Kirsten Bates
Holly Young MVP
Judy Ray Academic Award

Pauline Acres
Ed Jentes Coaches' Award

Kate Uitti
2009 Tri-Captain
Sara Heldman
2009 Tri-Captain
Kelly Harte
2009 Tri-Captain

DURHAM, N.H. – Junior outside hitter Kirsten Bates (Calgary, Alberta) of the University of New Hampshire volleyball team was named the Holly Young Most Valuable Player at the 2008 team awards banquet at Whittemore Center on the UNH campus on Saturday night.

Bates, a two-time America East All-Conference selection, was a second-team America East All-Conference selection. She played in 104 games for the Wildcats this season and led the team with an impressive 345 kills, a total which registered as the fourth best in the conference. In total, she compiled a team-high 391 points, with an average of 3.76 points per game. Bates also notched 51 blocks and 19 service aces, which ranked third and second on the team, respectively.

Bates also earned the Judy Ray Academic Excellence Award, given annually to the Wildcat with the highest GPA on the team. Bates is a three-time member of the America East All-Academic team and a three-time America East Academic Honor Roll honoree.

Freshman Pauline Acres (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) was the recipient of the Ed Jentes Coaches’ Award. Acres ranked third on the team in kills as she posted 181 on the season, with an average of 1.97 per game. However, Acres wasn’t limited on the defensive end either as she tallied 104 digs paired with 25 blocks to round out a standout freshman campaign.

In addition to the awards, UNH introduced junior setter Kate Uitti (Pinckney, Mich.), sophomore setter Sara Heldman (Greenwood, Ind.) and junior defensive specialist Kelly Harte (East Rochester, N.H.) as tri-captains for the 2009 season. Uitti, who served as a tri-captain in 2007 and was the captain in 2008, was an America East All-Conference Second teamer in 2007 and led the squad with 645 assists last season. Uitti split time at setter with fellow captain Heldman. Heldman posted 342 assists and 115 digs in 2008. Closing out the group of tri-captain, Harte, who missed most of 2007 with a knee injury, played in 26 of 28 matches and registered 116 digs as a defensive specialist.
In addition, Tom Wilkins was awarded the Karl Van Asselt Assist Award for his work with volleyball media relations.

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