August 29, 2008

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - The University of Massachusetts Boston volleyball team opened the 2008 season with a pair of losses on the first day of the Virginia Wesleyan Wingate Innvitational in Virginia Beach, VA tonight. The Beacons fell to host Virginia Wesleyan College, 26-24, 27-25, 25-19 and to North Central College, 25-19, 25-13, 25-10. UMass Boston is now 0-2 on the season.

The Beacons took Virginia Wesleyan to the limit in each of the first two sets, which are now played to 25 points, instead of 30 as in the past. UMass Boston took a 25-24 margin the second set when freshman setter Cassy Hanneman's (Denver, CO) dig went over the net and found an empty spot on the floor, but the Marlins responded with three straight points to take the set and a 2-0 lead in the match. Hanneman finished her first collegiate match with 21 assists to go with two kills on two attempts, eight digs and two blocks, including a solo. Junior transfer Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA) spiked for a team-high 10 kills to lead the Beacons' attack and added two service aces, five digs and a pair of blocks. Sophomore middle hitter Nina Sullivan (Cheshire, CT) contributed with six kills, while junior libero Megan MacAuley (Upland, CA) led the defensive effort with a team-best 18 digs to go with an ace.

McWhorter helped lead UMass Boston's offense in its match vs. North Central with five kills and an ace in two sets, before leaving the match with an injured hamstring. She also added four digs. Junior outside hitter Kate White (Plymouth, MA) also put down five kills for the match. Hanneman directed the offense with 14 assists and added a pair of kills, her first career ace, five digs and a block assist. Freshman middle hitter Ali McMinn (Plymouth, MA) made her collegiate debut and chipped in with four kills, while MacAuley and freshman defensive specialist Maria Della Croce (Quincy, MA) came up with six and five digs, respectively.

The Beacons will be in action again on Saturday, August 30, when they take on Johnson & Wales University at 10:00 a.m. and Gettysburg College at 12:00 p.m. in the second day of the Wingate Innvitational.