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July 26, 2010

Volleyball Awarded AVCA Team Academic Honor Second Straight Year

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Northern Arizona women’s volleyball team received the American Volleyball Coaches Association (WBCA) Team Academic Award for the 2009-10 season.  The Lumberjacks turned in a cumulative grade point average of 3.40 for the academic year.

NAU was among 450 volleyball programs to earn the prestigious award for academic excellence.  The award honors collegiate and high school teams that maintain at least a 3.30 cumulative team GPA.

"There is no better way to gauge the success of a sport than to track the accomplishments of the people who participate," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "Each of these 450 teams represents 12-15 really smart kids. What a great day for the sport of volleyball."  

The Lumberjacks posted the top GPA among NAU’s 15 varsity sports in the spring after earning the fourth best in the fall . Eleven of the 13 student-athletes on the volleyball team turned in grade-point-averages (GPA) over 3.0 in the spring.

The Lumberjacks had eight players post GPA’s of 3.5 or higher and two players, Ashley Ames and Lauren Campbell, GPA's of 4.0.

The Team Academic Award is among the fastest growing programs for the AVCA.  The program has seen a 300 percent increase in the last 10 years and by 79 percent in the past three years.

Both NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II recorded their highest-ever total numbers of recipients, with the former honoring 94 programs and the latter honoring 55 programs. The high school division also set a new bar with its 179 honorees.

The mission of the AVCA is to develop and grow the sport of volleyball; with a membership of over 5,000 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and developing the sport.

Members are comprised of national and international coaches, collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as club directors. Other members include former players, officials, media members and other friends of volleyball. As a group, the AVCA is committed to the development, growth, advancement and publicity of volleyball throughout the world.  Further information is available at www.avca.org.

Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 18-year history, and over 2,900 awards have been given out in all.

DID YOU KNOW…Northern Arizona ranked among the top athletic departments in the country during the 2009-10 academic year with a Top 100 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings at 78th. NAU ranked among the top 100 for the seventh time in the last eight seasons and 12th overall in the last 14 years.