DANBURY, Conn. – Despite dropping a 3-1 decision to Clark University, volleyball did exactly what they needed to do and that was shutout one of the only two teams remaining in their way from earning their fifth straight Little East Conference regular season titles as the Beacons blanked Western Connecticut State University 3-0 Saturday afternoon at the WCSU Tri-Match.
With the win over the Colonials, UMass Boston improved to 6-0 in the Little East and is still the only team undefeated in the conference. The Beacons have just one more LEC opponent to get through before they earn the number one seed at this year's tournament and their fourth outright LEC regular season title.
The match with the Colonials was extremely close with all three games decided by no more than four points. In the first the Beacons edged WCSU 29-27, before earning a 25-21 win in the second and a 25-23 win in the third. The victory marked the seventh straight 3-0 win for UMB over the Colonials.
Against the Cougars of Clark University, the Beacons dropped a 25-23 decision in the first before rallying in the second with a 26-24 victory. From there it was all Clark as they recorded back-to-back 25-23 victories to give the Beacons a Saturday split.
In the first match, Patsy Boland (Chicago, Ill.) was dominant scoring 13 kills while also finishing with a .345 hitting percentage. Freshman Julia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) was just as impressive with her eight kills. Senior Megan Pollock (Wilton, Calif.) fueled the Beacons with her 36 assists, while Christine DuPuis (Minden, Nev.) and Elizabeth Glavan (Edina, Minn.) each scored a pair of aces.
Defensively it was all Glavan as the two-time LEC Defensive Player of the Week finished with 25 digs. At the net, three different Beacons finished with two solo blocks with Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.), Bri Sousa (Swansea, Mass.), and Murphy all using their size to dominate the Colonials' hitters.
In the final match the Beacons used every single one of their freshmen and sophomores Danni Marotto (Lancaster, N.Y.) and Molly Witzmann (Encinitas, Calif.). Even with the young core of players on the floor they managed to push Clark to the edge. Murphy and Boland combined for 27 kills respectively, while Kaycee Kemp (Red Bluff, Calif.) and Lacee Kilgore (Grand Junction, Colo.) finished the match with 21 and 24 assists.
Kimie Taketa (Torrance, Calif.) led the Beacons defensive effort as she totaled 16 digs, followed by Marotto who recorded 10. Witzmann recorded a season-high three solo blocks, while three other Beacons tallied three block assists.
Volleyball returns to action on Tuesday when they host Plymouth State University at 6 p.m. on senior day.