Spartans Earn 6th Consecutive AVCA Team Academic Award

Aug 16, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced today that 676 teams have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2013-2014 season. This number once again breaks the previous year's total of 623 and sets a new all-time high for this award.

Among the record-breaking total are six Iowa Conference programs --- Central, Coe, Dubuque, Luther, Simpson and Wartburg. There were 126 NCAA Division III squads honored, 18.6 percent of the member schools competing in volleyball. The Spartans have earned the award for the sixth consecutive time under coach April Elsbernd.

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.

"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 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 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients have increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 500% 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 I recorded their highest-ever total number of recipients, honoring 134 programs while NCAA Division II also set a new record by reaching a total of 94 honorees. NCAA Division III continues to set new records after 126 schools take home the honor with the Two-Year College category also surpassing their previous high of 16 with 22.

Prior to 2013-2014, only 18 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 is proud to recognize four programs that excelled in the classroom and on the court: Concordia University, St. Paul (NCAA Division II), Calvin College (NCAA Division III), Cowley County Community College (NJCAA Division II) and Clearwater Christian College (NCCAA Division II).

Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 22-year history, with exactly 6,126 awards been given out in total. Additionally, there were six programs to earn recognition in the inaugural sand category.


Division                                      Number of recipients               Percent Breakdown*
NCAA Division I Women                        134                                          20%
NCAA Division II Women                         94                                          14%
NCAA Division III Women                      126                                          18.6%
NAIA Women                                              33                                           5%
Two-Year College                                    22                                           3.2%
NCCAA                                                         2                                           0.3%
NCAA Collegiate Men                                7                                            1%
High School Girls                                    225                                           33%
High School Boys                                     27                                            4%
College Sand                                             6                                            0.9%

* Percentage is based on each category's breakdown of the total 2013-2014 Team Academic recipients.


2013-2014: 676
2012-2013: 623
2011-12: 536
2010-11: 481
2009-10: 450
2008-09: 409
2007-08: 354
2006-07: 308
2005-06: 287
2004-05: 276
2003-04: 305
2002-03: 205
2001-02: 178
2000-01: 130
1999-00: 140
1998-99: 149
1997-98: 132
1996-97: 134
1995-96: 116
1994-95: 83
1993-94: 98
1992-93: 62

2013-2014 AVCA Team Academic Award
NCAA Division III Women

Albion College
Alma College
Anderson University (Ind.)
Augsburg College
Aurora University
Bard College
Beloit College
Berry College
Bethany College (WV)
Bethel University (MN)
Birmingham-Southern College
Bowdoin College
Bryn Mawr College
California Lutheran University
Calvin College
Capital University
Carleton College
Case Western Reserve University
Centenary College (LA)
Central College (IA)
Chapman University
Clark University
Coe College
Colby College
College of St Benedict (MN)
College of St Elizabeth
Colorado College
Connecticut College
Cornell College (Iowa)
DePauw University
Dickinson College
Dominican University
Dominican University
Eastern Connecticut State University
Edgewood College
Elmhurst College
Elmira College
Emerson College
Emory University
Fontbonne University
Frostburg State University
Gallaudet University
Geneva College
Greenville College
Grinnell College
Hamilton College
Hardin-Simmons University
Haverford College
Hendrix College
Hope College
Houghton College
Huntingdon College (AL)
Immaculata University
Johns Hopkins University
Kalamazoo College
Keuka College
Lakeland College
Lebanon Valley College
Luther College
Lycoming College
Macalester College
MacMurray College
Maranatha Baptist Bible College
Martin Luther College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
McDaniel College
Messiah College
Middlebury College
Monmouth College
Moravian College
Mount Aloysius College
Nebraska Wesleyan University
New York University
Oberlin College
Ohio Northern University
Olivet College
Otterbein University
Piedmont College
Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
Principia College
Roger Williams University
Rowan University
Sage Colleges
Saint Mary's College (IN)
Salisbury University
Schreiner University
Simmons College (MA)
Simpson College (IA)
Southwestern University (TX)
Springfield College
St John Fisher College
St Lawrence University
Stevens Institute of Technology
Stevenson University
Susquehanna University
Swarthmore College
The College of New Rochelle
The College of Wooster
Trine University
Trinity University (Texas)
Union College (NY)
University of Dubuque
University of Minnesota-Morris
University of Mount Union
University of New England
University of Northwestern - St. Paul
University of Scranton
University of St. Thomas (Minn.)
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Vassar College
Wartburg College
Washington & Lee University
Washington College (MD)
Washington University in St. Louis
Waynesburg University
Webster University
Wesleyan University (Conn.)
Western Connecticut St Univ
Westminster College (PA)
Wheaton College (IL)
Whitman College
Widener University
Wittenberg University