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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Volleyball hopeful for future with amazing freshman class

Megan+Pollock
Megan Pollock

Halfway through their season, the University of Massachusetts Boston Lady Beacons Volleyball team’s 2013 campaign could be best described as a roller coaster ride, getting off to an 11-12 start with 11 regular season contests left before the Little East Conference Tournament.
However, the team is not panicking about their uncharacteristic start. As a matter of fact, they are actually pretty confident that they can not only win at another Little East Conference Championship, but the NCAA Division III National Championship as well.
Due to the loss of All-American Shannon Thompson (who recently signed to play professionally in Austria) and a tough schedule filled with teams ready to take them on, the Lady Beacons have had their fair share of ups and downs. However, junior Captain Kirsten Morrison remains optimistic. A 2011 Little East Conference Rookie of the Year and two-time Second Team All-Conference Middle Hitter, Morrison said that with nine freshmen on the team, it “took a little time to smooth everything out together as a team and get to know one another.” She also believes that the tough competition the team has played thus far will get them ready and make them stronger for the Conference, Regional, and National tournaments.
With the loss of Thompson, Morrison knew she needed to step up her game. So far, she has done just that. Her 105 kills, 293 assists and 125.5 points through 18 games are all third-most on her team. “I think teams know me a little bit more now that I am a junior,” Morrison says, “but I am playing Right Side this year which can throw [our opponents] off because I run middle plays as well. I am trying to be the best I can be.”
Along with Morrison, the Lady Beacons’ impressive group of freshmen deserve credit for keeping the team afloat. So far Julia Murphy and Patsy Boland are 1-2 in kills and points, respectively, while Elizabeth Glavan leads the team with 218 digs.
Of course, Morrison had high praise for the trio, as well as the freshmen class as a whole: “The freshmen talent we have this year is outstanding. All the girls are great people and very talented volleyball players. As you can see, a few have earned playing time. Patsy and Julia are forceful hitters and Elizabeth is a nasty passer.” She also knows its her responsibility to lead these freshmen and show them what it takes to be champions.
“As a captain/veteran, I feel as though now it’s my turn to keep passing along what UMass Boston volleyball really is. The freshmen knew from the second they committed that we don’t joke around. We work hard to reach our goals and push each other every day to be better. It’s like the motto: “no excuses, play like a champion.”
Although the year’s been up and down, the Lady Beacons finally have the luxury of playing at Clark Athletic Center after a year-long hiatus. Due to construction in the gymnasium, the team was forced to practice and play home games either at the hockey rink, at North Quincy High School, Quincy High School, or at BC High. Now they are back on their regular court and couldn’t be happier.
“Its so nice to be back playing home games instead of traveling around everywhere to practice and always having away games,” Morrison added. “To be able to to have our home crowd and court is an amazing thrill.”
Despite the inconsistent start, the Lady Beacons expect big things for the rest of the year, and for years to come. Morrison summarizes it best, saying: “we are all just starting to click and have chemistry on the court and it’s really exciting. We have worked some kinks out and I really just see improvement in our record from here on out. You can expect big things from this year’s team. I truly believe we can and will be National Champions.”