By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---The Owens Community College women's volleyball team produced the highest team grade point average in program history in 2016-17, along with the 13th best team grade point average among National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) schools - across all divisions. In doing so, the program was named an NJCAA Academic Team Award recipient for the fifth straight season.
On top of the team's 3.58 combined grade point average, seven Owens women's volleyball student-athletes received NJCAA Academic Awards. Haili Mossing (Evergreen/Metamora, Ohio), a freshman on the Owens women's basketball team, was the eighth and final individual academic award recipient.
The seven NJCAA academic award winners gives the Owens volleyball program 15 total recipients over the past five years, and this year's total is a record for the most recipients in one season from one program in college history.
“(The coaching staff) is very proud of the team’s success on the court and in the classroom this past season,” said Owens volleyball head coach Sonny Lewis. “This year’s team not only won the conference title and finished third in the NJCAA national tournament, but they received high academic awards from the OCCAC, NJCAA and the AVCA. We stress that they must work hard in the classroom because that is why they are here, in addition to the on the court stuff. This team has set the bar for future teams to strive for.”
Brooke Gyori (Clay/Oregon, Ohio), Devon Heitkamp (New Bremen/New Bremen, Ohio) and Erika Angstmann (St. Marys Memorial/St. Marys, Ohio) were all named to the NJCAA's All-Academic First Team, which goes to student-athletes who earn a 4.00 grade point average.
Annie Lindeman (Ottoville/Ottoville, Ohio), Ashley Pleiman (Fort Loramie/Fort Loramie, Ohio) and Madison Lammers (New Knoxville/New Knoxville, Ohio) each earned Second Team recognition from the NJCAA for compiling a 3.80-3.99 grade point average.
Mossing and Carrigan Gray (Liberty-Benton/Findlay, Ohio) earned their way onto the NJCAA's All-Academic Third Team for receiving a 3.60-3.79 grade point average.
The individual academic awards were previously known as NJCAA All-Americans through the 2009-10 school year. From 2010-16, the NJCAA referred to the awards in tiers of Superior, Pinnacle and Exemplary before changing it up in 2016-17.
Conference Academic Excellence
In a precursor to its national academic awards, Owens athletics placed 15 student-athletes on the OCCAC's spring all-academic team after placing 11 on the team in the fall semester. All eight national academic award recipients earned a spot on the team both semesters.
This past year, the Owens women's volleyball and women's basketball teams each captured Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championships with perfect conference records. The women's volleyball program had its best season at the NJCAA Division II level with a third place finish at the national tournament, while the women's basketball program completed a 30-0 regular season - the first team in the college's history to compile a perfect regular season. The men's basketball team finished 23-9 overall, including a 12-4 record in conference play, and picked up its fifth 20 plus win season over the past six years and the 29th in program history.