SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Led by Trinity University Invitational MVP Eileen Shi (San Francisco, Calif.) volleyball closed out their 2016 regular season in impressive fashion as they defeated 16th ranked Trinity and Hardin-Simmons University Saturday afternoon on the final day of the two-day tournament.
UMass Boston 3, #16 Trinity University (TX) 1
UMass Boston 3, Hardin-Simmons University 2
UMass Boston (26-4)
HOW IT HAPPENED
In the huge upset of Trinity University the Beacons rebounded from a 25-17 loss, in-which they hit just -.094, in a big way. In the second set, the Beacons cruised a 25-15 win behind a .458 hitting percentage. They then took a 2-1 lead with a 25-16 win the third, and finally sealed the win in the fourth with a 25-22 victory. The Beacons hit .348 in the third, and then clinched the win with an impressive .361 hitting percentage.
The nightcap, saw the Beacons jump out to an early 2-0 following a 25-23 win in the first and a 25-10 win in the second. However the dreaded third set wall crashed into the Beacons hard as they dropped back-to-back sets by the finals of 25-22, 25-22. However, UMass rebounded big time in the fifth with a 16-5 win to secure a 3-1 record and a tie for first with Trinity.
For Shi, she finished with 13 kills and hit .375 in the huge win over Trinity. Julia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) led the match with 14 kills, while Colleen Koen (Centerville, Mass.) threw down 12 kills to complete the trio of hitters. Christina Elliott (Camas, Wash.) led the team with 21 assists, followed by Pepper Baker (Tallahassee, Fla.) who had 19 assists in the win. The Beacons were also strong at the base line as they gave-up just nine service errors all match, while tallying 13 aces. Shi along with Elizabeth Glavan (Edina, Minn.) combined for 22 digs respectively, while at the net Murphy finished with a game-high four blocks (1bs, 3ba).
In their win over Hardin-Simmons, four Beacons recorded 12 or more digs in the come-from-behind victory. Koen led the team with 16 kills, with Murphy finishing right behind her with 14 kills for the second straight match. Shi and Melanie Fyda (Park Ridge, Ill.) each scored 12 kills in the win, with Fyda also hitting .385.
Elliott continued her strong play with 33 assists to go along with three aces. Fyda posted a team-high 19 digs, with Glavan finishing with 16. Sarah Doyle (Glendale, Calif.) combined for four block assists and one solo block.
BY THE NUMBERS
- The Beacons 26 wins to close out the regular season, marks their second best finish ever, behind the 2009 team which won 27 matches before the conference tournament
- All-time UMass Boston is now 2-1 against Trinity University, with the win also marking their first over a top-25 team in the last three seasons
- UMass Boston is now 2-0 against Hardin-Simmons, with their first meeting coming 2010, the same year that the Beacons won their first-ever NCAA Regional title
- Elliott was named to the All-Tournament team
The Beacons return to action next Thursday when they host the semi-final round of the Little East Conference Tournament. Opponent and start time will be announced on Wednesday.