The Northern Illinois volleyball team has been named a recipient of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award, the organization announced on Wednesday, July 20.
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.
Continuing to achieve excellence both on and off the court, the honor gives the program its third in as many years. As a unit, the Huskies compiled an NIU-high 3.349 cumulative GPA during the 2010-11 school year, bettering their marks from the past two seasons (3.324 in 2009; 3.340 in 2010).
“We are proud and honored to have student-athletes who not only perform well on the court and in the community, but most importantly, in the classroom,” said NIU head coach Ray Gooden.
Among the 92 Division I honorees, NIU is one of seven Mid-American Conference schools on the list.
Over the past few years, the Team Academic Award has become one of the AVCA’s fastest growing awards programs. Since its charter year, the award has grown by 674 percent.
Northern Illinois begins the 2011 season with the annual NIU Invitational Friday, Aug. 26, and Saturday, Aug. 27, featuring a robust field that includes three 2010 NCAA Tournament participants and top-35 teams.
The opponents the Huskies will host are IUPUI, Cincinnati (NCAA Tournament qualifier, ranked 16th), Iowa State (NCAA Tournament qualifier, ranked 33rd) and Northern Iowa (NCAA Tournament qualifier, ranked eighth). NIU’s first match will be against IUPUI at noon Friday, Aug. 26, at Victor E. Court.
For more information on NIU volleyball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.