July 26, 2012

Bulldogs Earn American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award

Yale Honored Every Year Since 1992

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale volleyball team had a memorable year on the court in 2011-12, winning their second Ivy League title in a row and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs were quite successful in the classroom as well, receiving an American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for 2011-12. The Bulldogs have now been recognized every year since the award was founded in 1992.

The award 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.

"I'm very proud of my team for excelling in the classroom. It is especially impressive considering the strength of the academic program at Yale," head coach Erin Appleman said. "They are truly getting the most out of their collegiate experience."

Yale finished 18-7 overall and 12-2 in Ivy League play to capture the league title for the third time in the past four years, and fourth time in the last eight. They were defeated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by No. 1-seed USC.

The Bulldogs return five starters from that team this fall, including 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year Kendall Polan and Rookie of the Year Mollie Rogers. Yale opens the season on Aug. 31 against Texas A&M.

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. Since the 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 200% increase over the span of the last decade.  Since the award's inception in 1993, the award has risen by an astounding 760%. NCAA Division I recorded their highest-ever total number of recipients, honoring 102 programs.

"Many coaches tell us they take more pride in and hear more positive feedback about winning the AVCA Team Academic Award than anything else they do all year," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "While it is undeniable that the sport we coach is zero-sum on the scoreboard, it is a tool for empowerment on other fronts.  The 533 coaches whose teams won this academic award understand the value of both playing to win and winning through play. A well-deserved congratulations to each team and coach!"