Oct. 15, 2011
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Led by Tournament MVP Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA) and All-Tournament selection Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, MA) the 17th ranked Beacons (21-2) won the 2011 MIT Invitational with a perfect 3-0 record as they defeated Williams College (14-8) by the final score of 3-0 and the Engineers of MIT (19-7) by the final score of 3-2 Saturday afternoon at DuPont Athletic Center.
The tournament championship is the second in the last three years for UMass, while Thompson becomes the second tournament MVP since UMass started competing in the invitational in 2009. UMass remains the only other team other than the host Engineers to have hoisted the championship plaque. Following this weekend's three straight wins, the Beacons improve their record at MIT's invitational to 7-1.
Going into the match, both Williams College and MIT were ranked in the top-15 on the most recent New England Women's Volleyball Association regional poll. Williams entered the match ranked 11th, while MIT was ranked 13th. The Beacons have been ranked first on the coaches' poll every single week this season.
In the opener, UMass defeated Williams 25-19, 25-20, 25-14 to improve their win streak to 20 consecutive matches. Thompson led the team with 12 kills, while Corrine Porter (Huntington Beach, CA) finished second with eight. Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, MA) was right behind her, as she threw down seven kills in the win. Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO) tallied 25 assists and put-up nine digs. Frana Burtness-Adams (Fairbanks, AK) led the Beacons at the end-line scoring four aces. Junior libero Kayla Wilson (San Jose, CA) recorded 14 digs to lead the defense.
The nightcap was a much closer contest as MIT pulled out a 25-23 win in the first set. UMass came right back in the second to take a 25-17 victory. MIT would once again pullout a two point victory in the third, defeating the Beacons 27-25. In the fourth, UMass dominated the Engineers to take a 25-10 victory. The deciding set would be five-point victory for the Beacons as they powered past MIT 15-10.
Against the Engineers all five hitters recorded 10 or more kills, with Thompson throwing down a team-best 16. Rattigan was just as solid scoring 15 of her own. Morrison and Porter each had 13 and Amber Clemons finished with 10. Hanneman paced the offense with 52 assists, which was a season-high for the senior. With the two matches, Hanneman is now tied with Kate White for most matches played and sets played in a career with 127 and 435 respectively.
Burtness-Adams continued to dominate at the end-line as tallied a career-high nine service aces. Porter paced the defense with 16 digs, followed Wilson's 15, and Hanneman's 12. Rattigan also had six block-assists to lead the defensive effort at the net. Morrison was second with one solo block and four assists.
Volleyball returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Western Connecticut State University for a 6 p.m. Little East Conference match.
Tyler Singh, Western New England University
Kelly Schulte, MIT
Haley Eagon, Williams College
Emily Baratta, Williams College
Kirsten Morrison, UMass Boston
Tournament MVP: Shannon Thompson
1. UMass Boston (3-0)
2. Williams College (2-1)
3. MIT (1-2)
4. Western New England University (0-3)