Nov. 14, 2009

BRISTOL, RI - University of Massachusetts Boston Head Women's Volleyball Coach Terry Condon (Rowley, MA) has been named the Division III New England Coach of the Year by the New England Women's Volleyball Association, while Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA) was named to the All-New England First Team. Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) and Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) were each named to the All-New England Honorable Mention squad, it was announced by the NEWVA today. Thompson was also selected as the NEWVA Rookie of the Year.

Condon adds the Coach of the Year honor to her American Volleyball Coaches Association New England Region Coach of the Year award that she received two days ago. She becomes the first volleyball coach in school history to earn the region's top coaching honor from both associations. Condon directed the Beacons to their best season in school history with a 30-5 (.857) record, including a school-record 17-match win streak. UMass Boston posted a perfect 7-0 record in LEC play, without dropping a set during the regular season and went on to win the school's first-ever LEC Tournament crown to earn the Beacons an NCAA Tournament appearance for the first time in school annals. UMass Boston defeated Westfield State College, 3-1, on November 12 to win its first NCAA Tournament opening round contest for any team in any sport in school history, before falling in the second round to Williams College, 3-1, on November 13. The team broke school standards for wins (30), kills (1,515), assists (1,393), block assists (236) and hitting percentage with a .316 mark, which leads the nation as well. During her tenure with the Beacons, she has increased the strength of her scheduled opponents and her team has met the challenge this season. 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 NEWVA poll for the first three weeks of the season. The team has also received votes on four occasions in the AVCA Division III National Weekly Polls with nine, seven, 10 and six votes, respectively from September 15 to October 6. Condon has compiled a 95-56 (.629) record in five seasons with the Beacons after the program was 39-87 in the five seasons prior to her arrival. She has directed UMass Boston to four straight winning campaigns for the first time in school history, including a gaudy 55-14 (.797) mark of the past two seasons, which has seen the Beacons make back-to-back appearances in the LEC Tournament Championship match. A brilliant recruiter, she has had three of her players named LEC Rookie of the Year in the past four seasons, while seeing nine of her players named to the All-Conference squad, including a pair of Offensive Player of the Year selections and four All-Region honorees. Including two seasons at Division I California State University Bakersfield and six at Texas A&M University, the former UCLA All-American has guided four of her teams to the NCAA Tournament and amassed a 287-169 (.629) career record.

McWhorter lands on her second All-New England squad after being named to the AVCA All-Region team earlier this week for the second straight year, having earned Honorable Mention accolades last year and is the only volleyball player in school history to be named All-Region twice. This is McWhorter's fourth honor in less than a week after being selected the Little East Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight year and earning an invite to the NEWVA Senior Classic, earlier in the week. She is just the third player in LEC history to earn the award multiple times. The outside hitter was also tabbed to the LEC First Team last year and becomes the first player in school history to receive first team accolades twice. A Stockdale High School (CA) product, McWhorter started all 35 matches, while missing just one of 122 sets on the year for the most matches played and second-most sets played in school history. A three-time LEC Offensive Player of the Week honoree in 2009, she ranked second in the Little East Conference with 4.01 kills and 4.64 points per set, while standing third with a .385 hitting percentage. The 5'9" hitter was a force from behind the serving line as well with 0.45 aces to place seventh among LEC leaders. She ranked second on the team with 2.68 digs per set and fourth with 0.30 total blocks. Her season was nothing short of spectacular and is one of the best for any player in school history with 485 kills to fall just eight shy of her school record set last year, 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 six 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 12 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. Her serve has also been an effective weapon with at least one ace in 26 of 35 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 18 matches and two or more total blocks nine 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 often rises to the occasion in the team's biggest matches or when the Beacons need something extra as evidenced by her Most Outstanding Player award for her performance in the Little East Conference Tournament where she recorded double-doubles of 16 kills and 13 digs in three sets vs. Rhode Island College in the semifinals on November 6 and 18 kills, including 14 in the final two sets, and 13 digs in UMass Boston's 3-1 victory over Plymouth State University to capture its first-ever LEC championship on November 7. She also posted a pair of double-doubles in the NCAA Tournament with 17 kills and 10 digs vs. Westfield State and 19 kills and 21 digs vs. Williams.

