Virginia Picked To Finish Third In ACC Preseason Volleyball Poll
Aug. 3, 2005
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The University of Virginia volleyball team has been selected to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference according to the 2005 Preseason ACC Volleyball Poll, which is determined by a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches. In addition, second-years Sarah Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) and Melissa Caldwell (Houston, Texas/Stratford) have been named to the 18-member ACC Volleyball Preseason All-ACC Team.
The Cavaliers, who are under the direction of 11th-year head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton, received 108 points and one first-place vote for third place in the poll. Duke, which received eight first-place votes and 136 points, edged Georgia Tech for first place in the poll. The Yellow Jackets garnered the remaining three first-place votes and totaled 124 points. Virginia is third with 108 points, while Miami is fourth with 100 points. Florida State is one point behind in fifth place (99) and North Carolina was right behind in sixth with 96 points. Maryland is seventh with 72 points and Clemson is eighth (69 points). Virginia Tech and Wake Forest are tied for ninth (41 points), followed by newcomer Boston College (33) and NC State (17).
“We’re honored that the ACC head coaches think so much of our team as to vote us third in the preseason poll. But we are very aware that preseason rankings mean nothing in reality… the thing that matters is where we stand when the season is over,” said Shelton.
“We have an exciting season ahead of us and cannot wait to get started on Wednesday (August 10).”
Kirkwood, an outside hitter, was the first Cavalier to be named ACC Freshman of the Year when she garnered the award in 2004. In addition, Kirkwood was a second-team All-ACC selection and was also named to the ACC All-Freshmen team. She went on the earn AVCA All-East Region honorable mention accolades and was selected as the 2004 VaSID Volleyball Player of the Year. Kirkwood ranked among the ACC leaders with 554 kills for 4.95 per game while hitting .264. She ranked 26th among all Division I players with her 4.95 kills per game. Her 554 kills are second on UVa’s single season kills list and she set a school record with 1,419 attack attempts. Kirkwood was second on the team with 40 service aces and third with 270 digs.
Caldwell, a libero, was one of two defensive specialists named to the Preseason All-ACC Team. Caldwell, a 2004 VaSID All-State pick, tallied 611 digs in 2004 for an average of 5.46 per game to rank 26th in the nation. She set a school record with her 5.46 digs per game and also led all Division I freshmen in that category. Her 611 digs are the third highest single season total in school history. Caldwell reached double digits in digs in 27 of 30 matches and led the team in digs 25 times. She was also third on the team with 35 service aces.
“I’m happy for Sarah and Melissa that they’ve been recognized by the conference as two of the top players to watch. Both were instrumental in our success last fall and I’m anticipating they will once again be huge factors for us this season,” said Shelton.
The Cavaliers, who finished the 2004 season with a 19-11 overall record and an 8-8 mark in the ACC, return six starters and 10 letterwinners in 2005. Virginia opens its 2005 season by competing in the McDonald’s Texas A&M Invitational September 2-3. UVa begins the tourney against Lehigh on September 2 and then plays St. Mary’s (Calif.) and Texas A&M on September 3.
2005 ACC VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON POLLSchool Points 2004 Record1. Duke 136 20-102. Georgia Tech 124 27-73. Virginia 108 19-114. Miami 100 17-95. Florida State 99 18-116. North Carolina 96 19-157. Maryland 72 18-158. Clemson 69 20-149. Virginia Tech 41 13-16 Wake Forest 41 13-1711. Boston College 33 20-1212. NC State 17 10-21
2005 ACC VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON ALL-ACC TEAMPlayer SchoolAmy Beaver North CarolinaMelissa Caldwell Virginia Carrie DeMange DukeKatie Esbrook Virginia TechAli Hausfeld DukeTealle Hunkus DukeKarla Johnson MiamiSarah Kirkwood VirginiaLindsey Laband Georgia TechMelissa Markowski Virginia TechDani Nyenhuis North CarolinaJennifer Randall Georgia TechBrittany Ross ClemsonKristen Rust Florida StateAndreza Santos Florida StateStephanie Smith MarylandUlrike Stegemann Georgia TechRachel Wagener Maryland