LEXINGTON, Ky -- The United State Marine Corps (USMC) and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced today that 1,313 teams in all levels of collegiate and high school play have earned the USMC/AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2019-2020 season, topping last year's record by almost 200 teams. 232 programs received Team Academic honors for the first time in 2020.
"Coaches have the most influence during difficult times," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "Keeping student-athletes focused on their academic success when their volleyball identity was suddenly gone is leadership worth celebrating!"
The award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors volleyball teams that maintain a year-long grade-point average of 3.30 on a 4.0 scale or 4.10 on a 5.0 scale.
"We are honored as a team to earn the Team Academic Award for the 2019-2020 academic year," added Kelsey. "As coaches, we could not be prouder of how our volleyball family not only exceled in the classroom during our fall season, but continued to thrive during one of the most challenging times across the country in this spring semester. Earning this award together speaks so much to our group's focus and commitment both on and off the court at Williams."
Additionally, schools that reached their Dig Pink® fundraising goals through the Side-Out Foundation will continue to be honored. Dig Pink® is a nationwide movement to provide meaningful and impactful experiences for athletes while inspiring and empowering them to come together in support of the stage IV breast cancer community. Each year, hundreds of teams across the country (and some overseas) participate in the Dig Pink® Rally.
Along with succeeding on the court and in the classroom Christi Kelsey's Eph team was also recognized for their efforts in exceeding their goal and raising money for Dig Pink. "We raised $2,441.39 after originally setting a goal of $500.00," noted Kelsey. "All proceeds go for breast cancer awareness and research to find treatments and a cure!"
"It was a special opportunity for us to participate in a Dig Pink fundraising event for breast cancer awareness and research during our fall season," said Kelsey. "This particular cause has impacted our team on a personal level with close family members and friends. Our team has been supportive of the Side-Out Foundation and the Dig Pink Initiative for a few years. A big thank you to rising senior Allison Frison who played a key role in organizing the events and online fundraising efforts this year. We are also incredibly thankful for the outreach and willingness to give by our entire team, their families, friends, and other community supporters who donated to help us crush our goal for a great cause!"