Joplin, Mo. — The Missouri Southern volleyball team has been awarded the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award, the organization announced today.

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 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 1,125. Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program’s 25-year history, with exactly 9,586 awards been given out in total.

The Lions, this year, carried a 3.61 team GPA and all but two players had a 3.00 GPA or higher. The Lions had ten players with a 3.5 GPA or higher and Alicia Pickett maintained a perfect 4.00 cumulative GPA. Eleven of the 12 MIAA volleyball schools earned the Team Academic Award this year.