Oct. 27, 2011
BOSTON, Mass. – In their final regular season home match of 2011, the 18th ranked Beacons (23-4, 6-1 LEC) gave senior members Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, Mass.) and Cassy Hanneman (Denver, Co.) the best type of a gift, a conference win as they defeated the visiting Owls of Keene State College (16-11, 5-2 LEC) 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-18) Thursday evening in the Clark Athletic Center in front of an energetic crowd.
With the victory, the Beacons have secured themselves a first-round bye in this year’s Little East Conference tournament. For Hanneman and Rattigan the two seniors led UMass to a strong victory over a hungry Keene State team.
Rattigan posted nine kills in the match to finish second on the team, behind Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, Cali.) who had a match-high 14 kills. Hanneman tallied 35 assists on 94 attempts to once again pace the Beacons offense, which ended the match with a .224 attack percentage. Rattigan also came up with one solo block and three block-assists to help out UMass’ defensive effort.
Four players finished Thursday’s match-up with 10 or more digs. Thompson led the squad with 13 digs. Kayla Wilson (San Jose, Cali.) was second with 12 digs, and Brooke Nemethy (Ovieda, Fl.) and Hanneman each recorded 11.
Keene State saw a solid performance from Ellyse Davis, who had nine kills and one solo block. That one stop pushed Davis to the top of the all-time blocking list at Keene State as she now stands with 423 career blocks. Setter Laurie Whalen tallied 22 assists and 10 digs to earn the Owls only double-double.
Combined the two teams exchanged control of the scoreboard a total of 14 times. They also found themselves tied a total of 25 times, 12 of which occurred in the third set alone.
The Beacons controlled the first set from start to finish despite the five-point difference. In the second set, things were much closer, but once UMass found their rhythm they were able to break away from the Owls. The last set was a battle especially in the middle part of the match. However, a late run by the Beacons proved to be the deciding factor as they earned the 25-18 victory.
Volleyball will close out their 2011 regular season schedule on Saturday when they travel to Brandeis University for a 1 p.m. non-conference match.