ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Central Washington University took top volleyball honors in the 2013-14 Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Academic All-Sports competition. The Wildcats combined 3.52 grade point average (GPA) was No. 1 among all conference schools, and the highest recorded by a GNAC volleyball squad in six seasons.
“Our student-athletes put so much into everything they do,” said Mario Andaya, CWU’s head volleyball coach. “The type of girls that we recruit and that are in our program give 100 percent to what they’re committed to both athletically and academically. Our team grade point average shows they’re on track and that they care. I’m very pleased and I couldn’t be more happy for these girls.”
While his team demonstrated its commitment to the student part of the student-athlete equation, Andaya and his staff are equally committed to seeing team members succeed in the classroom.
“We make it a principle from day one that players must meet academic standards to participate in our program,” he points out. “If players are lagging behind, we get them the resources and help needed for them to succeed.”
Along with excelling in the classroom, Andaya’s team also made it into the post-season, as the Wildcats were among eight teams that won their way into the 2013 NCAA Division II West Region volleyball championship tournament.
Among other CWU athletic teams, softball had the second highest GPA in the GNAC last year, while the football, women’s soccer and track and field teams all placed third in the conference.
“It’s a great reflection on our student-athletes that they did so well and on Coach Andaya and his staff,” said Dennis Francois, CWU athletics director. “It shows that they are serious about their studies. With the recent addition of Ricardo Sanon, as our academic success coordinator for student-athletes, I’m very optimistic that we will build on this success and will rate even higher in the years ahead.”
The annual GNAC Academic All-Sports standings are based on the cumulative grade point averages of all student-athletes on official team rosters, including redshirts.
Overall, the Wildcat men’s and women’s teams finished No. 5 in their respective categories, as did all CWU sports teams when combined.
Media contact: Robert Lowery, CWU Department of Athletics, 509-963-1487, firstname.lastname@example.org
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