Nov. 23, 2010

LEXINGTON, KY - University of Massachusetts Boston volleyball player Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) has been named a First Team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), it was announced last week by the AVCA. Thompson was honored and recognized at the NCAA Division III Volleyball Championship banquet in St. Louis, MO during last week's D-III Championship tournament celebrations.

Thompson is the first student-athlete in program history to earn First Team All-American honors after being named an AVCA All-American Honorable Mention last season. The two-time All-AVCA New England, honoree ranks among the national leaders in points per set (14th, 5.11) and kills per set (22nd, 4.09). Thompson finished the season with 494 kills to set the new UMass Boston single season kills record while also ranking first in total kills in the Little East Conference. She averaged 3.11 digs/g while recording a hitting percentage of .285. An explosive offensive threat, Thompson reached double figures in kills in 30 of her 35 matches, including posting at least 20 winners four times. She recorded a season-high 27 kills in a five-set victory at Little East foe UMass Dartmouth and 25 kills in the New England championship match vs. Springfield College. Thompson displayed her versatility by posting a conference-high 18 double-doubles for kills and digs. She recorded a season-best 21 digs against Hardin Simmons in the season-opener on Sept. 3. Over the season, the middle hitter was named the Little East Conference Offensive Player of the week five out of nine times the honor was bestowed. Thompson was named the 2010 LEC Most Outstanding Player of the Little East Volleyball Championship in helping UMass Boston capture its second consecutive LEC title as well as the Most Outstanding Player at the New England Regional Championship to help the Beacons advance to the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament for the first time in program history.

Thompson has already established herself as an outstanding player in UMB volleyball annals, being named a 2010 First Team AVCA All-American selection, a 2009 ACVA All-American Honorable Mention as well as a two-time All-Region selection from the AVCA and the New England Women's Volleyball Association last season. She currently ranks third in school history with 914 career kills, while placing second with a lifetime hitting mark of .308, second with 104 block assists, tied for fifth with 131 career aces and sixth with 75 solo blocks.

UMass Boston finished the greatest season in school history with a 30-5 record, including a 7-0 record to earn its second-consecutive regular season LEC title, before winning the LEC Tournament Championship for the second straight campaign with a 3-1 victory over Keene State College on November 6. The Beacons earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the second time in school annals and responded with a 3-0 first round victory over Maine Maritime Academy on November 12 and a 3-1 second round victory over Middlebury College on November 13 to advance to the Sweet 16 round for the first time in program history to face the New England regional hosts in Springfield College for the New England Regional Championship. In front of over 700 fans, the Beacons captured an epic championship match, 3-2 (25-16, 18-25, 25-21, 25-27, 15-11), to advance to the 2010 NCAA Division III Volleyball National Championship in St. Louis, MO where they fell in the Elite Eight to the eventual National Champions, Calvin College, 3-1. UMass Boston owned the number one ranking 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 throughout much of the season. They also received attention in the national Division III poll throughout the season, receiving votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll with 29, 23, 28, 43, 32, 53, 19, 30, 10, 39 and 228 respectively, in 11 consecutive weeks from September 7 to November 23. During the week of October 12, UMass Boston cracked the AVCA Top 25 for the first time in program history, ranking 25th in the country. The Beacons were ranked 24th in the poll heading into the NCAA tournament and close the year with an overall ranking of 17th in the country, the program's highest ranking ever.
AVCA All American Banquet
2010 AVCA All-American First Team