Aug. 2, 2002

The University of Notre Dame volleyball team is one of 47 Division I programs honored with the American Volleyball Coaches Associaton/Molten Team Academic Award for the 2001-02 season. The award honors college and high school teams that displayed excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.00 scale (or 4.10 on 5.0 scale) during the school year.

The Irish finished the 2001-02 school year with a 3.33 team grade-point average and were one of the 27 Division I teams honored by the AVCA to compete in the 2001 NCAA Tournament. Fellow BIG EAST Conference member Syracuse also was in the Division I list.

The AVCA/Molten award was distributed to a record 177 volleyball programs this year. The college ranks produced 120 schools (47 Division I, 20 Division II, 32 Division III, 12 NAIA and nine junior/community colleges). A total of 57 high school programs earned the distinction.

The Notre Dame team was recently picked to repeat its 2001 BIG EAST Championship in the conference’s preseason release on Aug. 1. The Irish have won the last two league championships and six of seven since joining the BIG EAST in 1995. The team also has appeared in the NCAA Tournament for 10 consecutive seasons.

The 2002 season begins in the Joyce Center on Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. when Wisconsin-Milwaukee visits during the Shamrock Invitational. Cincinnati and Cal Poly also are in the three-day tournament field.