Virginia's Oakes Leads Nation In Blocks
Oct. 11, 2006
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – University of Virginia third-year middle Katie Oakes (Lorton, Va./Evangel Christian School) leads the nation in blocks per game with an average of 1.88 in the NCAA Division I volleyball statistics through matches played Oct. 8. Oakes has played in 59 games during 17 matches this season and has tallied 111 blocks for the NCAA Division I leading average of 1.88 per game.
Oakes has tallied 18 solo blocks and 93 block assists for a career-best 111 blocks this season. The 111 blocks are already a career high for Oakes. She totaled 108 blocks in 105 games in 2005 for an average of 1.03 per game, and set a new career high with her 109th block this season, which came against Wake Forest on Oct. 7.
“Our whole focus last spring was to improve our team’s defense with both our blocking and digging skills,” said head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton. “Katie worked extremely hard to improve her defense at the net and it’s paying off this fall.
“The very first point we scored this fall was a block by Katie in our match at Tennessee,” said Shelton. “I thought right then, “what a great omen for the rest of the season.” As our team has been hampered by injuries and illness since ACC play began, Katie has really stepped up her game and become a leader on this team.”
This season, Oakes has 13 matches with five or more blocks and nine contests with seven or more blocks. Oakes set a career high with 10 blocks against Boston College (Sept. 28) and in the next match against Maryland (Sept. 30) she tallied 11 blocks, including a career-high tying three solo stuffs, to establish another career best. She was selected as the ACC Volleyball Player of the Week on Oct. 2 for her performances against Boston College and Maryland.
With her average of 1.88 blocks per game, Oakes is on pace to shatter UVa’s single season blocks per game record which is held by Rilla DeLorier with 1.46 in 1988. In her career, Oakes is averaging 1.23 blocks per game, which is a Virginia school record. Entering the 2006 season, Alexis Geocaris (2001-04) held the mark with 1.18 blocks per game. Oakes began the season seventh all-time at UVa with an average of 0.97 blocks per game.
“As our team continues to work towards our first ever ACC championship Katie’s continued excellence at the net will be paramount to our success,” said Shelton.