CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Seven members of the Virginia field hockey team were named all-regional selections, as announced Thursday by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). UVa's four first team honorees are the most in program history.
Juniors Rachel Jennings, Paige Selenski and Michelle Vittese, along with freshman Elly Buckley, were all selected to the All-South Region first team. Those honorees are now eligible for All-America honors.
Seniors Haley Carpenter and Kim Kastuk and sophomore Tara Puffenberger were named to the second team.
The seven selections tie the most in school history, and are the most since 1996 when Virginia had three on the first team and four on the second.
"Congratulations to all seven players honored by the All-America committee," Virginia head coach Michele Madison said. "The staff is certainly proud of the dedication the entire team demonstrates day in and day out. The awards are an extra bonus; I know they would certainly trade the individual awards for one big team award.
"This team is all about breaking records," Madison continued. "The committee has recognized the exceptional student-athletes who are in our program."
Buckley, a native of Perth, Australia, received her first career all-region honor after posting 19 goals and a team-best 10 assists in her freshman campaign. She also has five game-winning goals on the season.
It is also the first career regional honor for Jennings, Virginia's center back who hails from Macungie, Pa. This season, Jennings, a team co-captain, notched her first career goal and has also contributed two assists.
Selenski, a native of Shavertown, Pa., was selected to the first team for the third consecutive year. She leads Virginia in scoring this season with 24 goals, including seven game-winners. She also has eight assists, which ranks second on the team, for a team-best 56 points.
Vittese repeats on the all-region first team for the second straight season. The Cherry Hill, N.J., native was a second-team selection as a freshman in 2008. A midfielder who recently has been playing in the backfield, Vittese has recorded four goals and four assists on the year.
Carpenter, a team captain along with Jennings, received her first career honor after being named to the second team. A midfielder from Virginia Beach, Va., Carpenter has contributed three goals and six assists during her senior season.
Kastuk, who hails from Putnam Valley, N.Y., is a second-team honoree for the third consecutive year. She was named to the All-South region second team a year ago and the All-Northeast region second team as a sophomore at Boston University in 2008. Kastuk leads the ACC with a .798 save percentage and is second with a 1.42 goals against average.
Puffenberger, who hails from Dallas, Pa., receives her first career accolade this season. She is third on the team with 11 goals, recording double-digit scores in each of her first two seasons with the Cavaliers. She also has three game-winners to go along with six assists.
Virginia plays in its second consecutive NCAA semifinal at 2 p.m. Friday against No. 2 North Carolina. The game will be streamed live on NCAA.com.