Jayhawks Set Conference Record with 10 Academic All-Big 12 Honorees
Nov. 15, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. - For the first time in Big 12 Conference history, the University of Kansas volleyball team was awarded a double-digit number of Academic All-Big 12 honorees, as announced by the league office Tuesday morning.
Kansas tied Iowa State to record the most overall members with 10, the highest total for any team over the past 16 years. The Jayhawks and Cyclones also tied for the most first team honorees, with both squads placing eight members.
"That's why the student-athletes are here," head coach Ray Bechard said. "To represent themselves, our volleyball program and our athletic department extremely well on the court and in the classroom, which obviously, they've done. That's a huge number and that's a credit to the work they're doing off the court. The other side of that is to continue to work hard and represent the program in competition. They are doing both of those things at a high level and we're very proud of them."
All three seniors set the example as Allison Mayfield, Nicole Tate and Lauren Hagan were each named first team members. Mayfield is now a three-time first team honoree, Hagan a two-time and Tate earned her third nod from the Big 12, her first time on the first team.
Junior Tayler Tolefree became a two-time first team member. Freshmen are not eligible for the award, so sophomores Jaime Mathieu, Erin McNorton, Brianne Riley and Kara Wehrs earned first team honors for the first time in their careers.
The Big 12 Conference named 61 student-athletes to the 2011 Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball Team, the most in Conference history, with 59 members in 1996 being the previous high. The Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball team includes 51 first team honorees, also an all-time best, and 10 second team members.
First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA while the second team selections hold a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.
To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.