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July 22, 2010

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for the first time under head coach Ben Somera, the organization released today.

The Gamecocks posted a cumulative 3.363 grade point average (GPA) during the 2009-10 academic year, including a 3.468 GPA in the spring of 2010, the second-highest for the team on record. Both semesters, the squad stood in the top five among the South Carolina teams, ranking second during the spring.

“Our academic goals are to foster an environment that maximize our academic potential by providing discipline, consistency and support,” said Somera about his philosophy regarding academics. “We believe the habits we create in the classroom carry over to the court and help us build teams that strive for success.”

Overall, 450 schools from all levels of college and high school, both female and male, made the honor listing, a new record since the award was first handed out for the 1992-93 academic year. South Carolina was among 94 NCAA Division I teams to earn the honor. Only three Southeastern Conference schools made the listing, as Alabama and Mississippi State also garnered recognition.

To qualify for the award, teams must maintain a 3.30 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale for the year or a 4.10 cumulative GPA on a 5.0 scale.

A total of 14 volleyball student-athletes earned SEC Academic Honor Roll certificates this season, a program record. Senior libero Sarah Cline also won the SEC Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, the first Gamecock to claim that title since the award’s inception in 2003.

South Carolina opens its 2010 home schedule on Friday, Sept. 10 in the Gamecock Invitational, hosting South Carolina State at 10 a.m. EDT at the Volleyball Competition Facility.