July 23, 2012

Volleyball Receives AVCA Team Academic Award

'Cats receive fifth straight award.
'Cats receive fifth straight award.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Northern Michigan University volleyball team received the Team Academic Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) for the 2011-12 season. This is the fifth year in a row the Wildcats have received the award.

NMU was one of 67 NCAA Division II schools to receive the award. The ‘Cats finished 2011 with an overall record of 15-14 and were 12-7 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“I’m very proud of my team,” said Dominic Yoder, head volleyball coach. “They have really committed themselves to the academic side of being a student-athlete while being dedicated to accomplishing team goals on the court as well.”

The 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 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.

“Many coaches tell us they take more pride in and hear more positive feedback about winning the AVCA Team Academic Award than anything else they do all year,” said AVCA executive director Kathy DeBoer. “While it is undeniable that the sport we coach is zero-sum on the scoreboard, it is a tool of empowerment to other fronts. The 533 coaches whose teams won this academic award understand the value of both playing to win and winning through play.”

The Team Academic Award has become one of the AVCA’s fastest growing award programs, seeing an impressive surge in teams honored over the past several years. Since the 2000-01 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but one. Since the award’s inception in 1993, the award has risen by an astounding 760 percent.

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Calvin Larson
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