Joplin, Mo. — The Missouri Southern volleyball team has been awarded the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award, the third year in a row the Lions have earned the honor under Head Coach John Napier

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 announced a total of 822 teams earned the honor, breaking the previous year’s record of 764.

On top of this honor, the Lions were also named to the AVCA Academic Honor Roll for NCAA Division II, meaning the team sported one of the top-25 team GPA’s in the all of Division II. This past academic year, Southern boasted a team GPA of 3.67. Each member of the team was a part of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll with three student-athletes maintaining perfect 4.00 GPA’s and no one on the team carrying below a 3.20 GPA.

The Lions were one of eight MIAA teams to earn the Team Academic Award and were one of just three MIAA institutions to be named to the AVCA Academic Honor Roll, joining Northwest Missouri and Pittsburg State.

“It’s an honor to receive the AVCA Team Academic Award for the third year in a row, but, when we found out we were in the top 25 in the country, we were feeling extra special,” Napier said. “The future is very bright for these ladies both on and off the court — and I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”