LEXINGTON, Ky. – Gallaudet University's women's volleyball program earned an 11th American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award as announced by the coaches association today. GU is one of 175 NCAA Division III women's team recipients for the 2018-19 season.
GU returns to the AVCA Team Academic Award listing two seasons after it rattled off a 10-year run from 2006-07 until 2015-16 of earning this honor. Gallaudet finished the 2018 season with a 17-17 record, 8-3 in conference as the team reached the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) semifinal round where the Bison lost to Morrisville State College.
GU is one of two NEAC programs to earn this AVCA honor for the 2018-19 season as the Bison are joined by Lancaster Bible College. Penn St. Harrisburg, who is returning to the NEAC in 2019-20, was also on the list.
The AVCA Team Academic 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 GPA on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale. The head coach must be an AVCA member at the time of nomination.
The AVCA set a new team record with 1,126 teams honored in 2018-19, that surpasses last year's mark of 977. The AVCA Team Academic Award 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 more than doubling the total over the last eight academic years. Since the award's inception in 1993, the amount of award winners has increased from 62 to its current number of 1,126.
Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 27-year history, with exactly 9,586 awards been given out in total. Only two institutions, both high schools, have earned the distinction all 27 years: Jonesboro High School (Jonesboro, Ark.) and Baytown Sterling High School (Baytown, Texas).
Gallaudet begins the 2019 season on Friday, Aug. 30, at 5 p.m. against Messiah College at the Battlefield Classic in Gettysburg, Pa.
The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by Associations International. The mission of the AVCA is to advance the sport of volleyball with AVCA coaches at the epicenter of leadership, advocacy and professional development. With a membership of over 8,000 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and promoting the sport. Members include collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as volleyball club directors. The AVCA provides education to volleyball coaches, recognition of elite players and coaches, promotion of volleyball competitions throughout the world, and networking opportunities for volleyball products and services providers. Further information is available at www.avca.org.