Congratulations to the five 2014-15 Walla Walla University athletic teams, which were each named by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as 2014-15 NAIA Scholar-Teams. The NAIA Scholar-Team list includes all five 2014-15 WWU athletic teams. To receive the Scholar-Team award, members of a team must have a combined grade point average of 3.0 or above.
The five WWU teams and their respective GPAs for the 2014-15 academic year were women’s volleyball (3.50), women’s basketball (3.46), men’s basketball (3.30), women’s softball (3.27), and men’s soccer (3.20). The sixth WWU athletic team, men’s golf, was not added to the roster of WWU teams until the 2015-16 academic year.
“Our student-athletes are students first,” said Don Hepker, women’s volleyball coach and associate athletic director for sports information. “While I coach to win and never go into a match wanting to lose, in the long run no one will care what our win-loss record was. What students remember are the friendships made and the academic success that propels them forward in life.”
Hepker says that, on average, students who are part of an organized group have a higher GPA. “Athletes learn from an early age how to balance school life, social life, spiritual life, and athletic life,” he said. “They learn how to compartmentalize the different areas of their lives. When they are studying, that’s what they think about. When they are at practice, that’s what they concentrate on.”
In the Cascade Collegiate Conference of the NAIA, of which WWU is a member, the highest overall team GPA of 3.65 was earned by the Corban University women’s golf team. The highest overall team in the NAIA and recipient of the Scholar-Team of the Year award went to the Missouri Baptist University women’s tennis team with an overall team GPA of 3.94.