Sept. 11, 2009
WALTHAM, MA - Senior outside hitter Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA) spiked for 34 kills and served for four aces to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston women's volleyball team to a pair of wins on the first day of the Brandeis Invitational tonight in Waltham, MA.
The Beacons defeated Tufts University in a hard-fought comeback, winning a grueling first set 28-26, before dropping the next two, 25-22 and 25-17, but rebounded to take the fourth set 25-18 and capped the match win with a 15-8 decision in the fifth set. UMass Boston continued its winning ways with its fifth straight victory in a 25-15, 25-15, 25-11 win over Gordon College. The Beacons improve to 5-2 on the season for their best start since 1999, when they began the campaign, 6-1. The win over Tufts, which fell to 0-1 after the match, was UMass Boston's first ever and first meeeting with the Jumbos since November 6, 1982, while the defeat of Gordon, which dropped it to 0-6, was also a first ever at the hands of the Beacons and the first meeting between the schools since September 29, 1990.
UMass Boston maintained the lead late in the first set vs. Tufts and eventually held on, but just couldn't get in sync in the second and third sets. The Beacons overcame an early deficit in the fourth set and took an 8-5 lead in the deciding set, before scoring seven of the next 10 points, including the final two on a pair of aces from freshman middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) to seal the win. McWhorter smashed a team-high 23 kills and hit .326 for the match to go with 11 digs and a pair of aces. Thompson put down 15 kills in addition to 14 digs, two blocks assists and a season-high four aces. Freshman middle hitter Alexa Sullivan (South Dennis, MA) registered and efficient .455 hitting mark with six kills in addition to a pair of block assists, three digs and two aces, while sophomore setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) set for 49 assists, scooped up 17 digs, recorded two total blocks, chipped in with three kills and fired an ace. Freshman libero Bethany Rossoll (Colorado Springs, CO) led the defense with 21 digs and served up an ace.
The Beacons took just three sets to defeat Gordon with Thompson swinging for 12 kills on a .400 hitting percentage and adding two assists, four digs and a block assist. McWhorter posted another double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs to go with two aces, while maintaining a .318 hitting mark. Sophomore middle hitter Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, MA) contributed with six kills, while Hanneman recorded 27 assists, five digs, a block and a kill. Rossoll got down for 13 digs to give her 34 for the night.
UMass Boston will be in action again tomorrow when it takes on a pair of NESCAC foes, playing Williams College at 11:00 a.m. and Trinity College (CT) at 1:00 p.m. on the campus of Brandeis University. Williams and Trinity also have yet to lose a match in the tournament.