MOUNT PLEASANT — The 2011 volleyball season was one for the CMU record books with the program’s first Mid-American Conference tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance, but the Chippewas’ success on the court did not take away from their ultimate goal - success in the classroom.
For the sixth consecutive season the American Volleyball Coaches Association has honored the Central Michigan volleyball team with the AVCA Team Academic Award, the association announced Friday.
Having earned a cumulative team GPA of 3.481 during the 2011-12 academic year, the Chippewas were among the record 102 NCAA Division 1 teams to receive the award, and one of eight MAC schools to earn the distinction. The award, which was instituted in 1992, recognizes all programs - both in college and high school - with a cumulative team GPA of 3.30 or better.
“Our team has been winning academics championships for 6 years in a row,” head coach Erik Olson said. “I am very pleased to see us win our first MAC Championship while maintaining our high academic standards in our culture. This year's team GPA is our highest yet. I am very proud our team and its commitment to our primary pillars of the program.”
The Chippewas have earned the award in six of the eight seasons since Olson began as head coach in 2004.
All of the players on the 2011 roster earned a 3.0 or better throughout the duration of the school year, 11 earned a 3.30 or higher and eight earned a 3.5 or better. Senior Academic All-MAC selection Lindsey Dulude led the way with a 3.97 GPA.
With the highest-ranked recruiting class in the MAC, the Chippewas will look to continue their successes on the court and in the classroom during the 2012 season, which begins with the Marron and Gold Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. They will open the regular season against Auburn on Friday, Aug. 24, at 4:30 p.m. at the Green Bay/Country Inn & Suites Tournament.