The NCAA announced January 13 that Concordia University senior Kara Pioske (Waconia, Minn.) has earned the 2013 NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Elite 89 Award. She received the honor for boasting the highest cumulative GPA of the eight national quarterfinal participants at this season's Elite Eight in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The biology major carries a 3.99 cumulative GPA.
Pioske becomes the first Concordia student-athlete and the eighth Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) student-athlete to receive the prestigious award since it was established in 2009-10.
The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA championships.
In addition to her work in the classroom, Pioske is a 5-time NCAA Women's Volleyball National Champion. She is also involved on campus, serving as the secretary for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a member of the Tetra Delta Science Club.