Five Straight Years of Academic Excellence for OPSU VolleyballBy Justine Gaskamp on 08/06/2014
Goodwell, Okla.—The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) released a record-breaking number of teams receiving the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2013-2014 season; Oklahoma Panhandle State University was among 676 volleyball teams who earned a spot on the list.
This marks the fifth straight year the Aggie volleyball team has been recognized for their stellar academic performance, something head Coach Mike Stephens is very proud of, stating “We are very happy to have achieved our academic goal for last year as a team; certainly it’s become a tradition as we’ve now achieved this award for five years running.”
Stephens adds, “This award is a direct result of having so many student athletes achieve president’s (three) and dean’s (four) list honors. We hope that these same kids will mentor the few that struggled to meet the high academic standards we set for each individual player. We’re ready to achieve this honor for the sixth straight year with the squad we have.”
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.
"Too often athletic participation is associated with academic underachievement and this stereotype is simply false when it comes to volleyball," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "Couple the smarts represented by these teams with the competitive experience and team-focused training gained on the court and we have a potent formula for future leadership! What a significant contribution that is by their coaches and schools."
In addition to OPSU, three other Heartland Conference teams were also recognized; Lubbock Christian, St. Edward’s and St. Mary’s were each named AVCA Team Academic Award winners for 2013-2014. A total of 94 NCAA-Division II teams were listed making up 14 percent of the total number.
Congratulations to Coach Stephens and the 2013-2014 Aggie Volleyball Team for earning their fifth consecutive AVCA Team Academic Award!