Nov. 2, 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 26 to November 1, it was announced today. The honor marks the seventh time in nine 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, October 5-11 and October 19-25.

In three matches and 10 sets, Thompson averaged 4.25 points, 2.90 kills, 0.60 aces, 2.30 digs and 0.90 blocks per set, while owning a .254 hitting percentage. The freshman recorded at least eight kills, one ace, six digs and two total blocks in every match during a 3-0 week for the Beacons. Thompson spiked for 12 kills, scooped up eight digs, registered a pair of block solos and fired an ace in four sets vs. Emerson College on October 27 to begin the week. She capped the week with eight kills on a .417 hitting mark vs. Rhode Island College and added six digs, four total blocks, including three solos and an ace on October 31. Thompson came back after that match to put down nine more kills and added four aces, nine digs and three total blocks vs. Western Connecticut State University.

For the season, the Moorpark High School graduate has been one of the LEC's top players, leading the league with 0.77 aces per set, while ranking third with 4.51 points and sixth with 3.31 kills. She also stands fifth in hitting with a 346 percentage. The 6'2" hitter is the only player for UMass Boston to have played in all 107 sets over 31 matches and also stands third for UMass Boston with 0.64 total blocks and 2.42 digs per set. Her season is already stacking up as one of the best by any player in school history with 354 kills for the fourth-most ever, while her hitting mark is the third-most efficient in school annals. Her total of 44 block assists also puts her sixth on the all-time Beacons' single-season list, while her ace total is the fifth-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 29 of 31 matches, including a streak of 15 straight from September 4-29 and a current streak of 14 consecutive matches that has seen her average a commanding 1.09 aces per set with 50 over 46 frames, including no less than three aces in nine of her last 11 outings. She has also racked up 10 or more kills in all but nine 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 25 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 a school-record 14 straight matches and 27 of their last 29 for a 27-4 overall record, including 7-0 in Little East Conference play to capture the school's first-ever regular season LEC volleyball crown. 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 Friday, November 6 when they host a Little East Conference semifinals match at 4:00 p.m. at the Clark Athletic Center as the tourney's number one seed. The team receives a first round bye and will play the winner of \#4 Keene State College and \#5 Rhode Island College.