The Northern Michigan University volleyball team received the Team Academic Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) for the 2012-13 season.
NMU was one of 69 NCAA Division II schools to receive the award. Northern is also one of only 15 teams to receive the award for six straight years. The Wildcats finished 2012 with an overall record of 20-12 and had a 12-6 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
"I'm very proud of the program's continued academic success by earning its sixth straight team academic award," said Dominic Yoder, head volleyball coach. "The 2012 Wildcat volleyball team really committed themselves to the academic side of being a student-athlete while being dedicated to accomplishing team goals on the court."
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 team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.
"Excellence doesn't happen by accident, either on the court or in the classroom," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "It takes consistent preparation, relentless effort, and determined leadership. A full year of academic achievement, by an entire team of individual students, is a remarkable achievement. What better way to start a new season than with a celebration of an award so emblematic of all that is necessary for sustained success."
The AVCA awarded 622 teams in 2012-13 and once again broke the previous year's total of 536 to set a new all-time high for the award. Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 20-year history, with exactly 5,450 awards been given out in total.
The AVCA 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 300 percent 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 622.