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July 20, 2012

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s volleyball team gained recognition from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), earning the Team Academic Award for the 2011-12 academic year.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our team for their great focus and effort towards academics,” Gamecock head coach Scott Swanson said. “We strive to put academics first in our program and believe that graduating with a meaningful degree is very important. We appreciate the AVCA and their support of our student-athletes both in the classroom and on the court.”

Of note, 12 of the 13 Gamecocks that were on the 2011 fall active roster and continued classes through the spring received Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll mentions, either on the 2011 fall or the 2011-12 first-year listings. It’s also the second time in the 2000s that the Gamecocks earned the honor, joining the 2009 team.

The AVCA honored a record 533 teams from the high school and college ranks with the award, given to teams that hold an average 3.30 GPA during the academic year on a 4.0 scale or 4.10 on a 5.0 scale. Overall, 102 NCAA Division I teams earned the honor, including three from the SEC. Joining South Carolina on the list were Florida and Tennessee.

“Many coaches tell us they take more pride in and hear more positive feedback about winning the AVCA Team Academic Award than anything else they do all year,” said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. “While it is undeniable that the sport we coach is zero-sum on the scoreboard, it is a tool for empowerment on other fronts. The 533 coaches whose teams won this academic award understand the value of both playing to win and winning through play. A well-deserved congratulations to each team and coach!”

South Carolina opens its 2012 schedule with the Gamecock Invitational presented by Courtyard Marriott on August 24-25 at the Volleyball Competition Facility. Akron, East Tennessee State, Temple and UNC Asheville make up the field for the 10-match event, with the Gamecocks’ first match set for 12:30 p.m. EDT against the Owls of Temple.

Season tickets are on sale now at the South Carolina Ticket Office at Colonial Life Arena, by calling the ticket office at 800-4SC-FANS (800-472-3267) or online here. The $25 ticket for adults and $10 pass for youth 17 and under gains the holder admission to all 17 home matches.