Kirsten Bates
Kate Uitti

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. – Seniors Kirsten Bates (Calgary, Alberta) and Kate Uitti (Pinckney, Mich.) of the University of New Hampshire volleyball team were among a group of eight student-athletes named to the 2009 America East Volleyball All-Academic Team as announced by the league office Thursday, December 10. These student athletes, who excel both academically as well as athletically, represent the best of the America East Conference.

Bates, a three-time America East All-Conference selection, ranks eighth in the America East in kills (3.08 kps), eighth in digs (3.00 dps) and seventh in points (3.49 pps). Bates, a 3.54 communications major, returned this season just months after knee surgery and was a key part to UNH's second-half run to the postseason. Bates also became just the sixth player in UNH history to record 1,000 career assists.

Uitti, a three-time Wildcat captain, finished her career second on the all-time assists list at UNH with over 3,400 helpers. A two-time America East All-Conference selection, Uitti is a 3.50 communications major. She was a two-time America East Setter of the Week in 2009 and finished in the top 10 in America East in several categories.

The All-Academic squads are a product of the June 2005 Athletics Directors meeting where faculty representatives and athletics directors from each of the conference’s nine member institutions decided to honor the league’s top student-athletes, who excel equally in the classroom as they do on the playing field.

For the second straight year, America East will select the All-Academic teams using CoSIDA’s Academic All-America program as a model. Student-athletes worthy of consideration are nominated by member sports information directors and voted on by a committee of SIDs, academic advisors and faculty representatives from all nine member institutions.

All-Academic squads for team sports are based on the maximum number of athletes that participate in a contest at one time (e.g., 7 on the court in volleyball) but can be more if there is a tie in voting. To be nominated for the distinction, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve for their team and participate in at least 50 percent of their team’s games or competitions. In the classroom, student-athletes must have a 3.30 GPA and have completed at least one calendar year at their institution. Freshmen are not eligible for consideration.

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