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Dec. 6, 2006

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Virginia volleyball players Emily Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) and Katie Oakes (Lorton, Va./Evangel Christian School) have been named to the 12-player American Volleyball Coaches Association All-East Region First Team as announced Wednesday (Dec. 6) by the AVCA. Sarah Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) has been tabbed an honorable Mention All-East Region performer. With their All-East Region selection, all three players are eligible for AVCA All-America honors, which will be announced on Dec. 13.

Both Emily Kirkwood and Oakes capture AVCA All-East Region honors for the first time, while Sarah Kirkwood is the first UVa volleyball player to earn All-Region honors three times. She was also an honorable mention selection in 2004 and was first-team pick in 2005.

Emily Kirkwood, a fourth-year has been UVa’s starting setter throughout her career and captured All-ACC First Team honors in 2006. She was second in the conference with 13.08 assists per game (1,347 assists in 103 games) and her average ranks 26th among all Division I players. In 2006, she started the 29 matches she played in and was third on the team with 39 services aces. The 5-9 Kirkwood concludes her career as Virginia’s all-time service aces leader with 167 (two ahead of her younger sister, Sarah). She ranks second all-time at UVa and seventh in ACC history with 5,424 assists.

Oakes, a third-year middle, joined Emily Kirkwood in capturing All-ACC honors in 2006 as she was a second-team selection. The 6-1 Oakes is currently 11th in the nation in blocks per game with an average of 1.61. She totaled a career-best 163 blocks, the fifth highest single season total in school history. Her 135 block assists is the third-highest total in school history, just eight shy of the school record. Oakes also tallied a career-best 339 kills (3.36 per game) and led UVa with 443.5 total points. She started 23 of the 29 matches she appeared in and played in 101 games.

Sarah Kirkwood, a third-year outside hitter, is one of six players named honorable mention All-East Region. The third-year outside hitter was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2006. She was recently named a 2006 women’s volleyball first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American. Kirkwood, 6-0, was a first-team All-ACC pick in 2005 and a second-team selection as a freshman in 2004. Kirkwood, who missed the first six ACC matches of the 2006 season due to illness, totaled 334 kills (3.80 per game) and 262 digs (2.98 per game). She led all ACC players with 56 service aces (0.64 per game) and ranks 13th among all Division I players in aces per game. Kirkwood started 25 matches on the season and played in 88 games.

Virginia finished the season with a 23-8 overall record and placed second in the ACC with a 16-6 mark. UVa set a school record with its 16 conference victories.

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