Aug. 16, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - With all eight first place votes, the University of Massachusetts Boston volleyball team was the unanimous pick to repeat as the Little East Conference champions in 2011. The Beacons became the first team in the 12-year history of the preseason coaches' poll to earn all eight first place votes, which was announced by the conference office.
On-top of their first place nods, the Beacons also pulled in a combined 64 points overall as well. Ranked second was the Owls of Keene State College with 56 points. Behind them in third was Plymouth State University with 45 points, and Western Connecticut State University in fourth with 43 points.
In fifth was the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with 29 points, followed by Eastern Connecticut State University with 25 points to earn a sixth place ranking. Rhode Island College earned 18 points to earn seventh overall, and the University of Southern Maine closed out this seasons' preseason poll with eight points.
Led by head coach Terry Condon, the Beacons are looking to build off of a record setting 2010 campaign. Last fall, Condon led her squad to a 30-5 record, which tied the program record for most wins in a season. Included in that impressive mark was a perfect 7-0 record in the Little East Conference, the program's second straight conference tournament title, the program's first NCAA Division III New England Regional championship, and the first-ever trip to the "Elite-8" of the national championship tournament.
The 2011 squad will welcome back an experienced core of players, which includes two-time AVCA All-American Shannon Thompson. Thompson, the 2010 Little East Offensive Player of the Year, proved to be one of the most dominant players on the hardwood last season. With a single-season record of 494 kills, Thompson looks to help her team back to the national stage for the third consecutive season.
Along with Corrine Porter and Molly Rattigan the Beacons will showcase three of the top hitters in Division III volleyball today. Porter and Rattigan, who were both first-team all-conference selections in 2010, recorded a total of 582 kills respectively. First-team all-conference setter Cassy Hanneman will be the foundation to the Beacons offense this season after tallying 742 assists last fall.
UMass Boston will begin their hunt for a national championship on September 2 when they fly to Hilo, Hawaii to take on the Vulcans of the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
2011 Little East Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll
|1||University of Massachusetts Boston||64 (8)|
|2||Keene State College||56|
|3||Plymouth State University||45|
|4||Western Connecticut State University||43|
|5||University of Massachusetts Dartmouth||29|
|6||Eastern Connecticut State University||25|
|7||Rhode Island College||18|
|8||University of Southern Maine||8|
( )- First Place Votes