MEDFORD, Mass. – In one of their toughest tests of the season the Beacons faced two of the top teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in Connecticut College and Tufts University Saturday afternoon at Tufts University.
The Beacons would defeat Connecticut College in a rematch of last year's NCAA New England Regional semi-final by the final of 3-1, before falling to the host Jumbos of Tufts University by the final of 3-1. With the split the Beacons record stands at 8-8 on the year, while Connecticut College fell to 6-6 and Tufts University improved to 11-4.
MATCH ONE – UMass Boston 3, Connecticut College 1
In Saturday's opener the Beacons offense was red hot as junior Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) and freshman Julia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) dominated the kill's category combining for 20 respectively, while also hitting over .375. Senior Amber Clemons (Simi Valley, Calif.) was also a driving force for UMB scoring a team-high 12 kills, while also finishing with a .333 hitting percentage. Morrison led all players with a season-high .455 hitting percentage after scoring 10 kills on 22 attempts.
Setters Emma Rocha (Boynton Beach, Fla.) totaled 27 assists, while Megan Pollock (Wilton, Calif.) finished with 16 assists. The duo also finished with five of the Beacons 12 aces respectively. Just like the offense, the Beacons defense was just as impressive with Elizabeth Glavan (Edina, Minn.) leading the team in digs with 18. At the net three Beacons finished with two block assists, while Murphy recorded the teams lone solo block. Patsy Boland (Chicago, Ill.) and Clemons both finished with 10 or more digs, which gave Clemons her first double-double of the year as well.
The Beacons would take a 25-23 victory from the Camels in game one before dropping game two by the final of 25-22. Game three and four were won in convincing fashion as UMB defeated Connecticut 25-19 and 25-16.
MATCH TWO – UMass Boston 1, Tufts University 3
In what has become one of the biggest rivalries in New England volleyball the Beacons looked to upset the host Jumbos on their home floor in the final match of the tri-match. After a solid first game that saw UMB take a 25-18 win, Tufts would respond with three straight wins first taking a 25-18 win in game two before completely dominating the Beacons in the final two games by the finals of 25-7, 25-7.
Unlike the first match, the Beacons failed to build any momentum on both sides of the ball. After the strong game one win, UMass Boston fell apart at the seams allowing the Jumbos to take total control of the match.
Murphy was once again the Beacons top kills earner scoring seven in the loss, but this time only hitting .222. Morrison finished second on the team alongside Clemons and Bri Sousa (Swansea, Mass.) with six kills each, but were unable to hit better than .077.
Pollock and Rocha each tallied 13 assists, with Rocha tallying one of the Beacons three aces. Defensively it was Glavan with a team-high 14 digs, while at the net Murphy combined for five block assists, followed by Boland's four.
Volleyball returns to action on Thursday when they host Wellesley College at 7 p.m. in another huge in-region match.