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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia field hockey team was picked to finish first in the annual Atlantic Coast Conference preseason poll, voted on by the head coaches and released Thursday by the league office.

“It’s nice to know our colleagues respect what we are doing here at UVa,” head coach Michele Madison said. “It doesn’t really matter where you start – what matters is where you finish. We are focusing on our performance right now to be the best team we can be.”

Sophomores Paige Selenski and Michelle Vittese were two of 11 players named to the preseason all-conference team. Selenski, the 2008 ACC Freshman of the Year, was also named the national rookie of the year by in addition to being an All-ACC selection a year ago.

Selenski and Vittese were the only two sophomores named to the squad; the other 10 student-athletes were either juniors (three) or seniors (six).

Virginia received 23 of a possible 25 votes, including four first-place votes. North Carolina and defending champion Maryland both tallied 20 points and one first-place vote apiece to land in a tie for second. National runner-up Wake Forest is tabbed fourth (13 points) while Boston College (eight) and Duke (six) fall in at fifth and sixth place, respectively.

Selenski and Vittese are both coming off play at the 2009 BDO Junior World Cup where the Virginia duo, along with newcomer Tara Puffenberger, helped the United States to an eighth-place finish.

Virginia, which plays host to the ACC Tournament Nov. 5-8, compiled a record of 14-9 including a 2-3 mark in conference play last season. The Cavaliers reached the semifinals of the ACC Tournament and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

2009 Predicted Order of Finish
Team Points
1. Virginia (4) 23
2. Maryland (1) 20
3. North Carolina (1) 20
4. Wake Forest 13
5. Boston College 8
6. Duke 6
2009 Preseason All-ACC Team
Name Team
Lauren Miller, Sr., Back Duke
Katie O’Donnell, Jr., Forward Maryland
Emma Thomas, Sr., Back/Midfielder Maryland
Brianna Davies, Sr., Back Maryland
Katelyn Falgowski, Jr., Midfielder North Carolina
Illse Davids, Sr., Midfielder North Carolina
Jackie Kintzer, Jr., Goalkeeper North Carolina
Michelle Vittese, So., Midfielder Virginia
Paige Selenski, So., Midfielder/Forward Virginia
Raisa Schiller, Sr., Midfielder/Forward Wake Forest
Aileen Davis, Sr., Midfielder/Back Wake Forest

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