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Aug. 24, 2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia volleyball team opens its 2006 season by competing in the Comcast Lady Vol Classic Aug. 25-26 at the Stokely Athletics Center in Knoxville, Tenn. The Cavaliers open the tournament by playing 11th-ranked and host Tennessee Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. UVa will face Miami (Ohio) at 10:00 a.m. Saturday and closes out the tournament with a 5:00 p.m. match against Centenary on Saturday.

“The team is ready to get the season started and we can’t think of a better way to kick it off than traveling down I-64 and taking on the Tennessee Vols,” said 12th-year head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton. “The players and staff have worked hard all preseason and we’re excited to see what we do well and what we need to work on in order to win the ACC.”

Friday’s match against Tennessee marks the first time in the 27-year history of the Virginia volleyball program that UVa opens a season against a ranked opponent. The Lady Vols are 11th in the CSTV/AVCA Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll. UVa received three votes in the poll and was one of 26 teams to appear in the “Others Receiving Votes” section. The Cavaliers are 2-2 all-time against Tennessee. The two teams last met in the 2002 season with the Lady Vols winning 3-1 at home.

UVa leads the all-time series with Centenary 1-0. The Cavaliers won the initial meeting 3-0 in the 2003 season. Virginia and Miami (Ohio) are meeting for the first time in volleyball.

All three matches can be followed live on the web via gametracker at In addition, Tennessee is providing live video for each match at

Nearly all UVa volleyball matches can also be followed on-line on Virginia’s web site via gametracker. Links for each match can be found at in the calendar section on the lower right corner of the front page.

The Cavaliers finished the 2005 season with a 20-11 overall record and a 15-7 mark in the ACC. UVa returns seven starters and 11 letterwinners in 2006.

Virginia was selected to finish second in the Atlantic Coast Conference according to the 2006 Preseason ACC Volleyball Poll, which is determined by a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches. Fourth-year setter Emily Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) and second-year outside hitter Sarah Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) were named to the 18-member ACC Volleyball Preseason All-ACC Team in early August.

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