Blossom volleyball recognized

Academic excellence leads AVCA to tab UAM’s VB program

Just a week after placing 34 student-athletes on the Great American Conference winter/spring All-Academic team, the volleyball squad at the University of Arkansas at Monticello has been named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association academic excellence list.
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 AVCA Team Academic Award, celebrating its 25th year, is the single largest award offered by quantity of schools, players and coaches honored. Since the 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but two while amassing a 532-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 822.
The Blossoms recorded a team GPA of 3.67 during the 2017 spring semester, with six players earnimg mention on the Spring semester Chancellor’s List. UAM also placed four players on the 2017 Spring semester Dean’s List.
UAM was one of 119 NCAA Division II women’s programs to be honored, joining Arkansas Tech University, Harding University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University as GAC representatives on the AVCA team.
Girls’ high school squads led the way with 277 recipients, an increase of 17 over last year. NCAA Division I honored 145 programs while, once again, NCAA Division III had the second-most honorees this year with a total of 150 schools, a 10-school increase over last year’s record number.
Prior to 2016-2017, only 29 teams had attained the pinnacle of volleyball success in both earning the AVCA Team Academic Award and winning their respective collegiate national championship in the same academic year.
This year, the AVCA recognized five programs that excelled in the classroom and on the court: Stanford University (NCAA Division I); Concordia University at St. Paul, Minn. (NCAA Division II); Calvin College, Mich. (NCAA Division III); Hastings College, Neb. (NAIA); and Ohio State University (NCAA Division I-II men).
With 2016-2017 marking the 25th anniversary of the award, the AVCA introduced additional honors to schools that have a minimum Team Academic Award streak of 15 years, and also for schools that scored the highest GPAs in their respective divisions. In order for a school to be awarded as an honor roll recipient, their division had to reach a minimum number of nominations.
For NCAA Division I, II, III and girls’ high school, their nomination number allows for a Top 25 honor roll; for NAIA women, a Top 10; with two-year college, collegiate men, collegiate beach and high school boys’ garnering a top five.
Additionally, schools that reached their Dig Pink fundraising goals through the Side-Out Foundation will continue to be honored.
The 2016-2017 season saw Dig Pink participants and AVCA Team Academic Award winners raise $91,671 for breast cancer research.
More than 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program’s 25-year history, with 8,461 awards been given out in total.

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