BOSTON, Mass. – In their final home match of the 2012 regular season, the UMass Boston volleyball team gave their senior members a send-off to remember as they blanked Little East Conference rival Western Connecticut State University by the final of 3-0 to remain the only undefeated team in the conference, Tuesday evening at Boston College High School.
With the victory the Beacons, who are currently ranked fifth in New England, take over sole possession of first place in the LEC, with Western Connecticut dropping their first conference match of the 2012 season. UMB defeated the visiting Colonials by the finals of 25-8, 25-13, and 25-19. The Beacons improved to 14-7, 5-0 in the Little East, while the Colonials dropped to 15-11, 4-1 in the conference.
Fueling the conference victory was senior Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, Calif.), who led the Beacons with a .615 hitting percentage and 18 kills. The three-time All-American from California also added her name to the volleyball record book, this time taking over as the all-time leader in career digs. Needing just six to break the original mark of 1,110 set by Megan MacAuley '08, Thompson closed out Tuesday's match with 10 digs and now stands at 1,114 digs in her standout career.
Also being honored in Tuesday's contest alongside Thompson was Kayla Wilson (San Jose, Calif.) and Mirielle Juarez (Los Angeles, Calif.). Wilson posted 11 digs in the conference win and finished an assist to help lead UMB to their 25-19 victory in the third set. Juarez came in the first set and secured the middle of the net as the Beacons cruised to the 25-8 decision.
After the one-sided victories in the first two sets, Western Connecticut took advantage of some early errors by the Beacons and actually took a solid lead to start the third. UMB did manage to chip away at that lead and eventually cut it down, but another run by the Colonials put them back in control once again. It was not until Wilson's assist on an Amber Clemons (Simi Valley, Calif.) in the third that the Beacons regained total control of the momentum, even though they held just a one point lead (17-16).
Thompson would then give UMB a two-point lead on a solo block. Down but not out, WCSU tied the score for the fifth time after recording back-to-back scores to make it 18-18. Even with that late push the Beacons would not falter as they went on a 9-1 run to close out the match.
For Western Connecticut, Paxton Thornton led her team with seven kills, while setter Jennifer Hogan posted 14 assists. Nin Wojtkiewicz and Rachel Volpe finished in double-figures in digs with 10 and 13 respectively.
Volleyball returns to action on Thursday when they travel to Keene State College for a 7 p.m. Little East Conference match.