KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) announced today its national scholar teams from the 2009-10 academic year, as Union's Women Swimming team cracked the list with a team GPA (grade point average) of 3.02.
The Iowa Wesleyan volleyball team is the 2009-10 NAIA Scholar-Team of the Year, as the Lady Tigers, under the direction of head coach Jill Blake, finished in the top spot with a 3.82 grade point average during the 2009-10 academic year. A record total of 857 teams, an increase over last year's total of 837, received the award.
Joining Iowa Wesleyan to round out the top five are Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) volleyball (3.81 GPA), Lambuth (Tenn.) women's soccer (3.78 GPA), Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.) women's tennis (3.77 GPA) and tied for fifth with a 3.76 GPA is Jamestown (N.D.) women's cross country and Bethel (Kan.) women's tennis.
Biola (Calif.) and Hastings (Neb.) had the most teams represented by a school (16). Women's basketball landed in the top spot for total number of scholar teams per sport (78) earning the honor.
Over 14-percent of the schools receiving the award had a 3.5 or higher grade point average.
For a team to be considered for the NAIA Scholar Team award, it must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) as defined by the institution. The team grade point average must include all varsity student-athletes certified as eligible.
The national scholar award caps what has been arguable Union's best season ever in the pool for the women's team.
Led by head coach Rafael Forti, the Lady Bulldogs broke 17 of 22 team records, notched an All-American in Molly Fittro (Seaside, Calif.) and qualified for a program high 18 national events at the NAIA swimming national meet in St. Peters, Mo.
To view the NAIA Scholar teams in its entirety, click here.