Sam Houston State's volleyball team is one of only 102 NCAA Division I women's programs that have been recognized by the  American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) as recipients of the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2011-2012 season. 

The Bearkat volleyball squad produced a 3.36 team grade point average during the 2012 spring semester, the highest GPA among Sam Houston State's 17 sports teams.

Sam Houston State rolled to an 11-5 record in Southland Conference last fall, reaching the semifinals of the league post-season tournament.

Southeastern Louisiana and Stephen F. Austin were the only other current Southland Conference members named to the AVCA NCAA Division I list.

"It's really fun winning with young women who work hard in the class room as well as on the floor," Sam Houston head volleyball coach Brenda Gray said.

The AVCA team 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.

"Many coaches tell us they take more pride in and hear more positive feedback about winning the AVCA Team Academic Award than anything else they do all year," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "While it is undeniable that the sport we coach is zero-sum on the scoreboard, it is a tool for empowerment on other fronts.  A well-deserved congratulations to each team and coach!"