LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Bellevue University volleyball team was announced as one of the recipients of the AVCA Team Academic Award when the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced today that 973 teams have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2017-18 season. This number breaks the previous record of 835 (set the previous year).
Bellevue was one of 49 NAIA programs recognized with the honor.
Earlier in the offseason, 11 BU volleyball student-athletes were recognized as NSAA Scholar-Athletes while four individuals - Lauren Colpitts, Hope Lambrecht, Gracie Myers, and Rachel Wald - earned Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
The award, which was initiated during 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 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 quantity 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.
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.
Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 25-year history, with exactly 8,461 awards been given out in total.
Bellevue finished the 2017 season with a 30-13 overall record, advancing to the NAIA National Tournament for the 10th time in school history after finishing second in the NSAA Post-season Tournament. Bellevue was ranked No. 19 in the final NAIA National Top 25 Poll.
The Bruins open the 2018 season with four matches at the College of Ozarks Silver Dollar City Tournament in Point Lookout on Thursday-Friday, Aug. 23-24.