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Nov. 17, 2004

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – University of Virginia first-year outside hitter Sarah Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) has been selected as the 2004 Atlantic Coast Conference Volleyball Freshman of the Year as voted by the league’s 11 head volleyball coaches. The ACC Freshman of the Year Award is one of three honors bestowed on Kirkwood at the annual pre-championship banquet held Wednesday evening (November 17) at UVa’s Alumni Hall. In addition, Kirkwood was one of seven players named to the All-ACC Second Team and she was also chosen to the six-player ACC All-Freshmen Team.

Kirkwood becomes the first Virginia volleyball player to be selected as the ACC Freshman of the Year since the conference instituted the award in 1992. She is also just the second Cavalier first-year to capture All-ACC honors with her second-team selection and the first since 1989. Kara Warner was an All-ACC Second Team pick as a first-year in 1989.

Kirkwood has tallied a team-high 524 kills this season and ranks second among all ACC players in kills and third in kills per game (4.99). With 524 kills this season, Kirkwood ranks second on the Cavaliers’ single season kills list. Deanna Zwarich holds the school record with 575 kills in 2000. Kirkwood has reached double figures in kills in 26 of 28 matches this season and leads UVa with a .273 hitting percentage. In addition, Kirkwood is second on the team in service aces (37), third in digs (257) and fourth in total blocks (49).

The Cavaliers stand at 18-10 overall and 8-8 in the ACC and are seeded sixth in the 2004 ACC Championship which takes place at UVa’s Memorial Gym November 18-21. Virginia will play 11th-seeded N.C. State in the first round on Thursday (November 18) at 7:30 p.m.

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