McWhorter played her first two seasons for NCAA Division I California State University Bakersfield, before transferring to UMass Boston last season. She became the first player in school history to not only earn AVCA All-New England Region Honorable Mention honors last year, but also LEC Offensive Player of the Year accolades. McWhorter broke the Beacons' standard for kills in a season with 493 and shattered the hitting percentage record with a mark of .364, before bettering the figure this year. The senior, who has been named the LEC Offensive Player of the Week seven times in her career, has played in 373 sets over 110 matches, while spiking for 1,282 kills and owning a .319 hitting mark. She split time as a hitter and setter her freshman season and has compiled 335 assists, 742 digs, 112 aces and 132 total blocks for her career. In just 68 career matches and 230 sets at UMass Boston, McWhorter already places second on the career kills list with 978, sixth with 62 block assists, sixth with 590 digs, ninth with 97 aces and is the all-time leader with a .374 hitting percentage.

Thompson's selection marks the second All-Region team for her as well this season after becoming the first freshman in school and LEC history to be named to the AVCA All-Region squad and was one of just 10 freshmen in the nation to earn the distinction. As the NEWVA Rookie of the Year, being the top newcomer isn't new for Thompson after being tabbed the AVCA New England Region's Freshman of the Year and becoming the fourth player in school history to be selected the LEC Rookie of the Year and the third in four seasons. Her selection marked just the second time in league history that the top rookie has come from the same school two straight seasons. The freshman proved week in and week out that she was the top rookie with a conference-high seven Rookie of the Week awards in nine weeks. The middle hitter became just the second freshman in school annals to earn a spot on the LEC First Team, following in the footsteps of teammate Kate White (Plymouth, MA), who earned the honor in 2006. Thompson was one of the LEC's top players, leading the league with 0.71 aces per set, while ranking third with 4.57 points, fourth with 3.44 kills per set and fifth with a .338 hitting percentage. The 6'2" hitter was the only player for UMass Boston to play in all 122 sets over 35 matches to break the school record for sets played and tie the school standard for matches played. She also stands third for UMass Boston with 0.61 total blocks and 2.54 digs per set. Her season was one of the best by any player in school history with 420 kills for the fourth-most ever and the most ever by a freshman, while her hitting mark is the third-most efficient in school annals. Her total of 48 block assists and 87 aces also puts her fifth on the all-time Beacons' single-season list. Consistency was a hallmark of her game in her first year of collegiate volleyball with at least one ace in 32 of 35 matches, including a streak of 15 straight from September 4-29 and a string of 16 consecutive matches from October 8 to November 7 that saw her average a commanding 1.00 aces per set with 53 over 53 frames. She fired no less than three aces in nine of her last 15 outings and also racked up 10 or more kills in 25 of 35 matches for the season, including a season-high of 24 in the Little East Conference title match vs. Plymouth State on November 7. The Moorpark High School graduate began her career by averaging 16 kills in each of her first four matches to earn a spot on the Pacific Coast Classic All-Tournament Team. She was 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 six, including a three matches of .750 or above. Thompson showed off her defensive prowess as well with at least one block in all but eight matches and scooped up at least five digs on 29 occasions, including a career-high of 21 vs. Westfield State College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on November 12.

Hanneman earns NEWVA All-New England Honorable Mention accolades after already being selected to the LEC All-Star Second Team for the second straight season. She ranked third in the LEC with 9.79 assists per set, despite playing the entire season with an injury. The setter saw action in 117 sets and played in all 35 matches, while owning a .195 hitting percentage with 44 kills. The 5'8" sophomore showcased a solid all-around game with 0.41 aces to rank third on the squad and 1.56 digs and 0.22 blocks to stand fifth among her teammates. Hanneman has registered 30 or more assists in 21 of 25 matches, where she was the full-time setter in the contest, including three matches of 50-plus and her total of 1,146 assists, eclipses her school record from a year ago. The Arapahoe High School product dished out a career-best 55 assists in the Beacons' 3-2 road victory over MIT on October 17 and fired a personal-high of six aces at University of Southern Maine on October 8. Hanneman served up at least one ace in 24 matches for a season total of 48. The second-year player consistently contributed on the defensive side of the net with five or more digs on 19 occasions, including 17 in a 3-2 win over Tufts University on September 11 and has gotten up for two or more blocks seven times.

Hanneman has played in 234 sets over 69 career matches to rank 10th on the Beacons' career list and owns the school's career record for assists with 2,209. She is currently seventh on the UMass Boston career list with 105 aces and has compiled 409 digs, 59 total blocks and 113 kills on a .225 hitting mark.