WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – For the second straight year UMass Boston volleyball (24-15) has overcome challenge after challenge to once again hoist the maple and bronze as the Beacons hoisted the 2013 NCAA Division III New England Regional title following a 3-1 win over the host Ephs of Williams College Sunday afternoon at Chandler Gymnasium.
With the victory the Beacons earned their third regional title in the last four seasons and successfully defending their 2012 crown, which they won in dramatic fashion over Bowdoin College.
The Beacons will now travel to Holland, Michigan where they will face Calvin College in the first round of the NCAA National Tournament. The match is scheduled for Thursday afternoon on the campus of Hope College at the DeVos Field House. An official start time will be announced Monday morning on NCAA.com.
Morrison was dominant throughout Sunday's championship as she scored 10 kills for a .318 hitting percentage. Glavan was unstoppable in the back row totaling 27 of UMB's 80 digs. Perhaps the most clutch performance came from senior hitter Amber Clemons (Simi Valley, Calif.) who came off the bench to score a match-high 14 kills and finished with a match-high .667 hitting percentage. She was also solid defenisively as she came-up with one huge block assists while also tallying four digs.
At Left: Elizabeth Glavan (left) was named the NCAA Regional Championship Tournament Most Outstanding Player and Kirsten Morrison (right) was named to the All-Tournament team
Freshman Julia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) and senior Corrine Porter (Huntington Beach, Calif.) combined for 22 kills respectively, while Porter totaled 14 digs to once again produce strong double-double. Murphy posted four block assists and three digs in her first regional championship. Senior Megan Pollock (Wilton, Calif.) tallied 41 assists, and seven digs to anchor the Beacons offense to a .217 hitting percentage.
For the first time all-tournament the Beacons started off the match behind on the scoreboard as the Ephs earned a 25-19 win in the first game. UMB struggled in the opening frame as the nerves prevented them from finding any rhythm. In the second the Beacons rallied in a big way to take a 25-16 win behind a strong offensive performance as they hit .300 in the win.
After a 10-minute break, the two teams returned to the floor with the Beacons firing on all cylinders as they powered past the Ephs behind a match-high .378 hitting percentage. The final game was a back-and-forth battle in the early on-goings, but around the midway point of the game, the Beacons began to pull away. Williams tried to stay in the game but with an injury to their top hitter took the wind out of the Ephs sails. With the Beacons scoring point after point and with the championship within their reach, Williams made one last push, but it was too little too late as the Beacons rushed the court with their 25-16 victory.
For Williams Tori Jasuta recorded a team-high nine kills. Ryan Farley posted 29 assists and 12 digs. Mandy Schott led the defense with 13 digs, one solo block, and four block assists. Katherine Lane posted a match-high six block assists.
For ticket information about this year's national championship tournament go to http://athletics.hope.edu/information/NCAAVB13/VBMain13.