LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the fourth time in as many years, the Simpson volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award.
Under head coach Lana Smith, the Storm posted a cumulative team grade-point average of 3.408 during the 2011-12 academic year, surpassing the 3.30 requirement. Simpson has earned the award in each of the past four seasons, adding honors in 2003-04 and 2005-06 for six total appearances on the list.
The AVCA honored a record 535 total schools in 2011-12, up from the then-record 481 schools a year ago. Fellow Iowa Conference schools Central, Coe, Dubuque and Wartburg joined Simpson on the list of 90 Division III schools selected.
Seventeen of the twenty-seven players on Simpson's roster achieved a cumulative GPA over 3.3 and another 14 were above 3.5. Two players (rising senior McKaylie Croghan and rising junior Krista Gibson) achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA during the academic year, while six players earned Academic All-Conference honors: Carissa Coopman, Gibson, Kim Rogers, Alexa Rohach, Audrey Schuttler and Kristen Watson.
Simpson went 14-18 in 2011, going 3-5 in the Iowa Conference to finish tied for sixth. The Storm return four starters and the libero from last year's squad, including honorable mention all-conference pick Steph Keller. Simpson opens the 2012 season at the St. Mary's Sugar Loaf Classic in Winona, Minn. on Aug. 31.