Volleyball earns third straight AVCA Team Academic Award
July 27—Northwestern College was one of 478 volleyball teams nationwide to earn the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the 2010–11 season. The award 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 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. 2011 represents NWC's third consecutive AVCA Team Academic Award.
Just over 18 percent of all NCAA Division III women's volleyball teams received the AVCA award. The Eagles were one of three Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) teams to win the award. Nine different players earned UMAC Academic All-Conference recognition in February after maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA during the Fall 2010 semester when their sport's championship season is being played.
The 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 2000–01 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 170% increase over the span of the decade. Since the award's inception in 1993, the award has risen by an astounding 674 percent. NCAA Division II recorded their highest-ever total number of recipients, honoring 57 programs while Division III easily surpassed last year's record of 75 winners with 88 this year.