LEXINGTON, Kent. (July 16, 2018) — The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team was one of 164 Division I institutions to be named a recipient of the 2017-18 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award on Monday morning. It marks the tenth-consecutive season that UW has received the honor.
The Cowgirls had an overall grade-point average of 3.573 for the 2017-18 academic year. Wyoming also had 11 members on this yearâ€™s Mountain West All-Academic Team. The Brown and Gold finished the season with a 17-14 overall record and a 12-4 mark in conference play.
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 AVCA Team Academic Award is the single largest award offered by the number of schools, players and coaches honored. Since the 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but two, while amassing a 619-team increase over the span of the last decade. Since the award’s inception in 1993, the amount of award winners has increased from 62 to its current number of 973.
Girls high school led the way with 358 recipients, an increase of 81 over last year. Once again, NCAA Division III had the second-most honorees this year with a total of 173 schools, a 23-school increase over last yearâ€™s record number. NCAA Division I honored jumped from 145 programs to 164, while NCAA Division II notched 128 honorees. High school boys and collegiate menâ€™s programs accrued 52 institutions with collegiate beach notching 22.
Prior to 2017-2018, only 34 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 that excelled in the classroom and on the court: University of Nebraska (NCAA Division I), Concordia University, St. Paul (NCAA Division II), and Lindsey Wilson College (NAIA).
This also marks the second year honoring schools that have a minimum Team Academic Award streak of 15 years, and also for schools that scored the highest GPAs in their respective divisions. In order for a school to be awarded as an honor roll recipient, their division had to reach a minimum number of nominations. For NCAA Division I, II, III, and girls high school, their nomination number allows for a top-25 honor roll. For NAIA women, a top-10, with two-year college, collegiate men, collegiate beach, and high school boys garnering a top-5.
The Cowgirls return nine letterwinners from a year ago. UW is scheduled to travel to Greeley, Colo., for an exhibition match with Northern Colorado on Aug. 17, before the Brown and Gold Scrimmage on Aug. 18 in the UniWyo Sports Complex. Wyoming will host Colorado, North Florida and Oral Roberts for the Rumble in Rockies tournament Aug. 24-25.