Knights News
The Knights earned the AVCA Academic Team Award for the 2012-13 season.
The Knights earned the AVCA Academic Team Award for the 2012-13 season.
Volleyball - Wed, Aug. 7, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS - The Marian University volleyball team was one of a record 622 teams recognized as an American Volleyball Coaches' Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award recipient for the 2012-13 season, the AVCA announced on Wednesday.

"I could not be more proud of our team for the work that they put into the classroom this past year," said second-year head coach Ashlee Pritchard. "Not only did the team work hard on the court, but, more importantly, they put in the time and effort into their studies and in the classroom. It is such an honor to be recognized by the AVCA for our work in the classroom.  To be one of only forty-six teams that received this award in the NAIA is a great accomplishment and one of which our team can be very proud."

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 Knights, who were also named a NAIA Scholar Team in 2012-13, were one of 46 institutions from the NAIA and were one of four programs from the Crossroads League. Bethel College, Grace College and Huntington University were the other schools from the league.

"Excellence doesn't happen by accident, either on the court or in the classroom," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer in the official AVCA release. "It takes consistent preparation, relentless effort, and determined leadership. A full year of academic achievement, by an entire team of individual students, is a remarkable achievement. What better way to start a new season than with a celebration of an award so emblematic of all that is necessary for sustained success."

The AVCA 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 300% 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 622.

The Knights will open the 2013 season on Saturday, Aug. 24 when they head to the University of Indianapolis for a scrimmage. The regular season opens on Friday, Aug. 30 when MU heads to the Taylor/IWU Labor Day Challenge. The Knights open with Olivet Nazarene University at 5:30 p.m., and they also take on Indiana Tech at 8 p.m..