Sept. 26, 2009
BOSTON, MA - Senior outside hitter Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA) spiked for 24 kills on the day, including the 1,000th of her career to help the University of Massachusetts Boston volleyball team to a Little East Conference sweep today at Geissler Gym on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, CT. The Beacons defeated host Eastern Connecticut, 25-18, 25-11, 25-23, before beating Keene State College, 25-17, 25-16, 25-21.
UMass Boston, which is ranked first in the latest NCAA Division III New England Women's Volleyball Association Poll, defeated Keene State for the first time since a 3-1 home victory on October 20, 2001. The Beacons also broke the school record for consecutive wins with 13, bettering the mark set last season from October 3-25, and consecutive sets won with a current string of 24. Eastern Connecticut fell to Keene State later in the day, 3-0. UMass Boston is now 13-2 on the season, including 2-0 in LEC play, while Eastern Connecticut stands at 6-7 and 0-4 and Keene State is 7-8 and 2-2.
The Beacons took the first set from Eastern Connecticut and got out to an 8-3 lead, before McWhorter fired four straight aces as UMass Boston cruised in the second set. The Beacons sprinted out to a 9-1 advantage in the third set, but the Warriors fought back to make it 13-8, before UMass Boston hung on for the final set triumph. The Beacons won their first two sets with Keene easily, but faced a 20-18 deficit in the final frame, before freshman middle hitter Alexa Sullivan (South Dennis, MA) registered a kill to start UMB on a 7-1 run to close out the set, including an ace from freshman setter Frana Burtness-Adams (Fairbanks, AK), a kill from freshman middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) and an attack error by the Owls for the final three points of the match.
McWhorter hit .396 on the day for the Beacons, including .550 vs. Eastern Connecticut State with 13 kills and just two errors in 20 attempts to go with a season-high four aces in addition to 10 digs and a pair of total blocks. The senior posted her eighth double-double of the season with 11 kills, including her 1,000th on her seventh of the match, and 11 more digs vs. Keene State. She now has 1,004 career kills, including 304 with California State University Bakersfield and 700 with UMass Boston.
Thompson was outstanding as well with a .449 hitting percentage on the afternoon. She spiked for 13 kills, added nine digs and two aces vs. ECSU and smashed 14 kills vs. Keene State, while making just one attack error for a .565 hitting mark and added 10 digs, an ace and a block assist.
McWhorter wasn't the only UMass Boston player reaching milestones on the day as senior outside hitter Kate White (Plymouth, MA) played in her 106th and 107th career matches to move past Gina Torres' (1998-2001) total of 105 to become the school's all-time career leader. White chipped in with nine kills on the day. Sophomore setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) put up 66 assists on the day to average 11.0 per set, including 35 vs. Keene State and sophomore middle hitter Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, MA) owned a robust .571 hitting mark with eight kills on the afternoon to go with six total blocks, including four vs. Keene State. Freshman libero Bethany Rossoll (Colorado Springs, CO) anchored the defense with 31 digs for 5.17 per set, including 17 vs. Keene State.
The Beacons will be in action again on Tuesday, September 29 when they travel to Medford, MA to take on Tufts University at 7:00 p.m., while Eastern Connecticut hosts Mitchell College on September 28 at 7:00 p.m. and Keene State visits Emerson College on September 30 at 7:00 p.m.