Sept. 28, 2009

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA - University of Massachusetts Boston women's volleyball player Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) has been named Little East Conference Volleyball Rookie of the Week for her play during the week of September 21-27, it was announced today. The honor marks the third time in four weeks that she has received the award. She was also named the league's top rookie for the weeks of August 31 to September 6 and September 14-20.

Thompson shined in four matches and 12 sets last week, averaging 4.67 kills, 0.75 aces, 2.92 digs, 0.42 blocks and 5.71 points per set, while owning a .479 hitting percentage. The freshman smashed 13 or more kills and fired at least one ace in every match, while getting down for at least seven digs in each outing. Thompson began the week with 13 kills on a .556 hitting mark to go with nine digs, while matching her season-high with four aces vs. Worcester State College on September 22. She came back two days later vs. Johnson & Wales University and spiked for 16 kills and added seven digs, two aces and four total blocks. The middle hitter enjoyed a huge weekend for the Beacons vs. a pair of Little East Conference opponents on September 26. Thompson started the day with 13 kills, nine digs and two aces in addition to a .346 hitting percentage vs. Eastern Connecticut State University and capped the afternoon by putting down 14 kills in 23 attempts vs. Keene State College, while committing just one attack error for a torrid .565 hitting mark. She also fired an ace, got up for an assisted block and added 10 digs for her fourth double-double of the campaign.

For the season, the Moorpark High School graduate has been one of the LEC's top players, ranking third among league leaders in hitting percentage with a .386 mark, second with 4.63 points, fourth with 3.72 kills and sixth with 0.55 aces per set. The 6'2" hitter has played in all 53 sets over 15 matches for UMass Boston and also stands third for the Beacons with 2.30 digs per set. Consistency has been a hallmark of her game in her first year of collegiate volleyball with a current streak of 14 matches with at least one ace and 10 or more kills in all but one match for the season, including a season-high of 19 at Pomona-Pitzer College to open the season on September 4 at the Pacific Coast Classic, where she was named to the All-Tournament Team. She's also been an extremely efficient hitter, match in and match out, with a hitting percentage of at least .222 in every match thus far, including a blistering .769 with 10 kills in 13 attempts at Suffolk University on September 15. Thompson has shown off her defensive prowess as well with at least one block in all but three matches and has scooped up at least five digs on 12 occasions.

UMass Boston has won a school-record 13 straight matches and is currently 13-2 on the season, including a perfect 2-0 mark in conference play. The squad has received votes in the past two American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III National Weekly Polls with nine and seven votes, respectively. The Beacons are also currently ranked number one in the NCAA Division III New England Women's Volleyball Association Poll for the third straight week and will be in action again on Tuesday, September 29 when they travel to Medford, MA to take on Tufts University at 7:00 p.m.