Cowgirl Volleyball Earns Spot on AVCA Academic Award List

July 22, 2010

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The University of Wyoming Women's Volleyball Team was one of 94 Division I Institutions to be named by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as a recipient of the 2009-10 AVCA Team Academic Award. It's the second year in a row that they have received the honor.

The Cowgirls had an overall grade point average of 3.364 for the 2009-10 Academic Year. Wyoming had ten members on this year's Mountain West Conference Women's Volleyball All-Academic Team and three MWC Scholar-Athletes, along with JennaRae Jester being named ESPN the Magazine Second Team Academic All-District VII for the first time in her career. The Cowgirls finished the season with a 13-18 overall record and a 3-13 mark in the Mountain West Conference.

"I could not be more proud of a group of student-athletes than I am of the Cowgirls who are currently here at the University of Wyoming," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "Not only have they worked hard to become a great volleyball team but they have set unbelievable academic standards as students among their peers, in their majors and at this institution. The effort they put into excelling in the classroom is truly remarkable."

The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced that 450 teams earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2009-10 season. That number once again eclipses the previous years' total of 409 and sets a new all-time high for the award. 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 Team Academic Award has become one of the AVCA's fastest growing awards programs, seeing an impressive surge in teams honored over the past several years. The program has increased by over 300% in the last 10 years and by 79% in the past three years alone. Both NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II recorded their highest-ever total numbers of recipients, with the former honoring 94 programs and the latter honoring 55 programs. The high school division also set a new bar with its 179 honorees.

Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 18-year history, and over 2,900 awards have been given out in all. Only two institutions, both high schools, have earned the distinction all 18 years: Jonesboro High School (Jonesboro, Arkansas) and Ross S. Sterling High School (Baytown, Texas).