July 22, 2010
DeKALB, Ill. - For the second straight year, the Northern Illinois volleyball team has been named as a recipient of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award, the association announced on Tuesday.
Established in the 1992-93 academic year, the award recognizes collegiate and high school volleyball teams that showed excellence in the classroom during the school year by holding a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.
Last year's recognition marked the first time in program history that the Huskies earned the award as they posted a 3.324 cumulative team GPA. This year, the ladies did even better by posting a 3.34 cumulative GPA, which led all NIU athletic programs as Huskie student-athletes extended their streak to 10 straight semesters with a 3.0 cumulative GPA. The Northern Illinois volleyball program has led all Huskie sports in cumulative GPA for four consecutive semesters and five of the last six.
As one of 94 recipients at the Division I level, the Huskies are also one of 10 Mid-American Conference schools to make the list.
"It has been a mission of our program to not only be champions on the court and in the community but in the classroom as well," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "We are very proud to have academically superior kids and it's nice to be recognized as one of the top programs in the country for success in the classroom."
Over the past few years, the Team Academic Award has become one of the AVCA's fastest growing awards programs. In the past 10 years, the program has increased by over 300 percent, including a 79 percent surge in the last three years alone.
Northern Illinois begins the 2010 season with the annual NIU Invitational on August 27-28, featuring matchups against Chicago State, Oakland, South Dakota, and the College of Charleston. The Huskies first match will be against CSU on August 27th at 12 p.m. Central in the Convocation Center's Victor E. Court.