Nov. 13, 2009
MEDFORD, MA - Junior right side hitter Kate Anderson (Berlin, MA) spiked for 17 kills and junior setter Emily Avis (Palo Alto, CA) set for 46 assists and served up a pair of aces to lead the third-seeded Williams College women's volleyball team over second-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston, (25-16, 15-25, 25-21, 25-22), this evening in the second round of the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship at Cousens Gymnasium on the campus of host Tufts University in Medford, MA.
The Beacons' school-record 17-match winning streak comes to an end as they finish their season with a best-ever 30-5 record, while the Ephs improve to 23-8 and advance to the New England Region final tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. vs. the winner of top-seeded Tufts University and number four seed Wellesley College.
Freshman middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) put down a kill to pull UMass Boston to within, 8-6, in the first set, but Williams went on an 11-3 run, led by three kills from senior outside hitter Chelsea Kubal (Atherton, CA) and a pair of aces from Avis, to take a commanding 19-9 advantage. The Beacons would get no closer than eight points as the Ephs cruised to the set one victory. UMass Boston scored the first four points of the second set on Thompson's serve, but Williams reeled off four straight points of its own to knot the match. Senior outside hitter Kate McWhorter (Bakersfield, CA) smashed a kill to give the Beacons a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the set at 5-4. The Ephs were within 11-8, but UMass Boston scored six of the next seven points, capped by a pair of McWhorter kills to take a 17-9 advantage, before closing the set out to tie the match at 1-1. The teams were tied at 4-4 in the third set, before Williams went on a 7-1 stretch, led by a pair of kills and an ace from junior outside hitter Eleanor Levine (Atlanta, GA), to take an 11-5 lead. UMass Boston later closed to within 18-15 on a kill from freshman middle hitter Alexa Sullivan (South Dennis, MA) and maintained a three-point deficit following an ace from sophomore setter Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) to make it 24-21, but junior middle blocker Nicole Ballon-Landa (La Jolla, CA) closed out the set with a kill to give the Ephs a 2-1 match lead. Williams owned a 9-8 edge in the fourth set, before going on a 6-2 burst to take a 15-10 lead. Anderson later spiked for a kill to give the Ephs a 20-16 margin, but the Beacons scored four unanswered points, including a pair of kills from Thompson to pull them even at 20-20. Williams took the next two points to make it 22-20, but a kill by McWhorter brought UMass Boston to within 22-21. Thompson followed with an apparent kill to tie the match at 22-22, but was called for palming the ball to reverse the Beacons' good fortune and give the Ephs a 23-21 lead. Thompson followed with another kill to cut the deficit to 23-22, but Williams scored the final two points to take the match.
McWhorter led UMass Boston with 19 kills and a season-high 21 digs for her 17th double-double of the season to go with a .245 hitting mark to finish her outstanding career, while Thompson swung for 19 kills, picked up 14 digs, fired a pair of aces and registered a block assist. Sullivan spiked for a career-high 10 kills on a .269 hitting mark in addition to a pair of block assists and two digs. Hanneman closed out the season with 47 assists to increase her school-record total to 1,146, while adding eight digs, three aces and a kill and freshman libero Bethany Rossoll (Colorado Springs, CO) anchored the defense with 23 digs to go with a service ace.
Anderson hit .302 for the night and registered three block assists for the Ephs, while senior middle blocker Whitney Hitchcock (Penfield, NY) contributed with nine kills on a .276 hitting clip in addition to 11 digs, four block assists and an ace. Ballon-Landa finished the contest with eight kills behind a .389 hitting percentage and added a match-high five block assists, while Avis added eight digs to her evening. Kubal scooped up a team-high 17 digs to go with seven kills and a block assist and senior defensive specialist Andrea Scioscia (Gibsonia, PA) got down for 14 digs.
The Beacons ended the year with season school records for kills (1,515), assists (1,393), block assists (236) and a .316 hitting percentage to lead the nation. Senior outside hitter Kate White (Plymouth, MA) closes out her career as the school's all-time leader with 1,191 kills, while McWhorter finishes as the UMass Boston career leader with a .374 hitting mark and second with 978 kills.