The Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) women’s volleyball team has picked up a prestigious honor, being given the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the 2012-13 season. The AVCA announced that 622 teams, across all college and high school divisions, have earned the award, setting a new all-time high.
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.
The Lady Royals had a cumulative GPA of 3.34. EMU was the only school from the Old Dominion Athletic Conference to earn the award.
“Excellence doesn’t happen by accident, either on the court or in the classroom,” said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. “It takes consistent preparation, relentless effort, and determined leadership. A full year of academic achievement, by an entire team of individual students, is a remarkable achievement. What better way to start a new season than with a celebration of an award so emblematic of all that is necessary for sustained success.”
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 2000-01 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 300% 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 622.
In Coach Jeff Tyson’s first year, Eastern Mennonite finished 4-19 in 2012. They host the six-team EMU Invitational to open the 2013 campaign on Aug. 30 and 31.