2012 Hope College volleyball team

The 2012 Hope College volleyball team is among a record 622 college and high school teams nationally to earn the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award.

It marks the fifth consecutive time the Flying Dutch have received the award.

The AVCA 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.

“We are very proud of our student-athletes and their commitment to excellence both in the classroom and on the court,” Hope coach Becky Schmidt said. “This award acknowledges the commitment, discipline and hard work that our student-athletes bring to their college experience. We thank the AVCA for recognizing these qualities in our student-athletes.”

Hope is one of an NCAA Division III-record 93 schools to claim the AVCA honor.

Earlier, Hope received the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Team GPA Award for the 2012-13 school year with a 3.671 Team GPA — the second-highest among league’s teams in all sports.

Since the AVCA’s award's inception, the number of award winners has increased from 62 to its current number of 622. Honorees this year surpassed the 2011-12 mark of 536.

“Excellence doesn't happen by accident, either on the court or in the classroom," AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer said. "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." 

Hope begins its 2013 volleyball season on Monday when players report to campus. The Flying Dutch are hosting the NCAA Division III Volleyball Championships on Nov. 21-23 at DeVos Fieldhouse. Hope also hosted the 2012 Division III Volleyball Championships.