MEDFORD, Mass – On the final day of the 2012 UMass Boston Beacons Invitational the day belonged to the tournament’s two nationally ranked teams in No. 4 Christopher Newport University and No. 23 Southwestern University (TX). Both teams played two matches on the final day and both squads walked away with back-to-back 3-0 victories.
The Captains of Christopher Newport closed out the Beacons Invite with a perfect 4-0 mark. Behind them were the Pirates with a 3-1 finish in the tournament. Endicott College and UMass Boston each posted one win as the Gulls went 1-3 and the Beacons 1-2 over the two-day tournament. Tufts University, which was playing host to the invite ended the weekend with a 0-3 mark overall.
In the opener Southwestern defeated Endicott in three straight sets all of which by the final of 25-15. Kaitlyn Foster and Meredith Rollins combined for 21 assists respectively as the Pirates posted a .301 hitting percentage in the win. Lacey Strickland finished with 27 assists to pace the offense. Foster posted the matches only double-double as she finished with 14 digs to go along with her 12 kills. Chandler Lentz led the defense with 15 digs, while Rachel Thibodeau finished with 12. For the Gulls it was Mackenzie Gueer who threw down a team-best nine kills. Alleigh VandeMerkt tallied 21 assists, while Ashley Norley came-up with 21 digs. Jackie Cone and Hannah Dahlgren each recorded two block assists.
The second match had the host Jumbos of Tufts taking on Christopher Newport. The Captains managed to hold-off a hungry Tufts squad in all three sets as they earned 25-15, 25-19, and 25-11 victories. Three Captains finished the match with seven kills, with Baily Jensen leading the trio with a .412 attack percentage. Alyssa Kidd anchored the offense with her 31 assists, while Abby Hogge was a rock in the back court with her 16 digs. Isabel Kuhel led the Jumbos with seven kills of her own, while Kelly Brennan finished right behind her with six. Kendall Lord totaled 22 assists and Carolina Berger finished with 10 digs in the tournament finale for Tufts.
With only an hour break in-between the Captains returned to the hardwood to face Endicott College in the final match of the tournament for both squads. The upset of the year nearly occurred in the second, but the Captains managed to pull out the win with a 27-25 victory, to follow-up their first set 25-9 victory. The final set would also go in favor of the Captains in the form of a 25-15 win. Bailey Jensen paced the Captains with her 15 kills on 24 attempts (.625). Rachel Conway took over at the setter position and was just as solid as she totaled 31 assists. Cory Harris and Abby Hogge combined for 25 digs respectively. Endicott saw a solid showing from Mackenzie Guerre as she totaled 10 kills on 20 attempts (.450). Alleigh VandeMerkt was consistent at the setter spot with her 21 assists, while Ashley Norley led the defense with 13 digs.
In the tournament final it was the host Beacons against the Pirates. That match proved to be a one-sided affair as Southwestern defeated UMB 25-13, 25-15, and 25-21. Southwestern ended the contest hitting .330, while UMB struggled to find any offensive momentum as they hit .146. A number of Pirates got into the match, with Meredith Rollins and Kaitlyn Foster leading the way with nine kills each. Lacey Strickland totaled 29 assists to pace the Pirates offense. Foster also finished with a team-best 10 digs to match Chandler Lentz’s team-best 10 digs. For the Beacons Kirsten Morrison proved to be the most dangerous hitter with her eight kills on 12 attempts (.500). Setter Emma Rocha tallied 22 assists and also had eight digs. Corrine Porter led the defense with 14 digs, followed by senior libero Kayla Wilson with 12.