Oct. 31, 2009
DANBURY, CT - Senior outside hitter Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA) spiked for 31 kills and hit a torrid .617 for the day to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston volleyball team to a Little East Conference sweep today at Feldman Arena on the campus of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT. The Beacons defeated Rhode Island College, 25-8, 25-12, 25-11, before capping the afternoon with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-17 victory over host Western Connecticut State University.
UMass Boston, which is ranked second in the latest NCAA Division III New England Region Women's Volleyball Poll wins its school-record 14th straight match and 27 of its last 29 to improve to 27-4 overall, including a perfect 7-0 in LEC play to complete the regular season with its first-ever Little East Conference regular-season title. Western Connecticut, which is ranked 14th in the latest NCAA Division III New England Women's Volleyball Association poll, defeated Rhode Island College, 25-22, 28-26, 20-25, 25-22, to begin the day and are now 25-7 and 5-2, while Rhode Island College stands at 17-18 and 3-4. The Beacons will receive a bye in the Little East Conference Tournament Quarterfinals as the number one seed and will host the tournament Semifinals and Championship game at the Clark Athletic Center. UMass Boston will be in action again on Friday, November 6 at 4:00 p.m. when it takes on the winner of the \#5 Rhode Island College and \#4 Keene State College match, which will take place on November 3 in Keene, NH.
McWhorter was brilliant for the Beacons vs. Rhode Island College with 17 kills in just 21 attempts, without committing an error for an astounding .810 hitting percentage, while adding an ace, five digs and two total blocks. Freshman middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) put down eight kills on a .417 hitting mark, while scooping up six digs, posting four total blocks and firing an ace. Senior outside hitter Kate White (Plymouth, MA) contributed with seven kills and a .385 hitting clip to go with a dig and a block assist, while sophomore setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) controlled the action with 27 assists and two kills on as many attempts. Freshman libero Bethany Rossoll (Colorado Springs, CO) anchored the defense with eight digs and classmate Frana Burtness-Adams (Fairbanks, AK) came off the bench to serve up a career-best six aces in addition to five assists and a kill.
Freshman Breanna Boyer (Central Falls, RI) led the Anchorwomen with 17 kills and added seven digs, while junior Tess Heidel (Warwick, RI) spiked for 12 kills, got down for 13 digs and registered six total blocks. Senior Sharon Corriveau (Coventry, RI) chipped in with seven kill and seven digs, while freshman Jessica Ho (Providence, RI) recorded 24 assists.
In the opening set vs. Western Connecticut State, UMass Boston raced out to a 12-5 advantage, but the Colonials drew within two points at 19-17. UMass Boston ran off eight of the next 10 points for the victory. Set two was much tighter throughout. After falling behind, 4-1, WestConn took its first lead at 6-5, then again at 12-11. The Beacons rattled off eight of the next nine points and built their biggest lead of the set, 20-12. The Colonials tied the set at 23-23 on a block by senior Becca Stein (Kingston, NY) in the middle, but UMass Boston converted the next two points for the win. The finale went quickly as the Beacons built an eight-point bulge at 20-12 and never looked back.
McWhorter put down a match-high 14 kills on a .462 hitting mark and added nine digs and a pair of block assists for the Beacons, while Thompson swung for nine kills, fired four aces, picked up nine digs and posted three total blocks. Freshman middle hitter Alexa Sullivan (South Dennis, MA) was nearly perfect with eight kills in 10 attempts for a blistering .800 clip to go with three total blocks, while sophomore middle hitter Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, MA) spiked for seven kills on a .500 hitting percentage in addition to a dig and three total blocks. Hanneman was perfect again with two kills in as many attempts and directed the action with 34 assists to go with five digs and a pair of block assists. Rossoll anchored the defense with 16 digs.
Sophomore Kelley Collins (Massapequa, NY) had 24 digs and four aces to pace WestConn. Stein led the Colonials with 11 kills while freshman Paxton Thornton (Sharon, CT) was credited with nine kills. Junior Sammie Hathaway (Milford, CT) returned to the starting line-up and finished with 30 assists.