Cowgirl Volleyball Earns Spot On AVCA Team Academic Award List

July 20, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The University of Wyoming Women's Volleyball Team was one of 102 Division I Institutions to be named by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as a recipient of the 2011-12 AVCA Team Academic Award. It's the fourth year in a row that they have received the honor.

The Cowgirls had an overall grade point average of 3.546 for the 2011-12 Academic Year. Wyoming had 11 members on this year's Mountain West All-Academic Volleyball Team and seven MW Scholar-Athletes. UW finished the season with a 21-11 overall record and a 9-5 mark in the Mountain West Conference.

"I am very proud of this team," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "They are dedicated to excellence both on the court and in the classroom. They take great pride in the classroom and are excellent ambassadors for our athletic department and institution."

The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced that 533 teams earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2011-12 season. The number once again breaks the previous year's total of 481 and sets a new all-time high. 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.

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 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 200% increase over the span of the last decade. Since the award's inception in 1993, the award has risen by an astounding 760%. NCAA Division I recorded their highest-ever total number of recipients, honoring 102 programs while Division III easily surpassed last year's record of 57 winners with 67 this year. Division III also set a new record with 90 winners and the high school division increased their all-time high of 192 recipients to 220. Finally, the NCAA men broke new ground landing a record seven schools on the final AVCA Team Academic Award list.

Prior to 2011-12, only 13 teams had attained the pinnacle of volleyball success in both earning the AVCA Team Academic Award and winning their respective collegiate national championship in the same academic year. This year, the AVCA is proud to recognize three programs -- Concordia University-St. Paul (NCAA Division II), Cowley College (NJCAA Division II) and Clearwater Christian College (NCCAA Division II) - all three of whom excelled in the classroom and on the court.

Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 20-year history, with exactly 4,827 awards been given out in total. Only two institutions, both high schools, have earned the distinction all 19 years: Jonesboro High School (Jonesboro, Arkansas) and Ross S. Sterling High School (Baytown, Texas).