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

Coach Becky Schmidt’s Flying Dutch are among a record 762 teams to earn the honor after posting a 3.43 grade point average during the 2015-16 school year.

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.  

Earlier this month, Hope claimed the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Team GPA Award.

Hope excelled on the court as well during the 2015 season. The Flying Dutch posted their 11th consecutive 20-win season with a 24-7 overall record that included their eighth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

"Congratulations to the coaches and institutions that won the 2016 AVCA Team Academic Award,” said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "It is no accident that a volleyball coaches association recognizes academic excellence as a team, rather than an individual, achievement.  Players influence each other, both in execution on the court and discipline in the classroom.” 

Hope begins the 2016 volleyball season on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2-3 at the Mount Union Purple Raider Classic in Alliance, Ohio. The Flying Dutch’s home and MIAA opener is Wednesday, Sept. 7 against Alma on the DeVos Fieldhouse Volleyball Court.