Spartan Volleyball Achieves Top 25 GPA, Receives Seventh AVCA Team Academic Award

Spartan Volleyball Achieves Top 25 GPA, Receives Seventh AVCA Team Academic Award

Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate volleyball team has received its seventh American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for its performance in the classroom during the 2017-18 academic year, the AVCA recently announced.

Along with receiving the Team Academic Award, the Spartans had one of the Top-25 GPA's in NCAA Division I and earned a spot on the AVCA Team Academic Honor Roll.

"The volleyball program's academic success has become tradition," said head coach Jennifer Calloway. "In 21 of the 22 years I have coached here at USC Upstate, our teams have carried a 3.0 GPA or higher. Our former student-athletes set the tone for this academic success long ago. It has been a pure joy to see the success continue. I think it's easy to take their success for granted…people don't always see the commitment they are already putting into their sport with the training, weightlifting, film sessions and study hall on top of attending classes, study sessions, reading, research and preparing for presentations. We have graduated three nurses in the last three years that have all stayed in Spartanburg and are now working in local hospitals. We have three more nurses currently on our roster."

USC Upstate, for the second straight year, was part of a record-breaking year for the AVCA Team Academic Award as a total of 973 teams received the honor. The previous record was 835 set last year. The Spartans were one of six teams in the Big South to earn the recognition along with Campbell, Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, High Point and Radford.

"I am appreciative to the faculty and staff that make the nursing, computer information systems, exercise science and business majors all possible," Calloway said. "USC Upstate provides excellent resources for academic success with our student success center."

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 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative grade-point average 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 2000-01 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but two, while amassing a 619-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 973.

"Receiving the Top 25 GPA nod of all Division I volleyball programs is absolutely amazing," Calloway added. "I love knowing our team is being recognized for their hard work. Each have spent many long nights on bus trips and airline terminals studying. Our girls are simply some of the best and I am beyond proud of them for their outstanding daily efforts in the classroom."

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