Spartan Volleyball Earns Second-Straight AVCA Academic Award
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The USC Upstate volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the second-straight season as announced by the organization.
The AVCA list consisted of 535 teams with a minimum cumulative team GPA of 3.30 during the 2011-12 academic year, including 103 Division I teams. Upstate was joined by five other Atlantic Sun Conference opponents from the 2011 season as Belmont, ETSU, Florida Gulf Coast, Lipscomb and Stetson also received the national academic honor. Northern Kentucky, who will join the A-Sun for the 2012 season, made the AVCA Team Academic Award list for Division-II programs.
"It is a privilege to coach such a bright group of young ladies preparing themselves for a future as strong contributors to our society," said Upstate head coach Jennifer Calloway. "I love seeing them study on the road as we travel to away games or in the hotel rooms. Their study habits become a tradition as well as the team's grades. This is a testament to all the volleyball players, past and present, who passed these habits on. The tradition remains and we are proud of them all."
Before spring semester final exams, the Spartan volleyball team received the Female Team GPA Award at Upstate's 2011-12 Coca-Cola Athletic Awards Banquet April 23. The squad finished the school year with a 3.522 team GPA as two players recorded 4.0s, including the 2011-12 Upstate Female Athlete GPA Award winner graduating senior Kelsie Queen (Blythewood, S.C.). Queen was also named to the A-Sun Academic All-Conference Volleyball Team.
In Upstate's end of year team GPA rankings, the volleyball team was second only to the women's tennis team, which posted a 3.528 for a slim margin of 0.006 compared to volleyball's 3.522. The volleyball team had eight of its 12 members earn A-Sun All-Academic status for making a 3.0 GPA or high during the academic year. Seven players received Conference Scholar nods after finishing the academic year with at least a 3.400 GPA, while one went on to earn the Presidents' Scholar award for posting a minimum GPA of 3.800.
The 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 2000-01 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 200% increase over the span of the last decade. Since the award's inception in 1993, the award has risen by an astounding 760%.