The Hope College volleyball team has earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for the sixth consecutive time.

Coach Becky Schmidt’s Flying Dutch are among a record 676 teams across the nation honored for the 2013 season.

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 or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.

Schmidt said she is proud of the way her players represent Hope’s program both on the court and in the classroom.

“The AVCA Academic Award recognizes the high expectations our players hold for themselves in every aspect of their life,” Schmidt said. “It comes in response to their commitment in preparing for exams, performing research, taking advantage of service learning opportunities, engaging in critical thinking and thoughtfully conveying their ideas.”

Earlier, Hope also claimed the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Team GPA Award with a 3.429 GPA.

Hope is one of a record 126 NCAA Division III schools to receive the AVCA academic recognition.

Kathy DeBoer, AVCA’s Executive Director, said the 2013 honorees dispel the idea that athletic participation is associated with academic underachievement. 

"Couple the smarts represented by these teams with the competitive experience and team-focused training gained on the court and we have a potent formula for future leadership!” DeBoer said. “What a significant contribution that is by their coaches and schools.”