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Feb. 17, 2007

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Virginia fourth-year Emily Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) has been named the 2006 Virginia Sports Information Directors University Division State Volleyball Player of the Year. It marks the third consecutive year a Kirkwood has been selected the state’s best player, as third-year outside hitter Sarah Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) was tabbed the state’s player of the year in 2004 and 2005. Sarah Kirkwood was a second-team selection in 2006, while third-year middle Katie Oakes (Lorton, Va./Evangel Christian School) joined Emily Kirkwood on the first-team.

Emily Kirkwood has been UVa’s starting setter throughout her career and captured 2006 American Volleyball Coaches Association honorable mention All-America accolades. In addition to earning All-America honors for the first time, Kirkwood garnered first-team AVCA All-East Region accolades and was an All-ACC First Team honoree in 2006. She was second in the conference with 13.08 assists per game (1,347 assists in 103 games) and her average ranked 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 garners VaSID First Team All-State honors for the first time after earning second-team accolades in 2005. Oakes joined Emily Kirkwood in capturing AVCA honorable mention All-America honors and was also an AVCA All-East Region First Team selection. The 6-1 Oakes, who was a second-team All-ACC pick, finished 10th 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 are 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.

Rounding out UVa’s VaSID All-State selections is Sarah Kirkwood, who was named to the second-team after earning first-team accolades in 2004 and 2005. Kirkwood missed the first six ACC matches of the season with an illness. She was an honorable mention All-East Region pick and was also named to the All-ACC Second Team. Kirkwood was named a 2006 women’s volleyball first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American. Kirkwood, 6-0, totaled 334 kills (3.80 per game) and 262 digs (2.98 per game). She led the ACC with 56 service aces (0.64 per game) and ranked 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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