Oct. 26, 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 October 19-25, it was announced today. The honor marks the sixth time in eight 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, September 14-20, September 21-27, September 28 to October 4 and October 5-11.

In three matches and nine sets, Thompson averaged 5.83 points, 3.67 kills, 1.44 aces, 2.56 digs and 1.00 blocks per set, while owning a .250 hitting percentage. The freshman registered at least 10 kills, three aces and two total blocks in every match during a 3-0 week for the Beacons. She began the week with 10 kills and 13 digs for her eighth double-double of kills and digs for the season and added three aces and two total blocks, including a solo in a 3-0 win over Roger Williams University on October 22. The middle hitter was a scoring machine for UMass Boston in a 3-0 victory over Little East Conference foe University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on October 24 with 11 kills and just one attack error for a blistering .625 hitting percentage to go with six aces, two digs and four total blocks, including a pair of solos. Thompson continued her outstanding play just a few hours later with 12 kills, four aces, eight digs and three total blocks in a 3-0 win over Plymouth State University to help the Beacons take sole possession of first place in the league.

For the season, the Moorpark High School graduate has been one of the LEC's top players, leading the league with 0.78 aces per set, while ranking second with 4.54 points and fifth with 3.35 kills and a .355 hitting percentage. The 6'2" hitter is the only player for UMass Boston to have played in all 97 sets over 28 matches and also stands third for UMass Boston with 0.62 total blocks and 2.43 digs per set. Her season is already stacking up as one of the best by any player in school history with 325 kills for the seventh-most ever, while her hitting mark is the third-most efficient in school annals. Her total of 41 block assists also puts her sixth on the all-time Beacons' single-season list, while her ace total is the eighth-most ever at UMass Boston. Consistency has been a hallmark of her game in her first year of collegiate volleyball with at least one ace in 26 of 28 matches, including a streak of 15 straight from September 4-29 and a current streak of 11 consecutive matches that has seen her average a commanding 1.22 aces per set with 44 over 36 frames, including no less than three aces in any of her last eight outings. She has also racked up 10 or more kills in all but seven matches 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 been an extremely efficient hitter, match in and match out, with a positive hitting percentage in every outing and has posted a mark of at least .200 in every match but four thus far, including a three matches of .750 or above. Thompson has shown off her defensive prowess as well with at least one block in all but seven matches and has scooped up at least five digs on 22 occasions, including a high of 18 at Tufts University on September 29.

The Beacons are off to their best start in school history and have won 11 straight matches and 24 of their last 26 for a 24-4 overall record, including 5-0 in Little East Conference play. UMass Boston is currently ranked second in the latest NCAA Division III New England Women's Volleyball poll and stood as the number one squad in the NCAA Division III New England Women's Volleyball Association poll for the first three weeks of the season. The team has also received votes on four occasions in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III National Weekly Polls with nine, seven, 10 and six votes, respectively from September 15 to October 6. The Beacons will be in action again on Tuesday, October 27 when they host Emerson College at the Clark Athletic Center for a 6:00 p.m. match.