March 15, 2007
GREENSBORO, N.C. –
As successful as the Florida State volleyball team has been under fifth-year head coach Todd Kress, the team has exceeded its play on the court with its work in the classroom. The program’s emphasis on academics was reinforced when Brianna Barry, Sarah Griffin and Jessica Skower were named to the 2006 All-ACC Academic Volleyball Team as announced by the league office.
“Academics are the top priority for our student-athletes and we stress that first and foremost,” Kress said. “We want them to enjoy playing volleyball, but nothing is more important than the education they get here. They play volleyball for four years, but that education lasts a lifetime and we want them to get the most out of it.”
This is the second year in a row that seniors Griffin and Skower have been named to the All-ACC Academic Volleyball Team and the first for the freshman Barry. In order to be eligible for the consideration to the team, student-athletes must have a 3.00 grade point average during the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during their academic career. FSU’s three selections were third amongst league schools.
In her first semester at Florida State, Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.) earned a spot on the dean’s list for her 3.73 GPA in sports management. An ACC All-Freshman Team selection, the 6-foot-3 rookie finished fifth in the conference, first among freshmen, with a .325 hitting percentage, that she upped to .334 during league matches to rate sixth. Barry was also tops on the team with 0.98 blocks per game that rated fifth amongst ACC rookies as did her 2.52 kills per game, which is the best rate by a Seminole freshman since 2003 ACC Freshman of the Year Cassie McLaughlin.
“I was fortunate that I got into a good time management routine in high school because it made the transition to college a little easier,” Barry said. “Being a student-athlete you have to manage classes, practices, weights, plus travel and for me to make the All-ACC Academic Volleyball team is honor because I not only want to make an impression on the court but in the classroom as well.”
Few student-athletes have been honored for their efforts off the court than Griffin (Hereford, Texas). The senior was the first volleyball player in 13 years to earn ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District honors with a Second-Team District III selection last fall. A three-year member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll, Griffin has a 3.60 grade point average in finance with a minor in law & society after a 3.68 gpa in the fall. Most recently Griffin was awarded the Weaver-James-Corrigan Award by the ACC.
“It’s a lot about priorities; I set my first priority on academics and then volleyball,” Skower said. “Over the years I got better at time management. When I came in as a freshman I struggled with it but as I got to be an upperclassman I learned to spend my time wisely and get everything done.”
Skower (Naples, Fla.) has been the top academic performer on the volleyball team over the last two seasons. A three-year ACC Academic Honor Roll selection, she took home the Golden Torch Award and the team’s Academic Award for having the highest gpa on the squad. The sports management major posted a team-best 3.94 gpa last fall to boost her overall rate to 3.50. Despite giving up her two-year starting spot at setter to move to right-side this year, Skower finished her career third in school history with 2,900 assists.
Florida State is in the midst of its spring practices with its home spring tournament set for April 7. march 24