Sept. 12, 2009
WALTHAM, MA - Senior outside hitter Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA) continued her excellent play with 31 kills and a .483 hitting percentage to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston women's volleyball team to the Brandeis Invitational Championship with victories over nationally-ranked Williams College and Trinity College (CT) today in Waltham, MA on the campus of Brandeis University.
The Beacons dropped the first set to Williams College, 25-20, but would not lose again on the afternoon. UMass Boston took the final three sets, 25-21, 25-13, 25-18, for its first-ever win over Williams, which is ranked 25th in the nation in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, in the schools' first meeting since September 25, 1982. The Beacons won the championship match in straight sets over Trinity, 25-14, 28-26, 25-18 for their first-ever triumph over the Bantams in the first meeting between the teams since October 1, 1994. UMass Boston has won seven straight matches to improve to 7-2 on the year for their best start since 1999 when the team began the season 8-1.
The Beacons faced a one-set deficit, but took an 18-13 lead in the second set against Williams before holding on for the 25-21 decision. UMass Boston jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the third set and cruised to a 25-13 win, before taking a 19-11 advantage in the fourth set and eventually winning, 25-18, to take the match. UMass Boston opened up a 16-9 lead in the first set vs. Trinity, before winning the set, 25-14 and looked to take the second set with ease, thanks to a 17-11 lead, but the Bantams rallied to score 10 of the next 14 points to tie the set at 21-21. Trinity owned a 24-23 edge later in the set, but a missed serve knotted the score at 24-24 and the Beacons were able to pull out the set, 28-26. UMass Boston took a 20-13 advantage in the final set, before winning the match with a 25-18 score.
McWhorter, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, committed just one attack error vs. Williams, while spiking for 18 kills for a .459 hitting mark and added 16 digs, five total blocks and an ace. Freshman middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) swung for 14 kills on a .314 hitting mark, while picking up the double-double with 11 digs in addition to serving up three aces and posting two blocks. Sophomore setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) directed the offense with 44 assists and chipped in with seven digs, while freshman libero Bethany Rossoll (Colorado Springs, CO) came up with 13 digs.
McWhorter smashed 13 more kills and hit an explosive .524 to go with seven digs, two blocks and an assist vs. Trinity, while Thompson registered a .421 hitting mark with 10 kills and got down for eight digs and fired an ace. Senior outside hitter Kate White (Plymouth, MA) put down 10 kills on a .375 hitting percentage and freshman middle hitter Alexa Sullivan (South Dennis, MA) recorded a torrid .750 hitting mark with seven kills in eight attempts, while making just one error. She also registered three digs, an ace and a block assist. Hanneman was outstanding with 41 assists, two kills in three attempts and a pair of digs and Rossoll scooped up 15 digs and served up an ace.
UMass Boston will be in action again on Tuesday, September 15 when they travel to nearby Suffolk University for a 7:00 p.m. match.