Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

November-December 2015

OPSU Volleyball Celebrates Sixth Straight Year of Academic Success

Oklahoma Panhandle State University's Volleyball team put the “student” in student-athletes as they were recognized for the sixth consecutive year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) as one of 752 teams to receive the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2014-15 academic year.

The award was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year and honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that display excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale throughout the academic year.

"A hearty congratulations to all the volleyball coaches whose teams won the AVCA Team Academic Award," said AVCA executive director Kathy DeBoer. "Teams do not succeed in the classroom by accident any more so than they do on the court. The same coach who taught them volleyball skills cared enough about their academic achievement to gather their grades, calculate their GPA, and submit a nomination on their behalf. In doing so, these coaches sent a clear message that classroom success is just as important as volleyball success. All involved should celebrate this award."

Head coach Mike Stephens intends to uphold a strong academic culture with this year’s team as well. “While it is never easy to earn the required 3.3 GPA to receive the AVCA Team Academic Award, we have come to expect it. This year was the closest margin we had to possibly not receiving the award. It will be very hard to replace the graduated players and their GPA but I feel the incomers, especially the JUCO transfers, will contribute greatly to our philosophy of academic excellence.”

NCAA Division II set a new record with 113 schools being honored this year. In addition to OPSU, two other Heartland Conference teams were also recognized.Lubbock Christian and St. Mary's were each named AVCA Team Academic Award winners for 2014-15. A complete listing of all honorees can be found on the AVCA website.

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