LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of New Hampshire volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the third straight year, the organization announced Monday.
Initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, the award 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.
UNH, the America East regular season and tournament champions, finished the 2013-14 year with a cumulative GPA of 3.48. The Wildcats are one of 134 NCAA Division I institutions to be recognized for the award, a new record for the AVCA.
The Wildcat squad had 13 students on the America East Honor Roll for obtaining a semester GPA of 3.00 higher. Furthermore, eight student-athletes achieved a 3.50 GPA or higher and were named to the Commissioner's Honor Roll.
New Hampshire had the highest amount of student-athletes recognized on the America East All-Academic Team with three. Returners Cassidy Croci (Sylvania, Ohio) and Tori Forrest (Powder Springs, Ga.) were bestowed the honor as well as defensive specialist Sam Henke. Croci earned further academic recognition as the middle blocker merited the CoSIDA Division I Volleyball Academic All-District First Team award.
The AVCA Team Academic Award has become one of the organization'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 500% increase the last decade. Since the award's inception in 1993, the amount of award winners has increased from 62 to its current number of 676.
New Hampshire starts the 2014 season Friday, Aug. 29 (7:30 p.m.) at the University of Connecticut Invitational, taking on the host Huskies. UNH concludes the tournament in matches against Indiana University (11 a.m.) and Central Connecticut State University (5 p.m.) on Saturday, Aug. 30.
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