LEXINGTON, Ky. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) recently announced a record number of teams that have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2018-19 academic year, with the Sam Houston State Bearkats among that group.
Coach Brenda Gray’s team was one of 1,126 teams from across the nation to earn the honor, a number that broke last year’s record of 977 teams. It marks the eighth consecutive year the Kats have earned the honor.
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.
For the year the Kats put together a team GPA of 3.59 and was one of 189 Division I programs to post a team GPA of 3.30 or better. That came in the midst of going 20-8 and finishing third in the Southland Conference. Three member of the team – Taylor Cunningham, Madison Wallace and Caroline Sheaff – all earned academic all-SLC honors at season’s end, while Cunningham went on to nab CoSIDA Academic All-Region honors.
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 more than doubling the total over the last eight academic years. Since the award's inception in 1993, the amount of award winners has increased from 62 to its current number of 1,126.
The Bearkats will kick off the 2019 season on August 30-31 in Huntsville when they host the 42nd Annual Bearkat Invitational at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. Season tickets for the 2019 season are currently on sale for $30 and can be purchased by calling the Bearkat Ticket office at 936-294-1729, or online by visiting HERE.