LEXINGTON, Ky. — The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced today that 822 teams — including the McPherson College program — have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2016-2017 season. This number breaks the previous year's total of 764 to set an all-time high.
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.
The AVCA Team Academic Award, celebrating its 25th year, is the single-largest award offered by quantity of schools, players and coaches honored. Since the 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients have increased every single year but two, while amassing a 532 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 822.
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.
McPherson was one of just 51 NAIA programs nationwide to earn the honor including one of four from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (Kansas Wesleyan, Sterling, York) and one of four Kansas NAIA schools (Baker, KWU, Sterling).
The Bulldogs set a school-record with 21 victories last season and open the season Friday, Aug. 25, with a match at Stephens College in Columbia, Mo.