Six Mountaineers Named Academic All-Big 12

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. Six members of the West Virginia University volleyball team were named to the 2017 Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball Team, the league office announced Tuesday.
The six honors match the Mountaineers’ total from 2014 and 2016, ranking No. 2 in program history.
Of WVU’s six honorees, senior defensive specialist Taylor Cross (sport management) earned the recognition with a 4.00 grade point average (GPA). She was one of four from the conference to boast a 4.00 GPA.  
Cross was named to the first team for the second consecutive season. Four Mountaineers join her on the first team, including three-time honorees in seniors Gianna Gotterba (journalism) and Morgan Montgomery (sport management). First time honorees include sophomores Gabrielle Cuckovich (marketing) and Erin Slinde (journalism).
Additionally, senior Mia Swanegan (strategic communication) was named to the second team.
“We’re very proud of Taylor, Gianna, Morgan, Gabi, Erin and Mia,” said third-year coach Reed Sunahara. “We are always looking to get better on and off the court, and our coaching and administrative staffs work very hard to help our Mountaineers succeed academically. It’s not easy being a student-athlete, but they are all great leaders for our team and exemplify what we strive to be.”
A total of 62 student-athletes were named to the 2017 Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball Team. First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 GPA or higher, while the second team selections hold a 3.00-3.19 GPA.
To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher, either cumulative or the two previous semesters, and must have participated in 20 percent of their team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation also are eligible.
The Mountaineers (16-11, 4-9) close their 2017 home regular-season slate on Sunday, Nov. 19, as West Virginia faces No. 19 Baylor (21-5, 11-2) at 1 p.m. ET. This week’s contest marks the second meeting of the season between the Mountaineers and Lady Bears. BU holds an 11-3 all-time series advantage, with the Lady Bears sweeping the Mountaineers in their most recent meeting held on Oct. 7, 2017, in Waco, Texas.
Sunday is Senior Day, and prior to first serve, the Mountaineers will honor their 2017 senior class: defensive specialists Gianna Gotterba and Taylor Cross, setter Emma Anderson, middle blocker Mia Swanegan and outside hitter Morgan Montgomery
For more information on the Mountaineers, visit and follow WVUVolleyball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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