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Volleyball Earns Fourth Straight AVCA Team Academic Award

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the fourth consecutive year, the NAU volleyball team has been recognized by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) with the Team Academic Award. The Lumberjacks totaled a 3.46 cumulative GPA during the 2011-12 academic year, including a program-record 3.64 team GPA during the fall 2011 semester.

"It's a fabulous award for the team," said NAU head coach Craig Choate. "It shows that they are working hard at exactly what everybody wants them to be - student-athletes. They're turning out to be the model of what the NCAA wants and I think that's pretty great."

NAU was one of only three Big Sky schools to earn the AVCA Team Academic award along with Montana State and Northern Colorado (new Big Sky member Southern Utah also received the honor as a member of the Summit League). 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.

Twelve of the 13 members of the NAU volleyball team that competed during the 2011-12 season recorded GPA's above 3.10 during the spring 2012 semester, including 4.00 semesters from graduated senior Katie Bailey as well as Taylor Stephens and Jen Wilson. The squad has recorded a cumulative GPA above 3.10 for nine consecutive semesters and all but one semester over the last 10 years, with a GPA above 3.30 in six of the last nine semesters. Eleven Lumberjacks were 2011-12 Golden Eagle Scholar-Athlete Award recipients while the squad totaled nine Big Sky All-Academic selections.