LEXINGTON, Ky. — Newberry College Athletics achieves another team academic award as the Newberry Wolves volleyball team was named a recipient of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award.
Newberry was one of six South Atlantic Conference teams to receive the award.
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.
“I am extremely proud of the team and all the hard work they have put forth in the classroom,” said head coach Todd Hay. “Any time you can have a team GPA about a 3.4, it is a direct reflection on the quality of student-athletes that we have in our program.”
Not only has the team been successful in the classroom, they have been successful on the court as well. The past three seasons the Wolves have posted a .546 winning percentage and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all three seasons, becoming the first Division II school in the state of South Carolina to win a match in the NCAA Tournament in 2012.
Newberry had 16 players finish the 2013-14 academic year with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Fourteen Wolves, the most of any school in the SAC, earned a spot on the 2014 South Atlantic Conference Honor Roll, which recognizes SAC student-athletes with a GPA of 3.30 or higher during the year. Since 2002 Newberry has had four Academic All-District Selections, and just this past year, an Academic All-American.
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 have increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 500 percent 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 676. NCAA Division II set a new record with 94 schools receiving the award this year.
“Too often athletic participation is associated with academic underachievement and this stereotype is simply false when it comes to volleyball,” said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. “Couple the smarts represented by these teams with the competitive experience and team-focused training gained on the court and we have a potent formula for future leadership! What a significant contribution that is by their coaches and schools.”
The Wolves open their 2014 season by hosting the Newberry Invitational Sept. 5-6.