Sept. 15, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - The University of Massachusetts Boston women's volleyball team received nine votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Poll this week.

The Beacons appearance in the "Others receiving votes" portion of the poll marks the first time UMass Boston volleyball has ever been recognized in such a poll.

The Beacons have currently won seven straight matches to compile a 7-2 record on the season, while recording some impressive victories in the young season. UMass Boston's only losses are to Pomona-Pitzer College and University of La Verne, which is ranked 18th in this week's AVCA National Poll and was ranked number three at the time the Beacons took them on. UMass Boston defeated nationally-ranked number 25 Williams College on September 12 in four sets, 20-25, 25-21, 25-13, 25-18, to advance to the championship game of the Brandeis Invitational, where it defeated Trinity College (CT) in three sets, 25-14, 28-26, 25-18. The Beacons have defeated six schools this season they had never previously beaten, including 2008 NCAA Tournament participant Tufts University, which posted a 27-4 mark last year.

UMass Boston is led by senior outside hitter Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA), who was named to the AVCA New England All-Region Honorable Mention team last year, following a season that saw her selected as the Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Year. She has already been named the LEC Player of the Week this year and ranks second in the league with 3.91 kills per set with a .324 hitting percentage to place sixth among conference leaders. Freshman middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) has also been a key to the Beacons' success this season, averaging 3.46 kills per set to stand fifth among LEC leaders, while owning a .325 hitting mark to rank just ahead of McWhorter. The 6'2" middle has been a force from behind the baseline as well with 0.49 aces per set to rank seventh in the conference and was named the LEC Rookie of the Week after the first week of play. Sophomore setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) has become one of the premier playmakers in the conference after being named the LEC Rookie of the Year last season. She currently ranks second in the league with 10.29 assists per set and is approaching the school's career record for assists in just her second year.

UMass Boston will be in action again tonight when they travel to nearby Suffolk University for a 7:00 p.m. match.