Wildcats Make Grade with AVCA Team Academic Award

Courtney Cook

July 20, 2012

Full AVCA Release

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The 2011 Kansas State volleyball team had one of its most successful seasons on the court in school history. It also was a great year in the classroom for the Wildcats as they were recognized with the 2011-12 AVCA Team Academic Award on Friday.

This marks the ninth time in 11 years the K-State volleyball team proved to be one of the nation’s top teams in the classroom earning the AVCA Team Academic Award. The American Volleyball Coaches Association announced the recipients of the award that recognizes teams with a cumulative team GPA of 3.30 or higher on a 4.0 scale during the academic year, taking into account only the GPA’s of student-athletes who see action on the court in season. This also is the 10th time K-State has received the academic award overall.

Six of the 14 Wildcats used to calculate team GPA posted GPA’s of 3.50 or higher for the academic year. A total of 10 were 3.00 or higher.

This year saw 102 NCAA Division I women’s teams make the grade for the 2011-12 academic year. The Big 12 Conference had three teams on the list with Iowa State and Kansas joining the Wildcats. The AVCA had another record year for the Team Academic Award with a total of 533 teams recognized across high school, NCAA, NAIA and two-year colleges. The previous record was 481 teams last year. It is the third straight year the award has set a record.

The Wildcats win the award first the second consecutive year after receiving the honor each of Head Coach Suzie Fritz’s first seven years leading the program. The team posted a team GPA of 3.32 for the 2011-12 academic year. K-State placed six student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 Team with five on the first team.

“We take great pride in being a program with an emphasis on academic success, and receiving the AVCA Team Academic Award is a way of displaying and recognizing the successes our student-athletes have in the classroom.” Fritz said. “Our student-athletes all pride themselves in doing well in the classroom and take being a student first very seriously. They work very hard on their studies, and our academic services staff does a great job providing the assistance and resources necessary for them to be successful in the classroom.”

Winning the award adds to the many academic successes for K-State student-athletes this year in all sports as it has been a strong year for the Wildcats academically across the board.

Football player Tysyn Hartman was named a finalist for the Campbell Trophy and awarded a scholarship for postgraduate studies. He also was selected as a member of the first team of Capital One Academic All-America Team.

Victor Ojeleye from the men’s basketball team received the prestigious Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award over more than 600 candidates. Ojeleye graduated this spring and was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection.

Track and field star Ryann Krais won the NCAA Elite 89 Award as the student-athlete at the championship meet with the highest GPA and was named to the CapitalOne Academic All-America First Team. She also was awarded a postgraduate scholarship by the Big 12.

The AVCA Team Academic Award was created in the 1992-93 academic year to recognize college and high school teams for excellence in the classroom. The entire list of this year’s AVCA Team Academic Award winners can be found at avca.org.