Volleyball players practicing outdoor
Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Fremont, Calif., August 24, 2021—Ohlone College’s Volleyball team is among 1,281 collegiate and high school teams that have earned the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the 2020-2021 season. The award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors volleyball teams that maintain a year-long grade-point average of 3.30 on a 4.0 scale or 4.10 on a 5.0 scale.

“I’m amazed and incredibly proud of our athletes and team for this achievement, especially in such a tough environment that the pandemic presents,” said Head Volleyball Coach Jeremy Penaflor.

For years, the ladies of the Ohlone College Volleyball team have achieved high marks in the classroom, regularly transferring the student-athletes of the program to the university of their choice. In fact, each year at least one graduating sophomore graduates with highest honors (3.5 cumulative grade point average or higher). But that record was put to the test this past 2020-21 academic year.

With question marks looming during a year under a pandemic learning environment, student-athletes all over the state and nation were put to the test to try and learn in ways they likely had never done before. But the Renegades Volleyball student-athletes took on those challenges and thrived together as a team.

“I know each of the girls had many other difficulties to deal with aside from what I knew about,” adds Coach Penaflor, “And, despite all the stuff going on around them they were still able to kill it in the classroom while developing their game on the court.”

The spring started with high hopes of getting on the court sooner rather than later, but increasing COVID cases in the early part of the calendar year was delaying that return. In addition, the uncertainty of returning to play volleyball in person, the newness and unfamiliarity of online synchronous and asynchronous classes, the adjustment to always being home and not being able to see friends and family, and the presence of a constant unknown that the pandemic brought on all combined to create challenges for student-athletes all over the state and nation to get through this academic year.

And the Renegades took on that gauntlet head-on and left it in their tracks, achieving a program high 3.747 grade point average for the spring semester (cumulative GPA of 3.621 for the 2020-21 academic year)! With 5 of the 10 athletes achieving a 4.000 GPA this past spring, and the lowest GPA of all the athletes being a 3.333, it’s no wonder that the team achieved such high marks.