UCF Volleyball Earns AVCA Team Academic Award

July 22, 2011

="" alt="Knight Head" border="0" class="imported"> Read John Denton's Knights Insider | ="" alt="Twitter Logo" border="0" class="imported">Follow us on Twitter | ="" alt="Facebook Logo" border="0" class="imported">Get social with the Knights on Facebook

By Pat Salvas

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the second time in program history and the second season in a row. The Knights were recognized with the honor for posting a 3.562 team GPA during the 2010-11 school year.

UCF was one of 92 NCAA Division I women's volleyball teams to be honored by the AVCA for excellence in the classroom, and were also one of only six Conference USA squads to earn the accolade.

Initiated during the 1992-93 academic year, the award honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that maintain at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale during the academic year. The volleyball team recorded a 3.541 GPA for the spring semester, leading all UCF teams, while also posting a 3.565 GPA in the fall and during its season in order to qualify for the annual national academic award.

"I'm very proud of our players' commitment to academic excellence," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "It's not easy to achieve at the level they are in the classroom, especially when we continue to demand more and more of them on the court as we become a more mature team.

"Earning the top team GPA was the top academic goal of our team. Being recognized as a top academic performer by the AVCA was the next goal. We are very pleased to have swept both of them this past year."

Kristen Fisher recorded a 4.0 GPA in both the spring and the fall semesters, while Tory McCutcheon recorded a 4.0 GPA during the fall and a 3.8 this past spring. Kaye-Alese Green, Dani Harrison, Meredith Murphy, Sara Rex and Evije Vilde all earned GPAs of 3.8 or higher during the spring semester as well.

McCutcheon and Fisher were also named members of the C-USA All-Academic Team. The all-academic team consists of student-athletes who have earned a 3.2 GPA or better and are a starter or key reserve on their team and is voted on by the league's sports information directors. The duo became only the second and third UCF volleyball players to garner the distinction, as former Knight Jenny Heppert was the only other student-athlete to be voted onto the squad.

This marks the second time in as many seasons that the Knights have been honored with the AVCA Team Academic Award after earning their first during the 2009-10 school year. Then, UCF claimed the distinction after posting a 3.384 GPA. The Knights improved on that mark this year with their 3.562 cumulative GPA.