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Dec. 21, 2004

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – University of Virginia first-year outside hitter Sarah Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) has been selected as the 2004 VaSID University Division All-State Volleyball Player of the Year, while UVa head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton has been selected as the VaSID Coach of the Year. Kirkwood is joined on the VaSID First Team by Alexis Geocaris (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) and older sister Emily Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant). First-year libero Melissa Caldwell (Houston, Texas/Stratford) has been named to the VaSID Second Team. Sports Information representatives from schools in Virginia select the VaSID All-State team.

Shelton earns Coach of the Year honors for the second consecutive season and the third time in her career as she also garnered the award in 1998. UVa led all schools with four players earning VaSID honors. The Cavaliers were 19-11 and 8-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004.

Sarah Kirkwood is the first Cavalier to earn VaSID Player of the Year honors since 2000 when Deanna Zwarich was named Co-Player of the Year and the first to win the honor outright since 1998 when Jessica Parsons garnered the award. Kirkwood was recently named honorable mention All-East Region. She was selected as the 2004 ACC Rookie of the Year and was also named to the All-ACC Second Team.

Kirkwood tallied a team-high 554 kills in 2004 for an average of 4.95 per game. With her 554 kills, Kirkwood stands second on the Cavaliers’ single season kills list and set a school record with 1,419 attack attempts. Zwarich holds the school record with 575 kills in 2000. Kirkwood is ranked 24th among all Division I players with her 4.95 kills per game and second among all freshmen. She reached double figures in kills in 28 of 30 matches this season and was second on the team with a .264 hitting percentage. In addition, Kirkwood was second on the team in service aces (40), third in digs (270) and fourth in total blocks (54).

Geocaris, a fourth-year middle, earns VaSID honors for the second time in her career as she was a second-team pick in 2003. She became just the ninth UVa player to register 1,000 career kills and finished her career with 1,008. Geocaris holds the school record for career block average with 1.18 per game (443 career blocks). She led UVa with a career-best 1.34 blocks per game in 2004 (147 total blocks) while starting all 30 matches. Geocaris tallied a career-best 388 kills (3.53 kills per game) and posted a team-best .280 hitting percentage.

Second-year setter Emily Kirkwood is also a first time VaSID honoree. Kirkwood started all 30 matches and played in all 112 games. She averaged 13.08 assists per game to finish 25th among all Division I players. Kirkwood handed out 1,465 assists in 2004, the fifth highest single season total in school history. She also led the team with 49 service aces, the 10th best total ever at UVa, and registered 204 digs.

Melissa Caldwell finished the 2004 season ranked 22nd among all Division I players with 5.46 digs per game and led all freshmen in that category. Caldwell set a school record with her 5.46 digs per game and her total of 611 digs rank third all-time at UVa. She was also third on the team with 35 service aces. Caldwell reached double digits in digs in 27 of 30 matches and led team in digs 25 times.

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