Volleyball Takes Two on First Day of Endicott Invite

BEVERLY, Mass. – In their first two contests back on the east coast, UMass Boston volleyball (3-3) wasted little time getting back to their winning ways as they defeated Middlebury College and Williams College by the final of 3-0 Friday evening at the 2012 Endicott College Invitational.

In their first match against Middlebury the Beacons pulled off a 25-23 win in the first set and a 26-24 decision in the second.  The third set was a one-sided affair as UMB cruised to a 25-17 victory.  The nightcap only saw one close set, while the other two belonged to the Beacons from start to finish.  After pulling out the 25-23 win over the Ephs in set number one, UMass went on to earn their next wins by the finals of 25-15 and 25-17. 

The Beacons offensive output in the first match was led by Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, Calif.) and Corrine Porter (Huntington Beach, Calif.).  The two hitters combined for 26 kills respectively and finished with a .270 or better attack percentage respectively.  Setters Megan Pollock (Wilton, Calif.) and Emma Rocha (Boynton Beach, Calif.) continued to share the action as the duo tallied 33 assists.  Defensively Kayla Wilson (San Jose, Calif.) was solid all evening as she totaled 22 digs in the first match.  Thompson and Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) also fueled a defensive effort that saw a combined six team blocks.  Thompson posted four block assists, while Morrison drove down the match's only solo block, while also tallying three block assists.

In the second match it was once again Thompson and Porter who paced the Beacons well balanced offense.  UMass Boston used their signature fast sets and quick approaches to keep Williams guessing all evening.  As a squad UMass posted a .276 attack percentage with Thompson and Porter combined for 22 kills.  Porter's .304 hitting percentage marked a season-high for the junior. 

At the setter position, Pollock led the night with 21 assists, while her teammate Rocha finished with 18.  Also playing a major part in the Beacons one-sided victory were their 11 aces, with four of those belonging to Thompson, while three went to Wilson and two to Pollock.  Brooke Nemethy (Oviedo, Fla.) and Porter each finished with one ace a-piece. 

Wilson and Thompson were the only two Beacons to finish in double-figures in digs with Wilson tallying a match-high 16, followed by Thompson with 11.  Molly Witzmann (Encinitas, Calif.) and Morrison combined for the only UMass Boston blocks in Friday's second match.

Volleyball returns to action tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. when they face first-time opponent Gallaudet University.  Their fourth and final match will be a rematch from last year's NCAA East Region semi-final match as the Beacons will take on Bowdoin College.  Last year the two squads went the distance with the Beacons pulling out the five-set victory to advance to their second-straight NCAA East Region championship match.