Oct. 26, 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 October 19-25, it was announced today by the conference. The honor marks the second time this season and sixth in her career that she has earned the award. She was named the league's top offensive player for the week of September 7-13, earlier this season.

McWhorter averaged 6.11 points per set in nine sets over three matches, including a staggering 5.22 kills per frame to go with 0.67 aces and 0.33 total blocks. The senior made the most of her swings, registering a red-hot .506 hitting percentage, while committing just six errors in 81 total attempts. McWhorter totaled 19 or more kills in two of three matches, including 20 kills in just three sets on a .486 hitting clip to go with a solo block in a 3-0 win over Roger Williams University on October 22. She added 10 digs as well. The outside hitter was efficient again in a 3-0 victory over University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on October 24 with a .467 hitting percentage, while putting down eight kills and firing five aces in addition to a block assist and five digs. Her day wasn't over, however, with 19 kills, including nine in the first set of a 3-0 win over Plymouth State University to help the Beacons complete a Little East Conference tri-match sweep to take sole possession of first place. She committed just two errors vs. the Panthers for a torrid .548 hitting mark and added 12 digs for her 13th double-double of kills and digs for the season to go with an ace and a block assist.

A Stockdale High School (CA) product, McWhorter has started all 28 matches, while missing just one of 97 sets on the year. She ranks second in the Little East Conference with 3.88 kills per set and a .389 hitting clip. The 5'9" hitter also stands third with 4.53 points per set and is seventh with 0.48 aces. She ranks second on the team with 2.57 digs per set and fourth with 0.27 total blocks. Her season has been nothing short of spectacular and is already one of the best for any player in school history with 372 kills for the third-most ever for the Beacons, while her hitting percentage is easily the most efficient in school annals. Reliability has been her trademark as one of UMass Boston's best all-around players with double-digit kills in all but five matches, including 20-plus in three outings and notched her 1,000 career kill in a 3-0 win over Keene State College on September 26. She has hit no lower than .167 in any match this year, including 10 matches with a .500-or-better clip. The senior absolutely dominated a stretch of six matches with a scorching .591 hitting mark from September 12-26, where she committed just seven errors in 110 swings. She has been a weapon from behind the service line as well with at least one ace in 21 of 28 matches, including two or more on 12 occasions and a career-high of six at University of Southern Maine on October 8. McWhorter has been outstanding defensively as well with 10 or more digs in 14 matches and two or more total blocks five times. Her play has not gone unnoticed with a spot on the Brandeis Invitational All-Tournament team on September 12 and an MIT Quad-Meet Most Valuable Player selection on October 17.

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 348 sets over 103 matches, while spiking for 1,169 kills and owning a .314 hitting mark. She split time as a hitter and setter her freshman season and has compiled 326 assists, 665 digs, 104 aces and 122 total blocks for her career. In just 61 career matches and 199 sets at UMass Boston, McWhorter already places third on the career kills list with 865, fifth with 53 block assists, eighth with 513 digs, 10th with 89 aces and is the all-time leader with a .375 hitting percentage.

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.