Sept. 4, 2009
CLAREMONT, CA - The University of Massachusetts Boston volleyball team was defeated by host Pomona-Pitzer College, 3-2, to open the season and fell to the University of La Verne, 3-0, today in Claremont, CA on the campus of Pomona College in the Pacific Coast Classic tournament. The Beacons fall to 0-2 on the season, while Pomona-Pitzer improved to 1-0 after its win over UMB and La Verne, which is ranked number three in the nation in the American Volleyball Coaches of America pre-season poll, improves to 2-0.
UMass Boston cruised to a 25-15 set one victory over Pomona-Pitzer and won the third set in an easy 25-16 decision, but dropped the second set, 25-20 and the fourth set 25-12, before losing the final set 15-12.
Freshman middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) turned in a stunning collegiate debut, swinging for a team-high 19 kills to lead the Beacons, while committing just five errors for a .378 hitting mark to go with six digs and five block assists. Senior outside hitter Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA) complimented Thompson with 13 kills and added a team-best 12 digs to go with a block assist. Sophomore middle hitter Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, MA) was extremely efficient with eight kills in just nine attempts for a blistering .778 hitting percentage in addition to a pair of digs and three blocks, including two solos. Sophomore setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) directed the offense 43 assists, fired a pair of aces, scooped up six digs and registered a block assist. Freshman libero Bethany Rossoll (Colorado Springs, CO) scored on her first two collegiate serves with a pair of aces and got down for 10 digs, while classmate Alexa Sullivan (South Dennis, MA) got up for a team-best six blocks, including a pair of solos, to help the defense.
UMass Boston hung tough in a fast-paced match with \#3 La Verne, losing the first set, 25-18, before taking the Leopards to the limit in a 25-23 defeat in set two and a 26-24 decision in the final set.
McWhorter put down a team-high 15 kills and hit .222 for the match to lead the Beacons, while coming up with four digs. Thompson continued her outstanding play with 10 kills and a .250 hitting mark to go with an ace and nine digs. Hanneman recorded 27 assists and served up an ace to go with six digs. Rossoll anchored the defense with 11 digs and found the floor for a pair of kills, while Sullivan added three more blocks.
UMass Boston will be in action again on Saturday, September 5 when it takes on Chapman University at 3:15 EDT on the second day of the Pacific Coast Classic.