The National Junior College Athletic Association has announced the top academic programs for the 2016-2017 school year and Surry Community College’s volleyball team is among those honored.
The Lady Knights posted a 3.15 grade point average to finish fifth among the 10 Region X teams that received national recognition.
“This is a tremendous honor for our program and entire college,” said Surry Athletic Director, Mark Tucker. “Our volleyball team had an outstanding season on the court, finishing third in Region X with a 19-9 overall record. For them to also be acknowledged as an All-Academic Team has made for an incredible year.”
Tucker noted there are 145 total teams in all sports combined in Region X, making the fifth-place highest GPA even more impressive. Members of the Lady Knights volleyball team this past season included Kenly Burchette, Saleena Call, Lexie Hartle, Ashley Johnson, Cheyenne Kota, Jessi Marion, Sydney Marion, Anika Thomas, Shay Vick and McKenzie Wood.
Both Marion and Kota earned individual recognition from the NJCAA for academic excellence recently. Marion was named First-Team All-Academic while Kota earned Third-Team All-Academic.
“I think it speaks to the type of student-athletes we have at Surry when they perform well in the classroom and as a team. It shows how focused and driven many or our student-athletes are in the classroom,” Surry volleyball coach Jan Marion-Kiser said. “We have to understand that education is our top priority. It is truly an honor for our team to be recognized nationally for all of their hard work off the court. It can be difficult to balance a busy schedule as a student-athlete.”
Surry was one of only six colleges in Region X to have both an All-Academic team and at least one individual honored. Of the North Carolina Community Colleges, only Brunswick, Catawba Valley, Sandhills and Surry were recognized for earning both team and individual awards.
Region X is comprised of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia institutions and features a total of 145 teams from 34 different colleges. Since 1993, the NJCAA has recognized teams with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.
“It makes me extremely proud to have student-athletes that are dedicated and strive to succeed,” Marion-Kiser said. “We had the only volleyball program in Region X this year to have multiple (four) All-Region selections, multiple (two) NJCAA All-Academic recipients, and be named as an NJCAA All-Academic team. Our goal is to continue this level of success in the future.”