LEXINGTON, Ky. – An astounding ninth straight American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award was bestowed to the Gallaudet University's women's volleyball program today. GU is one of 140 NCAA Division III women's team recipients for the 2014-15 season.
Gallaudet won a fifth straight North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championship last year and earned a fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III tournament. The Bison traveled to Newport News, Va., and lost to the host Christopher Newport University, ranked No. 9 in Division III, in the first round of the tournament. GU finished with a 22-14 overall record and tallied a 11-1 conference mark. GU was 8-5 at home in the Field House last season. The NCAA appearance was the sixth under the direction of head coach Lynn Ray Boren.
GU is one of two NEAC programs to earn this honor for the 2014-15 season as the Bison are joined by Wells College.
The AVCA Team Academic 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 GPA on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.
The AVCA set a new team record with 752 teams honored in 2014-15, that surpasses last year's mark of 687. 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. Only two institutions, both high schools, have earned the distinction all 23 years: Jonesboro High School (Jonesboro, Arkansas) and Ross S. Sterling High School (Baytown, Texas).
Gallaudet begins the 2015 season on Friday, Sept. 4, at 5 p.m. against Penn St.-Altoona at the Battlefield Classic in Gettysburg, Pa. The Bison will be recognized for their 2014-15 AVCA Team Academic Award at home on Wednesday, Sept. 16, against Marymount (Va.) University at 7 p.m.
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.