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Nov. 9, 2005

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – University of Virginia head softball coach Karen Johns has announced the signing of three players to national letters of intent with Virginia during the early signing period. The three student-athletes who will enroll at Virginia for the 2006-07 academic year are: catcher Kelly Haller (Leesburg, Va./Heritage); pitcher/outfielder Nicole Koren (Warminster, Pa./William Tennent); and third/first baseman Abby Snyder (Cantonment, Fla./Tate).

Haller, a 5-9 catcher from Leesburg, Va., is a three-year starting catcher for Heritage High School. She serves as a captain of the softball team and has been selected as the team MVP all three seasons. Haller, who also plays third base, is a three-time first-team All-Dulles District pick as well a three-time Washington Post All-Extra First Team selection. She was a second-team Washington Post All-Met pick in 2005 after earning honorable mention accolades in 2004. The second-team All-Region II honoree hit .528 with six doubles, four triples, and four home runs with 18 RBI and 17 run scored in 2005. An excellent athlete, Haller is also a four-year starter on Heritage’s volleyball team and was a two-year starter in basketball. This past summer, Haller helped lead the Virginia Shamrocks, who are coached by Tommy Orndorff, to the 2005 ASA Gold National Championship. She has played for the Virginia Shamrocks for six years.

Haller has also excelled in the classroom. She is a two-time recipient of Heritage’s All-Academic Award for maintaining a 3.5 or better GPA while participating in a varsity sport. She is currently serving as a student member of the Loudoun County School Board as well as the president of the Student Council Association.

“Kelly is a very bright and articulate student-athlete,” said Johns. “Her academic excellence matches her outstanding ability on the field. She will be a very strong contributor to our offense with her ability to hit for power. We are proud to have one of Virginia’s best softball players signing with us.”

Koren is a 5-11 pitcher/outfielder from Warminster, Pa. She is a three-year starter for the William Tennent High School softball team. Koren captured All-Suburban One League Continental Conference First Team honors in 2005 and was a first-team All-Intelligencer selection. She hit .426 as a junior with six doubles, three triples, two home runs, 17 RBI and 17 runs scored. In 2004, she was an All-League honorable mention pick after earning second-team All-Intelligencer accolades as a freshman in 2003. Koren has also earned a pair of varsity letters in swimming. Koren plays travel softball with the Tuff-n-Tuffer 18U Gold – TNT, who are coached by Roy Godard. Her team qualified for the 2005 Gold Nationals in Salinas, Calif., by going undefeated at ASA Gold Sectors.

Koren has earned Distinguished Honors during her first three years of high school.

“Nicole is a very strong and powerful pitcher and an excellent overall athlete,” Johns said. “Nicole’s athleticism combined with her academic achievements makes her a perfect fit for our program.”

Snyder is a 5-11 third baseman/first baseman from Cantonment, Fla. She is a three-year starter for Tate High School. As a junior in 2005, Snyder captured first-team News Journal All-Area honors. She hit .303 with five doubles, two triples and two home runs last season. As a sophomore in 2004, Snyder was a News Journal All-Area honorable mention selection. She has twice received the Fellowship of Christian Athletes “Extra Inning Award”. Snyder currently plays ASA travel softball with the Florida High Intensity, who are coached by Doug Collins. Florida High Intensity participated in the 2005 18U Gold Nationals in Salinas, Calif. Previously, she played for the Pensacola Diamond Aces, who won a pair of Alabama State titles while Snyder was a member of the team.

Snyder also excels in the classroom while taking honors courses. Snyder, who is listed in Who’s Who Among High School Students, has received awards from Tate for Outstanding Achievement in Algebra, Science & Business Technology, and World History. She is a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the National Society of High School Scholars.

“Abby is a student-athlete we have watched play for several years,” noted Johns. “Her versatility was something that attracted us to her. She is a very strong student who has the discipline and work ethic to help our team achieve our goal of winning an ACC Championship.”

“All three athletes are serious students and are willing to come and work hard to help our team go out and beat the best teams in the country,” said Johns. “We are very proud to have them join our Virginia family. My assistant coaches, Carie Dever-Boaz and Iyhia McMichael, deserve a tremendous amount of credit for helping us sign a wonderful class.”

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