June 20, 2006
Virginia student-athletes Ryan Burke (men's soccer), Sarah Kirkwood (volleyball), Nikki Lieb (women's lacrosse) and Leah Wigger (women's golf) were all honored by the Virginia Sports Information Directors' Association (VaSID) with inclusion on the VaSID Academic All-State Second Team, as announced by the organization today. The VaSID All-State winners were nominated by their school and voted upon by sports information directors at all member institutions. The Academic All-State recognition is the only honor handed out by the organization that includes athletes from all NCAA institutions in Division I, II, and III as well as NAIA schools. In order to be eligible, the student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve who has reached sophomore eligibility status and has a 3.20 or better grade point average. The First, Second, and Third teams consist of the top 11 athletes, including ties.
Kirkwood, a second-year from Tampa FL, is taking an Interdisciplinary - Cognitive Studies major. She earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American Second Team honors as well as 2005 AVCA Honorable Mention All-American honors. A member of the All-ACC First team, Kirkwood led UVa in kills per game and service aces per game; ranked 19th in the nation in service aces/game (69 aces in 120 games played). In 2005 Kirkwood had 531 kills and became first sophomore in ACC history to have over 1000 career kills; she hit .296 overall and .303 in ACC play.
Burke, a third year from Cumberland Foreside, ME, is a French Language and Literature major who earned Second team All-South Regional honors en route to leading the Cavaliers to the third round of NCAA Tournament. As UVa's starting goalie, he played every minute of the 2006 season in the cage (1883:33 min) and made 65 saves for a 72.2 save percentage and a 1.19 goals-allowed average.
Lieb, a fourth-year from Villanova, PA, is a psychology major with a dual concentration in the Elementary Education. The insidelacrosse.com National Defensive Midfielder of the Year, Lieb led the Cavaliers with 43 draw controls and was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy, presented to the top varsity collegiate lacrosse player in the nation. Lieb, one of the team captains for the 2006 season, earned her third ACC All-Tournament honor as she helped the Cavaliers win the 2006 ACC Tournament. She was also a consensus first-team All-American, the third consecutive year she was so honored. She finished her career ranked second all-time in draw controls at Virginia.
Wigger, a third-year from Louisville, KY, is a psychology major who earned All-American honors in 2006 from the ACGA. She led the Cavaliers in 2006 with a 73.23 scoring average and carded her second consecutive top-10 finish at the NCAA Championships, taking ninth in 2006 after earning runner-up honors as a second-year in 2005. A three-time All-ACC honoree, Wigger carded a Virginia-best round of 69 (-3) at the NCAA East Regional in May.