Three NCAA Div. III national titles
PELLA—For a record14th straight year, the Central College volleyball team has received the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award.
It’s the most consecutive years any Division III college has received the honor. Central has been cited 15 times overall. To receive AVCA distinction, a team’s combined grade point average (GPA) for the preceding year must be a 3.30 or higher (4.0 scale).
The Dutch compiled a 3.40 combined team GPA for 2013-14. Central had four volleyball players earn academic all-Iowa Conference recognition last fall, which requires a 3.50 or better cumulative GPA. Current seniors Shantell Gish (Cedar Rapids, Prairie HS) and Kari Sandage (Atlantic) and juniors Hannah Laflin (junior, Phoenix, Ariz., Horizon Honors HS) and Tori Zempel (La Porte City, Union HS) each received the honor.
Head coach Kent Clayberg said the award shows that the Central volleyball program strives for high levels of achievement on and off the court.
“We are very pleased with the continued commitment to academic excellence by our women,” he said. “The team academic award is something we take great pride in and work very hard for as an entire program. It is reflective and indicative of the dedication to development of the whole person. Our women are competitive athletes, but there is much more they have to offer the world.”
Central was among six Iowa Conference schools cited, joined by Coe, Dubuque, Luther, Simpson and Wartburg. There were 126 NCAA Division III squads honored, 18.6 percent of the member schools competing in volleyball.