WLU Volleyball Earns National Academic Honors
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The West Liberty University volleyball team won its sixth consecutive American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award on Monday and was a USMC/AVCA Honor Roll pick as one of the nation’s elite NCAA Division II academic programs for the third straight year.
The academic awards program is co-sponsored by the United States Marine Corps and the AVCA.
“Even though teams might not have played during their usual season or may not have competed at all during the past year, coaches still found ways to lead their players to academic excellence,” said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. “This is a testament to the important role volleyball coaches play in their players' success both on and off the court.”
Coach Riley Schenk’s Hilltoppers were one of 161 NCAA Division II programs nationwide to meet the USMC/AVCA Team Academic Award criteria by maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher for the 2020-21 academic year.
The Lady Hilltoppers blew past that standard with an eye-popping 3.82 team GPA for the year to rank near the top of the nation’s NCAA Division II squads. All 15 players on the WLU roster topped the 3.00 GPA mark with 12 posting GPAs of 3.50 or better and eight having perfect 4.00 GPAs in the spring.
Teams whose GPAs fell within the top 20 percent of their respective NCAA divisions were accorded the enhanced designation of USMC/AVCA Team Academic Honor Roll schools.
West Liberty was one of only 33 NCAA Division II programs and the only Mountain East Conference squad to receive the USMC/AVCA Team Academic Honor Roll distinction. Charleston, Fairmont State, Notre Dame (Ohio), West Virginia State and Wheeling all joined the Lady Hilltoppers on the list of USMC/AVCA Team Academic Award honorees.
Coming off a successful debut season highlighted by the program's first-ever win against a Top 25 team – a 3-1 romp past No. 15 Wheeling in the regular season finale, Schenk and her talented young squad look to build on that momentum this fall.
The Black and Gold open the season with a long trek north to Detroit for the Wayne State (Mich.) Invitational on Sept. 3-4, followed by the home opening Tri-Match against Pitt-Johnstown (Pa.) and Salem (W.Va.) on Sept. 7.