Nov. 5, 2010
BOSTON, MA - Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) recorded a double-double with a match-high 15 kills to go along with 10 digs and four block assists to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston volleyball team past Western Connecticut State University, 3-0, this evening at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston in the 2010 Little East Conference Tournament semifinals. The Beacons, who received 10 votes in the most recent Division III American Volleyball Coaches Association national poll, improve to 26-4 on the year and advance to the Little East Conference Championship match for the third consecutive season. The loss drops the Colonials to 27-9 overall on the year.
In the first set, UMass Boston cruised to the 25-9 victory behind a .556 hitting percentage to take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Beacons stayed hot in the second set, jumping out to a comfortable 17-7 advantage before the Colonials rattled off 10 consecutive points behind the service of senior setter Sammie Hathaway (Milford, CT) to even the frame at 17-17. The squads traded points and were deadlocked at 22-22 before sophomore setter Frana Burtness-Adams (Fairbanks, AK) closed out the set with three points on her service, giving the home squad a 2-0 lead in the match. The Colonials stayed close throughout the third set but could not match the Beacon's strong service game as freshman outside hitter Corrine Porter (Huntington Beach, CA) collected two aces in the set to seal the 25-20 score and bring home the 3-0 win for UMass Boston.
Porter finished the match with 11 kills at a .625 clip from the floor while also notching six digs and the two crucial aces. Junior middle hitter Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, MA) chipped in with six kills on ten swings while also adding four total blocks in the win. Burtness-Adams finished the match with 16 assists while junior setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) also contributed 16 assists in the win.
For Western Connecticut State, sophomore middle hitter Paxton Thornton (Sharon, CT) paced the Colonials by collecting a team-high seven kills while adding two solo blocks on the match. Junior libero Kelley Collins (Massapequa, NY) was busy throughout, collecting a match-high 23 digs while senior setter Sammie Hathaway (Milford, CT) dished out a game-high 20 assists for WCSU.
The Beacons will be in action in the Little East Conference Championship game tomorrow, Saturday, November 6 at 12:00 p.m. facing the winner of the other semifinal matchup featuring the second-seeded Keene State College Owls and the third-seeded Plymouth State University Panthers. UMass Boston defeated both teams during the regular season in straight sets and has faced off against both opponents in the past two LEC title games. The Beacons defeated Plymouth State, 3-1, in last's years championship and fell the Keene State, 3-2, in the 2008 title game.