Oct. 24, 2009
BOSTON, MA - Senior outside hitter Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA) spiked for 27 kills and owned a robust .522 hitting percentage for the day to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston volleyball team in a sweep of a pair of matches in a Little East Conference tri-match, defeating visiting University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 25-10, 25-9, 25-15, and Plymouth State University, 25-16, 25-19, 25-22, today at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston.
The Beacons, who are ranked second in the latest NCAA Division III New England Women's Volleyball poll, win their 11th straight contest and have won 24 of their last 26 matches to improve to 24-4 overall and a perfect 5-0 in LEC play. UMass Boston is off to its best start in school history. Plymouth State, which is ranked 11th in the latest NCAA Division III New England Women's Volleyball Association poll, defeated UMass Dartmouth, 27-25, 25-16, 25-12, in the middle match and is now 25-4 and 6-1, while the Corsairs fall to 17-8 and 0-5.
UMass Boston raced out to a 16-5 lead in the first set over UMass Dartmouth, before putting the set away. The Beacons scored 21 of the first 25 points of set two for a 21-4 lead, before taking a 2-0 lead in the match. The Corsairs owned an early 7-5 margin in the third set, before UMass Boston scored four straight points on McWhorter's serve. The teams were later tied at 11-11, but that would be as close as UMass Dartmouth would come as the Beacons went on a 6-1 run to take a 17-12 advantage, en-route to taking the set and match.
Freshman middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) spiked for 11 kills and made just one error for a torrid .625 hitting percentage for UMass Boston, while firing six aces and added two digs and four total blocks, including a pair of solos. McWhorter finished with eight kills on an impressive .467 hitting mark to go with five aces, five digs and a block assist, while sophomore middle hitter Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, MA) put down four kills and added two block assists. Sophomore setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) directed the offense with 22 assists in addition to a pair of kills and five digs and freshman libero Bethany Rossoll (Colorado Springs, CO) topped the team with six digs.
Senior middle hitter Amanda Langfield (Somerset, MA), junior outside hitter Eleni Tsaparakis (Norwalk, CT) and sophomore middle hitter Cami Ascher (Natick, MA) all swung for five kills to lead the Corsairs. Ascher added a team-high two aces. Freshman setter Jessica Goncalves (New Bedford, MA) put up 13 assists and added a kill, while sophomore libero Shannon Brodie (Chelmsford, MA) led the defense with three digs.
The Beacons owned a 14-7 advantage in the first set over Plymouth State, but the Panthers later closed to within 19-16, before UMass Boston closed out the frame with six straight points on junior defensive specialist Michelle Cawley's (Canton, MA) serve. The Beacons took a seemingly commanding 16-7 advantage in the second set, only to see Plymouth State rip off seven straight points on senior Kathy Frankowski's (Farmington, CT) serve. UMass Boston scored eight of the final 12 points to take the set. The teams were tied at 13-13 in the third set, before the Beacons scored six straight points on Thompson's serve to take a 19-13 lead, but the Panthers later knotted the stanza at 22-22. UMass Boston scored the final three points to win the match in the battle of the final two unbeaten conference teams.
McWhorter led the Beacons with a match-high 19 kills and a .548 hitting mark to go with 12 digs for her 13th double-double of the year and added an ace and a block assist. Thompson smashed 12 kills and added four aces, eight digs and three total blocks, while Hanneman racked up 40 assists to go with four aces, four digs and a block assist. Freshman middle hitter Alexa Sullivan (South Dennis, MA) and Rattigan each chipped in with six kills and Rossoll scooped up 12 digs.
Senior middle hitter Eliza Badeau (Foster, RI) led Plymouth State with 10 kills on a .304 hitting percentage in addition to an ace and three total blocks. Senior outside hitter Megan Elliott (West Haven, CT) contributed with four kills and a dig, while senior setter Brianna Kleckner (Terryville, CT) set for 20 assists and added two aces and two digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Alex Avery (Milton, NH) got down for a match-high 16 digs to anchor the defense.
Badeau dominated vs. UMass Dartmouth with 18 kills and a .500 hitting clip to go with three digs and a pair of total blocks, while senior middle hitter Carly Newton (Centerville, MA) put down eight kills and added two blocks solos and a dig. Kleckner registered 36 assists, fired five aces, scooped up seven digs and got up for two block solos and Avery recorded a match-high 26 digs.
UMass Boston will be in action again on Tuesday, October 27 when it hosts Emerson College at 6:00 p.m., while the Panthers travel to Salem, MA to take on Salem State College at 6:00 p.m. on the same night. The Corsairs host Rivier College on October 29 at 7:00 p.m.