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MONMOUTH, Ill. – After a one-year hiatus, the Monmouth College volleyball team has returned to the nation’s elite academic teams. The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) was announced this week the Fighting Scots earned the Team Academic Award for excellence in the classroom during the 2016 campaign. Kari Shimmin’s squad has earned the award six times since 2009, including four straight team academic awards from 2011 to 2014. The award goes to teams which maintain a GPA of 3.30 or higher throughout the academic year. The Scots – which boast nine majors among varsity team members – easily cleared the GPA requirement with a 3.42 team GPA. “We slipped just below that mark in 2015, but that only fueled the women’s desire to regain our footing,” said head coach Kari Shimmin whose team features majors such as biochemistry, psychology and political science. “We’re very diverse in the classroom and have two players who are double-majors. For the team to earn the AVCA award with such challenging majors is quite an accomplishment.” The Scots report to campus in a little over three weeks and will open their season at home on Sept. 1 before hosting their annual Monmouth College Invitational on Sept. 2.