Mustangs Earn NCAA Public Recognition Award

Go smu!
Go smu!

Go smu!

May 7, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (SMU) - The SMU women's volleyball program is one of 66 women's volleyball programs recognized by the NCAA for its success in the classroom. Based on their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rate, SMU women's volleyball earned the NCAA Public Recognition Award for posting scores in the top 10 percent of its sport.

APRs for all Division I teams will be released May 14. The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams nationally. Teams must meet a certain academic threshold to qualify for the postseason, and they also can face penalties for continued low academic performance.

The 1,049 teams publicly recognized for high achievement represent 631 women's teams and 418 men's or mixed squads. In 2013, 976 teams were recognized.

The scores required to be in the top ten ranged from 980 to a perfect 1,000, depending on the sport, with the majority of top 10 teams earning a perfect APR.

"Each year, more and more teams are achieving perfect APR scores," said NCAA president Mark Emmert. "We are proud of our member schools' commitment to providing tremendous opportunities for student-athletes so they can succeed on the field, in the classroom, and in life."

In addition to their academic success, the Mustangs went 22-9 and finished second in the American Athletic Conference during the league's inaugural season. Avery Acker, American Athletic Conference Setter of the Year, was named AVCA All-America honorable mention, All-Region honorable mention and earned a first team all-conference selection. She finished the season with a league-best 11.56 assists per set in conference matches, and ranked 25th in the NCAA with 11.21 per set overall.

SMU, which won 10 of its last 11 matches, had a total of five All-American Athletic Conference selections, with Caroline Young and freshman middle blocker Janelle Giordano joining Acker on the first team. Sophomore outside hitters Cailin Bula and Abbey Bybel were selected to the second team. All five players are returning for the 2014 season.