GREENVILLE, Ill. -- The Greenville College volleyball team has discovered that it is the recipient of a 2009-10 American Volleyball Coaches Association team academic award. The Lady Panthers are one of 450 teams across the country to gain this award.
This award honors teams who have matched their dedication to the sport of volleyball with excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade point average. Seventy-five NCAA Division III institutions earned the award.
"This is a huge honor for our program, especially considering we ran a full JV last year and had our largest roster ever," said head coach Tom Ackerman. "Only 21% of the Division III schools in the nation earned this honor."
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.
"There is no better way to gauge the success of a sport than to track the accomplishments of the people who participate," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "Each of these 450 teams represents 12-15 really smart kids. What a great day for the sport of volleyball!"
Greenville's academic success extended to the court as well. The team placed second in the conference tournament, pushing Webster to five sets in a heartbreaking loss in the championship match. The Lady Panthers and head coach Tom Ackerman concluded their season with a record of 18-12, which marked the most season victories since Lynn Adams led the 1992 squad to 22 victories.
Greenville opens the 2010 season on Saturday, Aug. 28, when its varsity and junior varsity hosts four teams in exhibition matches. The regular season opener will be played in St. Louis against defending NCAA Division III national champion Washington University on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Panthers play their first home match on Tuesday, Sept. 7, against Benedictine at 7 p.m.
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