Trio Earns AVCA All-Region Honors

LEXINGTON, Kentucky – The American Volleyball Coaches Association announced their 2011 annual All-New England Region selections this past weekend.  Earning all-region honors from the University of Massachusetts Boston was senior setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, Co.), senior outside hitter Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, Mass.), and junior middle blocker Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, Calif.).

For Rattigan and Hanneman the all-region selection was the first in their distinguished careers, while Thompson remains the first and only three-time AVCA All-Region honoree.  It also marked the first-time in the history of UMass Boston volleyball that three players were named to the All-Region team.

Rattigan, who is currently ranked fifth in the country in hitting percentage, capped off her best season ever for the Beacons hitting .419 overall.  The Dorchester native earned First Team All-Conference honors after finishing the regular season ranked third on the team in kills.  She closed out the 2011 season with a total of 272 kills on 523 attempts with only 53 errors.  She averaged 2.43 kills per set, which ranked second on the team.  At the net, Rattigan was just as solid as she finished the year with 90 total blocks (13 solo, 77 assists).  The only player to appear in all 112 sets, Rattigan fueled the Beacons offense throughout their championship run.  In the Little East Conference tournament, Rattigan combined for 12 kills on 28 attempts.  She also posted one solo block and five block-assists.  During this weekend's NCAA Regional tournament, Rattigan totaled 38 kills respectively during the three matches.  In Sunday's championship match, Rattigan totaled 11 kills.

This season, marked the third 1,000+ assist season for Hanneman, making her the only player in program history to achieve that mark.  A First Team All-Conference honoree, Hanneman paced the Beacons offense to their highest national ranking (17th) and the longest win-streak (22 matches).  Hanneman ended her career at UMass Boston having appeared in more matches than any other player in history.  She closed out 2011 with 1,201 assists, which ranked her in the top-20 in Division III women's volleyball. At the end-line, Hanneman recorded 34 aces, which ranked her third overall.  Just as solid on the defensive side of the ball, Hanneman totaled 257 digs this season.  A NCAA Regional All-Tournament selection, Hanneman closed out this year's tournament with a combined 134 assists during the three-day regional.  The Denver, Colorado hit a season-high 52 assists in the five-set win over MIT on October 15.

For the third consecutive season, Thompson led the Beacons to a Little East Conference title and an NCAA Regional tournament berth.  Named to this year's NCAA Regional All-Tournament team, the two-time AVCA All-American and LEC Offensive Player of the Year, Thompson is currently ranked 11th in the county in kills per set with 4.24.  On 998 total attempts, the 6'2" middle threw down 462 kills over the course of 109 sets played.  When serving, Thompson was just as dangerous totaling 37 aces this season, which ranked her tied for second on the team.  Defensively, Thompson was strong throughout her junior campaign averaging just under one block per set.  In 2011 she tallied 26 solo blocks and 76 block assists, and also managed 265 digs to help out the Beacons defensive effort.  Her 5.17 points per set was also amongst the leaders in Division III this fall.  Of the 33 matches played in 2011, Thompson recorded 10 or more kills 28 times.  Over the weekend, she led UMass Boston to a five-set win over Bowdoin College after scoring 21 kills in the semi-final match.  Named the Little East Conference Tournament MVP, Thompson topped off with a season-high 27 kills in the September 10 meeting with Salve Regina University.

UMass Boston closed out 2011 with their third straight conference regular season and tournament championship.  They advanced to the championship match of the NCAA Regional tournament for the second-straight year, and managed to record a program-best 22 match win-streak, which included victories over nationally ranked Tufts University, Bowdoin, SUNY Cortland, Williams College, and MIT.