UMass Boston Athletics Leads LEC With 49th-Place Finish In Learfield Directors' Cup

UMass Boston Athletics Leads LEC With 49th-Place Finish In Learfield Directors' Cup

BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston athletics finished 49th overall in the final standings of the 2016-17 Division III Learfield Directors' Cup, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics announced Thursday. 

The Beacons earned a four Little East Conference Tournament Titles and won the program's first two NCAA Division III Team Titles since the late 1980s. 

UMass Boston posted their second-most ever points (356) and their second-best finish (49th) behind the 2016-17 academic year. Last year, UMass Boston finished 41stoverall with 398.25 points.  

The Learfield Directors' Cup is an annual competition amongst NCAA schools that weights a school's success on how their teams do during NCAA Tournament play. Teams earn points for reaching the NCAA Tournament and then pick up more points proportionally to how far they make it into the NCAA Tournament. Schools can score points in up to 18 total sports.   

With their 49th place finish, UMass Boston finished 107 places higher than the next highest Little East Conference school (Plymouth State University – 156th). The Beacons ranked 10thoverall amongst New England schools. 

The Beacons progressively rose in the national standings throughout each season. They started the year 133rdoverall after the fall, before moving up to 71stafter the winter season. UMass Boston cracked the top 50 for the first time all year thanks to their best season of the year – the spring. 

Volleyball recorded all 25 points for UMass Boston in the fall, after winning the Little East Conference Regular Season and Tournament Titles. The Beacons earned their eight LEC Title in nine years thanks to a 3-0 sweep of second-seeded Keeen State College. 

The Beacons tacked on 142 points during the winter season. 

Women's Basketball picked up 25 key points after winning their first Little East Conference Title in program history. The second-seeded Beacons upset #1 UMass Dartmouth 65-56 in the LEC Championship Game and put together their best overall season with a 25-4 record. 

The Indoor Track & Field programs combined for the other 117 overall points. The men's team recorded 17 points, after senior Dom Nda (Pittsfield, Mass.) earned All-American honors in the 60M dash. With his seventh-place finish, Nda became the first male sprinter in school history to earn All-American honors.  

Women's Track & Field earned 100 total points after winning the program's first National Title since 1987. Sophomore Wadeline Jonathas (Gonaives, Haiti) and senior Taylor Driggers (Lisbon, Conn.) combined for all 46 team points at the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championship Meet. 

UMass Boston put together their best season overall in the spring, when they recorded 189 points across four sports. 

Softball and the nationally-ranked baseball teams both earned their second-straight LEC Tournament Championships to kick off the month of May. Softball earned 25 points, while baseball tacked on 64 points after reaching the New England Regional Final.  

Outdoor Track & Field came up huge once again in the spring season. The men's team recorded five points after the men's 4x100M team became the first relay team in program history to earn All-American honors. 

The women's team added a second-straight team title thanks to a strong performance across the board from Jonathas, Driggers, senior Lexy Bean (Danvers, Mass.) and sophomore Olivia Burnes (Paxton, Mass.). The quartet came from behind on the final day of the National Championship Meet to split the team title with George Fox University and earn 95 total points.