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Oct. 12, 2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – After playing its last four matches on the road, the University of Virginia volleyball team begins a four-match homestand this weekend at Memorial Gym. The Cavaliers host Miami on Friday (Oct. 13) at 7:00 p.m. and Florida State on Saturday (Oct. 14) at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free of charge.

Virginia enters the weekend with a 12-5 overall record and a 5-3 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. UVa enters the weekend having lost its last two matches. Virginia fell to Duke 3-1 and Wake Forest 3-0 last weekend.

“We are looking forward to playing again at Mem and defending our home court,” said 12th-year head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton. “This week we have two very tough, athletic opponents in Miami and FSU. Both present their own challenges to our system and we’ll have to bring our `A’ game to defeat each one.”

Miami stands at 6-10 overall and 3-4 in the ACC. The The all-time series is tied at 2-2. Miami won the first two meetings in 2004, but UVa evened the series with a pair of victories last season. The Cavaliers won 3-1 in Coral Gables, Fla., on Oct. 14 and 3-0 in Charlottesville on Nov. 12.

Florida State is 12-4 overall and 6-1 in the ACC. The Seminoles, who are in second place in the conference, play at Virginia Tech Friday evening. Florida State has won its last two matches and six of the last seven.The Seminoles lead the all-time series 23-11. UVa swept the 2005 series from FSU, winning 3-1 in Tallahassee on Oct. 15 and 3-2 at Mem Gym on Nov. 11.

Third-year middle Katie Oakes (Lorton, Va./Evangel Christian School) leads the Cavaliers in four statistical categories – kills (201), attack percentage (.255), blocks (111) and points (274.5). Oakes leads the nation in blocks per game with an average of 1.88. First-year outside hitter Lauren Dickson (Austin, Texas) is second on the team with 183 kills. Fourth-year setter Emily Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) is averaging a team-best 12.73 assists per game and is second in service aces with 20.

As a team, UVa is 19th in the country in blocks per game with an average of 3.17. The Cavaliers are also tied for 28th in service aces with a mark of 2.22 per game.

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