LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Coker College women's and men's volleyball teams have earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award, the organization announced today. A total of 973 teams earned the award for the 2017-18 season, breaking the previous year's total of 835 to set an all-time high.
According to the AVCA, 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 or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.
"I'm extremely proud of the work our men and women do in the classroom," said Head Women's and Men's Volleyball Coach, Julia Rowland. "They are the true definition of student-athletes. This is a goal of each team every year and it's great to continue to attain this goal year in and year out."
The AVCA Team Academic Award is the single largest award offered by quantity of schools, players, and coaches honored. Since the 2000-20001 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but two, while amassing a 619-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 973.
In all, 128 NCAA Division II women's volleyball teams earned the award, while 24 men's volleyball teams captured the honor.
In addition to being recognized for their academic accomplishments, the Coker women's volleyball team was awarded for reaching their "Dig Pink" fundraising goal through the Side-Out Foundation. "Dig Pink" is a nationwide movement to provide meaningful and impactful experiences for athletes while inspiring and empowering them to come together in support of the stage IV breast cancer community. Each year, hundreds of teams across the country participate in the "Dig Pink" rally.
On the court, the Coker women's volleyball team tallied 14 wins, their highest total since the 2007 season. Additionally, the Coker women's volleyball team earned seven conference victories, their most since joining the SAC, and qualified for the SAC Championships. The Coker men's volleyball team finished their 2018 campaign with a 13-10 record and reached the IVA Championship game for the second consecutive season.