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CHARLOTTESVILLE Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan announced the signing of Chelsea Shine, Ariana Moorer, Britny Edwards and Whitny Edwards to National Letters of Intent to play for the Cavaliers beginning in 2008. Collectively, the class was tabbed No. 10 by the Blue Star Report.

“We are very pleased and proud of our recruiting class this year,” Ryan said. “It is a very talented and skilled group, and each player brings a unique style and fills a need on our team.”

The Cavaliers’ class was also rated in the Top 25 by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. “Virginia addressed their needs with two mobile frontcourt players that are on the rise and two backcourt performers that offer size at position and versatility,” said Dan Olson, of the Report.

Chelsea Shine (Berwyn, Pa. / Conestoga HS), a 6-2 forward, is ranked No. 80 nationally and as the No. 18-ranked forward by Playing for the perennial powerhouse Philadelphia Belles AAU program, her team finished in the top five the last two years at the national tournament and Shine was named an AAU All-American in each of those years.

“Chelsea will be a great addition to Virginia. She is versatile, athletic and hard-working. She’s somebody who knows what her weaknesses are, and works to make them strengths,” said Kevin Lynch of the Philadelphia Belles.

For Conestoga High School, Shine averaged 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds en route to all-state and all-county honors.

“Chelsea is a long, athletic post player that also has the ability to step out to the 3-point line,” Ryan said. “She is a versatile, combination forward with tremendous heart. Her basketball intelligence will be an asset to our team.”

A 5-7 guard out of Woodbridge, Va., Ariana Moorer averaged 21.8 points per game for C.D. Hylton High School and is a two-time all-state selection. In 2007, she was named to The Washington Post’s All-Met team as well as being honored as the Cardinal District’s Player of the Year and All-Northwest Region. A standout for Boo Williams, Moorer led the storied program to its first-ever AAU title over the summer and was named an AAU All-American.

“Ari is a strong, tough point guard with great court vision,” Ryan said. “She is an exceptional passer and ball handler who can also score the basketball. She will be needed to fill the void Sharne Zoll will leave by graduating next year.”

Britny and Whitny Edwards, fraternal twin sisters out of Charlotte, N.C. (Providence Day School), round out Virginia’s class. The second set of twins to play under Ryan following Heather and Heidi Burge from 1990-93, the Edwards join current sisters Jayna and Kelly Hartig on the Cavalier roster.

Britny was named a NCISAA All-State and All-Conference selection, in addition to receiving an invitation to the Nike Skills Academy.

“Britny is a long, versatile combination forward with face-up capabilities,” Ryan said. “We’re looking forward to her evolving into a multi-faceted, inside-outside player. Her versatility is a strength as she is also a capable scorer and rebounder.”

Whitny, also a NCISAA All-State and All-Conference selection, also garnered All-Charlotte Observer honors in 2007. She was also listed as the fourth-ranked shooter in the state of North Carolina and earned an invitation to the Nike Skills Academy.

“Whitny is a combination wing player with a soft, deep-range shooting touch,” Ryan said. “She will provide us with a deep threat at the guard position in addition to being a tough defender on the ball.”

The Edwards’ sisters played for Tennessee Flight at the AAU level and their father is former NBA star Blue Edwards.

The Cavaliers continue their 2007-08 season with a 2 p.m. contest against Richmond on Sunday.

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