OMAHA, Neb. -- The 2009-10 Creighton University volleyball team has been honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as a recipient of the AVCA Team Academic Award. This is Creighton's seventh straight award and ninth overall, as the Bluejays previously were honored in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Creighton was the only Division I team (women's or men's) from the state of Nebraska to be honored.
The award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors teams that displayed excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA. Ninety-four Division I schools qualified for the honor in 2009-10, including nine teams in the Missouri Valley Conference. The MVC (90 percent) was the only league nationally with 85 percent of more its programs to be recognized.
Creighton becomes one of just eight Division I schools to earn this award each of the past seven years, joining American, Bowling Green, Indiana State, Denver, Memphis, Toledo and Wichita State.
Last year Allie Oelkeand Jessica Houts were named first-team choices on the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete team, giving CU 15 such selections in the past seven seasons. The Bluejay volleyball team had a GPA of 3.50 last fall, 3.34 this spring and now owns a 3.37 cumulative GPA.
Creighton returns 11 letterwinners and four of six starters (plus libero Nayka Benitez) from last season's team. Top returnees include senior standouts Lauren Bloemke, Alicia Runge, Benitez and Oelke.
The Bluejays will report to campus on August 8th and open the regular-season on Aug. 27 at home against San Francisco.