Oct. 27, 2009
BOSTON, MA - Senior outside hitter Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA) spiked for 12 kills and added four aces, while freshman middle hitter Alexa Sullivan (South Dennis, MA) put down eight kills on a .438 hitting mark to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston women's volleyball team over visiting Emerson College, 25-17, 25-19, 16-25, 25-16, tonight at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston in Boston, MA.
The Beacons, who are currently ranked second in the latest NCAA Division III New England Women's Volleyball Poll, win their 12th straight contest and have won 25 of their last 27 matches to improve to 25-4 to match the school record for victories established last season. UMass Boston's third set loss was the first set it has dropped all season at home, snapping a string of 32 straight frames without a loss. The Lions fall to 25-6 on the season.
The Beacons, who honored McWhorter and outside hitter Kate White (Plymouth, MA), as the program's only seniors for 2009, jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first set, but Emerson came back with a 6-1 run to close to within 10-8. UMass Boston scored eight of the next nine points on the service of McWhorter and freshman setter Frana Burtness-Adams (Fairbanks, AK) to take an 18-9 lead, before closing out the set. The Lions owned a 5-4 edge in the second set, but the Beacons went on a 9-2 stretch to take a 13-7 advantage and never looked back. Emerson opened up an 8-3 margin in set three, but UMass Boston ripped off five straight points on freshman libero Bethany Rossoll's (Colorado Springs, CO) serve to tie it at 8-8. The Lions later took a 21-15 lead and went on to take the set to cut the match deficit to 2-1. Emerson held a 6-3 lead in the fourth set, but the Beacons reeled off seven straight points on McWhorter's serve for a 10-6 lead. UMass Boston later increased its advantage to 18-10, before the Lions closed to within 20-15, but it would be as close as the visitors would come.
McWhorter's 12 kills gave her 877 for her career with the Beacons to move past Laurel Smith (2000-02) and into second on the school's all-time list. She also added six digs to her night. Sullivan committed just one error on the evening, while freshman middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) smashed 12 kills to go with eight digs, two block solos and an ace. White put down eight kills and picked up a dig, while sophomore setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) directed the action with 41 assists in addition to four digs and an ace. Rossoll anchored the defense with a match-high 14 digs and junior defensive specialist Michelle Cawley (Canton, MA) chipped in with eight digs.
Junior middle hitter Lauren Zaniboni (San Diego, CA) led Emerson with 11 kills and four aces and added four digs and three total blocks, while senior middle hitter Erin Connolly (Quincy, MA) spiked for six kills, served up an ace, got down for seven digs and got up for a match-high six total blocks. Sophomore setter Katie Bailey (Calabasas, CA) registered 14 assists, three digs and was credited with a kill on her only attempt, while junior libero Sara Rutan (Santa Clarita, CA) scooped up a team-best 12 digs.
UMass Boston will be in action again on Saturday, October 31 when it travels to Danbury, CT for a Little East Conference tri-match with Rhode Island College at 2:00 p.m. and a 4:00 p.m. match with host Western Connecticut State University, while the Lions will take on Saint Joseph College (CT) at 2:00 p.m. and Emmanuel College at 4:00 p.m. on October 31.