LEXINGTON, Ky. – On the eve of the 2014 season, the Anderson University volleyball team has again been recognized for academic excellence, as the squad earned an AVCA Team Academic Award, as announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) on Monday.
“I continue to be impressed with this group of young ladies,” said Anderson head coach Craig Mosqueda. “They continue to work hard on and off the court and juggle everything else involved in being a student-athlete.”
Anderson was one of 94 NCAA Division II teams to earn the honor nationally, along with five other teams from the South Atlantic Conference (Carson-Newman, Catawba, Newberry, Tusculum and Wingate).
The 2013-14 edition of AU volleyball saw every player post at least a 3.1 cumulative GPA for the academic year, en route to the team achieving an overall 3.48 GPA. Standouts Meghan Cautero and Shannon Gillespie were named Capital One Academic All-District, with Cautero going on to notch Third-Team Academic All-America accolades.
The Trojans also got the job on the court, as well, with Anderson earning its’ first-ever NCAA Tournament victory in just the program’s second NCAA Tournament appearance.
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.
The Trojans depart early Tuesday morning for a weeklong mission trip to Costa Rica before returning to prepare for their season opener on Sept. 5 versus the host Knights at the Bellarmine Invitational