For 12 years and counting, the Illinois State University volleyball program was recognized by the American Volleyball Coaches Association for its unwavering success in the classroom. On July 20, Illinois State was presented with the United States Marine Corps Team Academic Award for the 2019-20 season.
The award honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team grade-point average GPA Illinois State assembled an impressive 3.75 GPA as a team to finish out the 2019-20 academic school year.
Four student-athletes — Sydney Holt, Sarah Kushner, Taylor Lynch and Kaity Weimerskirch — posted perfect 4.0 GPAs, while every player earned a spot on the AFNI Honor Roll in the spring. Additionally, every team member finished with at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA last school year, while nine student-athletes finished the academic year with a 3.50 cumulative GPA or better.
A record-breaking 1,313 teams earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2019-20 school year, including 227 programs from the Division I women's level.
The Illinois State volleyball team won their 11th Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Title in 2019, making its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and 15th overall. Illinois State is coming off its fourth 20-win season in five years and third-straight that resulted in tournament play under the direction of Johnson. Illinois State returns a trio of all-conference players in Holt, Stef Jankiewicz and Kaylee Martin for the 2020 season.