Sept. 24, 2009
BOSTON, MA - Freshman middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) racked up 21 points on 16 kills, two aces, two block solos and a pair of block assists to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston women's volleyball team over visiting Johnson & Wales University, 25-18, 25-22, 25-8, tonight at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston in Boston, MA.
The Beacons win their 11th straight contest to improve to 11-2 and match the best start in school history, which was also accomplished in 1999. UMass Boston is currently ranked first in the latest NCAA Division III New England Women's Volleyball Association Poll. The Wildcats fall to 6-9 on the season.
The teams were tied at 9-9 in the first set, before UMass Boston reeled off six straight points during Thompson's serve and went on to win the opening game. Johnson & Wales owned a 14-12 margin in the second set, but the Beacons came back during senior outside hitter Kate McWhorter's (Bakersfield, CA) serve with four straight points to take a 16-14. UMass Boston blitzed the Wildcats with an early 7-2 lead in the third set and later took a 22-6 advantage, including six straight points during freshman middle hitter Alexa Sullivan's (South Dennis, MA) serve.
Thompson owned a .481 hitting mark, which contributed to a team percentage of .476 for the Beacons. McWhorter was extremely efficient with a blazing .688 hitting percentage and spiked for 11 kills in 16 attempts without committing an error and added a pair of aces and six digs. Senior outside hitter Kate White (Plymouth, MA) tied the school-record by playing in her 105th career match to stand even with Gina Torres (1998-2001). White also contributed with eight kills and a .375 hitting mark, while sophomore setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) turned in another outstanding performance with 38 assists to go with two kills in four attempts, an ace, a block assist and eight digs. Freshman libero Bethany Rossoll (Colorado Springs, CO) and junior defensive specialist Michelle Cawley (Canton, MA) were stalwarts for the defense with eight digs apiece, while Cawley added a service ace.
Senior outside hitter Catherine Bravo (Toa Baja, Puerto Rico) led Johnson & Wales with nine kills and a .444 hitting percentage to go with three digs and a block solo, while sophomore middle hitter Audrey Warren (Haverhill, MA) chipped in with six kills. Freshman outside hitter Karly Haack (Selkirk, NY) put down five kills, fired an ace and got down for a dig, while senior outside hitter Ashley Constantino (Marlton, NJ) led the defensive effort with eight digs and added two kills and an ace.
UMass Boston will be in action again on Saturday, September 26 when it travels to Willimantic, CT for its first Little East Conference action of the season with a 12:00 p.m. match vs. Keene State College and 4:00 p.m. contest vs. host Eastern Connecticut State University. The Wildcats will play again on September 26 when they travel to Northfield, VT to take on host Norwich University and Emerson College for a tri-match beginning at 12:00 p.m.