DII Hawaii Hilo Downs No. 19 Volleyball in Season Opener
Sept. 3, 2011
HILO, Hawaii – Facing perhaps one of their biggest challenges all season, the 19th ranked University of Massachusetts Boston volleyball team, squared off against defending Division II PacWest champions the University of Hawaii-Hilo (3-0). The host Vulcans defeated the Beacons (0-1) by the final score of 3-0 Friday afternoon (Hawaii time) at University of Hawaii Hilo Gymnasium.
Set one was decided by the final score of 25-20. In set Hawaii Hilo barely hung on, as they escaped with a 25-21 win. The third and final set was perhaps the Vulcans most decisive one of the afternoon as they defeated UMass Boston 25-18.
As a team, UMass Boston was 38-of-106 (.172) in kills and was charged with 23 errors. The Vulcans connected on 39 of their 95 opportunities (.274) and were charged with only 13 errors in the match.
Leading the Beacons in kills was junior All-American Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA/Moorpark). The 6’2” middle hitter threw down a match-high 16 kills to lead all players. Senior Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO/Arapahoe) recorded 23 assists in the 2011 opener, while also coming up with a combined seven digs. Junior transfer Kayla Wilson (San Jose, CA/Presentation) wasted little time taking over as the Beacons defensive specialist. In her first match in the UMass Boston uniform Wilson tallied a match-high 11 digs.
For the Vulcans their offense was led by the 2011 Pac-West Player of the Year Hillary Hurly. The junior combined for 12 kills and had a .400 attack percentage to close out the match. Kirsten Sparnaaj finished second on the team with eight kills, followed by Olivia Lane and Rachel Thornquist who each had seven kills.
Setter Bryana Kekauoha combined for 31 assists, while Sparnaaj led the defense with nine digs.
Volleyball will face the Vulcans for the final time on Saturday at 4 p.m. EST. Fans can listen live by clicking here.