Volleyball Downs Eastern Conn. State for First Conference Win

BOSTON, Mass. – Led by Shannon Thompson's (Moorpark, Calif.) 16 kills the UMass Boston volleyball (5-4, 1-0 Little East) team defeated Eastern Connecticut State University (4-5, 0-1 Little East) by the final score of 3-0 Thursday evening in the Clark Athletic Center in the Little East Conference opener for both teams.

The victory marks the sixth straight year that the Beacons have shutout the Warriors, and marked the 18th time that the two teams have faced each other.  UMB recorded their first conference win of 2012 with the 25-15, 25-16, and 25-17 decisions.

Thompson's team leading performance was highlighted by a new season high .609 hitting percentage.  The 6'2" senior hitter scored her 16 kills on 23 attempts, and was charged with just two errors.  She also finished with five digs and posted two block assists.

Corrine Porter (Huntington Beach, Calif.) posted six kills and seven digs to also help out the Beacons victory.  Defensively, senior libero Kayla Wilson (San Jose, Calif.) totaled a match-high 10 digs.  At the net Molly Witzmann (Encinitas, Calif.) dominated with her career-best four block assists.  Setters Emma Rocha (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and Megan Pollock (Wilton, Calif.) continued to show their development at the position with Rocha tallying 17 assists and Pollock 14 assists.

For the Warriors, senior Katie Wilson combined for six kills in the match and had the only two solo blocks for ECSU.  Setter Allie Henry finished with 17 assists, and Samantha Browning tallied five kills and six digs.  Allie Luppi picked-up nine digs and a total of 19 service receptions.

Eastern Connecticut, who is off to a solid start came out firing in Thursday's match.  The two squads exchanged points in the early on-going of all three sets.  It was not until midway point of each set that the Beacons were able to go on a run to gain some distance between themselves and the Warriors.

In the first set the Beacons used six Brooke Nemethy (Oviedo, Fla.) serves to take a 13-9 lead.  From there UMB did not look back as they never allowed the Warriors to come any closer. 

Set number two mirrored the first, however the only difference was Porter was doing the serving when the Beacons went a quick 5-0 spurt which put them in control of the scoreboard and eventually gave them the victory. 

The third set favored the Beacons early, but that momentum changed to the Warriors as the set progressed.  Luckily for UMB, five strong serves by Pollock gave the Beacons the boost they needed to take the victory.

Volleyball returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Trinity College (Conn.) for a 7 p.m. non-conference match.