Hardrockers earn AVCA Team Award for 6th-straight season
Release Date Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  LEXINGTON, Ky. --- For the sixth consecutive year, the South Dakota School of Mines women’s volleyball program has earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award during the 2013 season. 

“To earn this award is a great honor, but to do so six times in a row truly shows the caliber of scholar-athletes we continue to have at South Dakota Mines,” said Lady Hardrocker volleyball head coach Tiffany McCampbell. “This team prides itself on performing well on the court and in the classroom. I’m so proud of our team and am glad to see their efforts aren’t going unnoticed.”

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.

"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."

 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 have increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 500 percent 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 676.

 NCAA Division I recorded their highest-ever total number of recipients, honoring 134 programs while NCAA Division II also set a new record by reaching a total of 94 honorees. NCAA Division III continues to set new records after 126 schools take home the honor with the Two-Year College category also surpassing their previous high of 16 with 22.

Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 22-year history, with exactly 6,126 awards been given out in total. Additionally, there were six programs to earn recognition in the inaugural sand category.

The Lady Hardrockers are set to begin the 2014 campaign and will be compete their last season as an NCAA Div. II independent. SD Mines volleyball will become a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) starting in 2015. The ‘Rockers kick off the 2013 Sept. 5-6 at the University of Nebraska-Kearney volleyball tournament in Kearney, Neb.

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