Nov. 2, 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 26 to November 1, it was announced today by the conference. The honor marks the second straight week, third time this season and seventh in her career that she has earned the award. She was named the league's top offensive player for the weeks of September 7-13 and October 19-25 as well.
McWhorter enjoyed another outstanding week, averaging 5.05 points on 4.30 kills, 0.50 aces and 0.40 blocks per set, while registering a .405 hitting percentage in 10 sets over three matches. The senior spiked for at least 12 kills in every match. She began the week with 12 kills and four aces in four sets vs. Emerson College on October 27 in addition to six digs. She was brilliant in a 17-kill effort in just 21 attempts without a miscue for an astounding .810 hitting mark vs. Rhode Island College and fired up an ace to go with a pair of total blocks and five digs. McWhorter capped the week with 14 kills on a .462 hitting clip and added two block assists and nine digs.
A Stockdale High School (CA) product, McWhorter has started all 31 matches, while missing just one of 107 sets on the year. She ranks second in the Little East Conference with 3.92 kills per set and a .391 hitting clip. The 5'9" hitter also stands second with 4.58 points per set and is sixth with 0.48 aces. She ranks second on the team with 2.52 digs per set and fourth with 0.28 total blocks. Her season has been nothing short of spectacular and is already one of the best for any player in school history with 415 kills for the third-most ever for the Beacons, while becoming the first player in school annals to post 400-plus kills in two different years. 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 .135 in any match this year, including 11 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 23 of 31 matches, including two or more on 13 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 seven 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 358 sets over 106 matches, while spiking for 1,212 kills and owning a .317 hitting mark. She split time as a hitter and setter her freshman season and has compiled 329 assists, 685 digs, 109 aces and 126 total blocks for her career. In just 64 career matches and 209 sets at UMass Boston, McWhorter already places second on the career kills list with 908, fifth with 56 block assists, eighth with 533 digs, ninth with 94 aces and is the all-time leader with a .376 hitting percentage.
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.