PAWTUCKET, R.I. - For a program that had historically struggled in the early years of Little East Conference Volleyball competition, the remarkable turnaround by the Beacons program has been nothing but historic. The Beacons women's volleyball program combined for eight LEC wins in between 1998 – 2004 and then the program hired an all-time great in Terry Condon to build the program to national recognition. The program turned it around quickly, posting a 51-4 LEC record since 2008, including its first ever NCAA Regional title in 2010, this week's LEC 30th Anniversary Top Moment.
The Beacons entered the 2010 season looking to repeat a historic 2009 season in which the Beacons won its first ever Little East Conference championship. The Beacons were voted as the LEC preseason favorites to repeat their 2009 success and Terry Condon and the Beacons exceeded the high expectations and beyond, posting a 30-5 (7-0 LEC) record and earned a trip to the NCAA Regional Tournament. The Beacons defeated Keene State 3-1 in the 2010 LEC Championship match for the league's automatic qualifier.
The Beacons had four Little East Conference First Team All-Conference performers on their 2010 squad, including team captain Cassy Hanneman, Corrine Porter, Molly Rattigan and the LEC Player of the Year and LEC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Shannon Thompson. Thompson would repeat as LEC Player of the Year and Tournament Most Outstanding Player for three consecutive seasons (2010-2012). Porter also won the LEC Rookie of the Year for her tremendous play during the 2010 campaign.
The Beacons won its first match in the NCAA East Regional without any problems as they shutout Maine Maritime Academy 3-0. In the second match, the Beacons defeated Middlebury 3-1 and advanced to the East Regional Championship to face the Tournament host Springfield College for an opportunity to reach the NCAA Championship Tournament.
Shannon Thompson was named the regional's Most Outstanding Player on her way to securing the Beacons' first ever NCAA Regional Championship as she crushed a match-high 25 kills to go along with her 18 digs. Porter also played well with a standout performance, tallying 13 kills, 12 digs and seven service aces. UMass Boston defeated Springfield College 3-2 (25-16, 18-25, 25-21, 25-27, 15-11) and the Beacons were on to the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first time in school history.
A week later, the Beacons traveled to St. Louis, MO to face the eventual NCAA Division III Champions, Calvin College. Calvin defeated the Beacons 3-1 (21-25, 10-25, 25-17, 17-25) in the first round to end their historic 2010 run. The UMass Boston Beacons did not waste any time returning to the NCAA Tournament again after winning back-to-back regional titles in 2012 and 2013.
Each week, beginning on September 16th, the conference office will recognize and celebrate the historical contributions of the league's student-athletes, coaches, and administrators along with releasing "Top-Moments" in LEC History and first-person video insights from current and former Athletic Directors throughout the entire 2016-17 academic year. The LEC will also incorporate 30th Anniversary giveaways for all student-athletes, administrators and fans.