August 7, 2013

Volleyball recognized again for academic prowess

By PARKER COTTON
UNCBears.com

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Northern Colorado volleyball team has once again been recognized for its academic excellence. Head coach Lyndsey Oates' program was announced this week as one of 622 teams across the country to win the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the 2012-13 season.

After posting a team grade point average (GPA) of 3.38 in the fall and 3.52 in the spring of the last academic year, the Bears were credited with the award for the sixth time in eight years for their prowess in the classroom.

"We make academics a priority in our program and are pleased that we have been honored again this year," Oates said. "Our players had a good year academically. Our staff for academic success does a great job providing resources and assistance for our student-athletes to be successful in the classroom."

UNC was one of 130 NCAA Division I women's volleyball teams and only one of two in Colorado — the University of Denver being the other — to be given the award.

The Bears also celebrated on-court success last season, going 24-11 overall, winning the Big Sky Conference Championship and appearing in their third NCAA Tournament in four years where they lost to the University of Oregon, the eventual national runner-up.

The AVCA Team Academic Award originated in 1992-93 and included 62 recipients, but since then, the number has grown almost every year. This year's figure of 622 breaks the record set last year of 536. The 130 Division I women's teams to earn the award this year is also a new high.

The award is designed to recognize high school and collegiate volleyball teams that displayed academic excellence by maintaining a cumulative team 3.30 or above GPA on a 4.0 scale or a 4.1 or above GPA on a 5.0 scale.