Sept. 14, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA - University of Massachusetts Boston women's volleyball player Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA) has been named Little East Conference Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week for her play during the week of September 7-13, it was announced today by the conference. The honor marks the fifth time in her career that she has earned the award.
The senior enjoyed an outstanding week in 18 sets over five matches, averaging 4.33 kills, 2.94 digs, 0.39 aces and 0.44 total blocks per set, while owning an impressive .409 hitting percentage. McWhorter registered double-digit kill totals in every match and posted three doubles-doubles of kills and digs for the week. The outside hitter began the week with 13 kills and a .478 hitting mark to go with nine digs, an ace and a block assist in a 3-0 road victory at Simmons College on September 9. She really stepped up her play in the Brandeis Invitational on September 11-12 with 23 kills vs. Tufts University to fall just three short of matching her career-high and added 11 digs and a pair of aces in a 3-2 triumph. A tri-captain for the Beacons this season, she contributed with 11 kills, 10 digs and two more aces vs. Gordon College to send UMass Boston to the following day's semifinals vs. nationally-ranked number 25 Williams College. McWhorter responded to the challenge with 18 kills, while committing just one attack error for a .459 hitting percentage in addition to picking up a season-best 16 digs and five total blocks to go with a service ace. The 5'9" outside hitter came to play in the tournament's title match vs. Trinity College (CT) as well with a thunderous .524 hitting mark on 13 kills and just two attack errors, while scooping up seven digs, getting up for two blocks assists and firing an ace.
A Stockdale High School (CA) product, McWhorter has played in all 35 sets, while starting all nine matches for the Beacons this year. She ranks second in the Little East Conference with 3.91 kills and 4.54 points per set and places sixth in hitting with a .324 mark as well as ninth with 2.83 digs per set. The hitter stands second for UMass Boston with 14 aces for an average of 0.40 per set and her total of 12 blocks ties for the fourth most on the squad. She has been extremely consistent for the Beacons, recording 11 or more digs in every match, including six double-doubles, while serving up at least one ace in each of the last seven matches and hitting no lower than .167 in any contest this year. McWhorter has been a presence at the net as well with at least one block in six matches.
She played her first two seasons for NCAA Division I California State University Bakersfield, before transferring to UMass Boston last season. The senior was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-New England Region Honorable Mention Team following last campaign and became the first player in school history to earn LEC Offensive Player of the Year accolades. McWhorter was also named to the LEC All-Star First Team after breaking the Beacons standard for kills in a season with 493 and shattering the hitting percentage record with a mark of .364. For her career, she has played in 287 sets over 84 matches, while spiking for 934 kills and owning a .289 hitting mark. She split time as a hitter and setter her freshman season and has compiled 311 assists, 517 digs, 72 aces and 106 total blocks for her career. In just 42 career matches and 144 sets at UMass Boston, McWhorter already places third on the career kills list with 630, eighth with 43 block assists and is the all-time leader with a .355 hitting percentage.
The Beacons have won seven straight matches and are currently 7-2 on the season. The team was selected first in the LEC Pre-Season Coaches poll and will be in action again on Tuesday, September 15 when it travels to nearby Suffolk University for a 7:00 p.m. match.