CHARLESTON, S.C. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) recognized Charleston Southern volleyball with the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2015-16 season, as announced on Tuesday morning.
The Buccaneers were one of a record-setting 764 men's and women's volleyball teams (across all divisions), breaking the previous year's total of 757 to set an all-time high. The Bucs were joined by fellow Big South members Radford, Gardner-Webb and Liberty, as the four programs representing the conference on the list.
CSU earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the fourth straight season as the Bucs posted a team GPA of 3.6 during the 2015-16 season. CSU also posted a 3.56 team career GPA.
"Our standards and expectations are very important to us as a program," said CSU Head 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 this achievement is a reflection of that fleshed out. I'm proud of the team for working hard to earn this achievement."
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.
"Congratulations to the coaches and institutions that won the 2016 AVCA Team Academic Award," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "It is no accident that a volleyball coaches association recognizes academic excellence as a team, rather than an individual, achievement. Players influence each other, both in execution on the court and discipline in the classroom."
The AVCA Team Academic Award is the single largest award offered by quantity of schools, players and coaches honored. Since the 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients have increased every single year but two, while amassing a 477 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 764.
Girls high school led the way with the number of recipients of 260, an increase of 22 over last year. NCAA Division I honored 132 programs, while NCAA Division II reached a new record with a total of 119 honorees. NCAA Division III had the second-most honorees this year with a total of 140 schools, matching last year's record number.
Prior to 2015-2016, only 26 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 three programs that excelled in the classroom and on the court: Wheeling Jesuit University (NCAA Division II), California Lutheran University (NCAA Division III) and Columbia College (NAIA).
Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 24-year history, with exactly 7,642 awards been given out in total.