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) recognized Charleston Southern volleyball with the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2014-15 season, as announced on Friday afternoon.
The Buccaneers were one of 752 teams across all NCAA divisions and high school recognized, breaking the AVCA's previous year's record of 676 in setting a new all-time high for the award.
"Our standards and expectations are very important to us as a program," commented CSU head volleyball coach Christy Mooberry. "Strength in the classroom and discipline outside of the classroom to reach our academic goals is a reflection of the girls embracing the high standards we as a team have set for ourselves. Our Core Values emphasize devotion, integrity, discipline and unity in practice, games and schooling and away from the team. This achievement is a reflection of that fleshed out. I'm proud of the team for working hard to earn this achievement."
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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.
"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.
Girls high school led the way with the number of recipients with 237. NCAA Division I recorded their highest-ever total number of recipients, honoring 146 programs while NCAA Division II also set a new record by reaching a total of 113 honorees. NCAA Division III continues to set new records after 140 schools take home the honor with the Two-Year College category also surpassing their previous high of 22 with 24. The high school boys notched a record in their category with 29.
Prior to 2014-2015, only 22 teams had attained the pinnacle of volleyball success in both earning the AVCA Team Academic Award and winning their respective collegiate national championship in the same academic year. This year, the AVCA is proud to recognize four programs that excelled in the classroom and on the court: University of Tampa (NCAA Division II), Hope College (NCAA Division III), Irvine Valley College (CCCAA) and the Stevens Institute of Technology (NCAA DIII Mens).
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.
The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by Associations International. The mission of the AVCA is to advance the sport of volleyball with AVCA coaches at the epicenter of leadership, advocacy and professional development. With a membership of over 6,400 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and promoting the sport. Members include collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as volleyball club directors. The AVCA provides education to volleyball coaches, recognition of elite players and coaches, promotion of volleyball competitions throughout the world, and networking opportunities for volleyball products and services providers. Further information is available at www.avca.org.