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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Condon, Morrison continue to lead Beacons to success

Kirsten+Morrison+and+the+Beacons+have+a+monster+season+in+their+sights
Kirsten Morrison and the Beacons have a monster season in their sights

Coach Terry Condon, the head of the volleyball squad, recently guided the Beacons to her 200th victory at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She sat in her office plotting for their match that day, a hard fought loss against Wellesley, and spoke about her career and the current success that this year’s squad is reveling in. Her past success as a member of the United States Volleyball National team has made her the perfect candidate to coach these girls all the way to the NCAA National Championship Tournament, which she has done twice in the last three years. Despite all of her success, Condon is aware that personal achievements pale in comparison to team goals. Exuberant with confidence, Condon remarks that this year’s team is one of the best she has ever had at UMass Boston.
Players are brimming with expectations. One by one, they rush down to the Clark Athletic Center after classes for their daily routine of practice, weightlifting, and conditioning. This weary practice routine lasts a total of three hours.
“Last year our schedule was the 2nd toughest in the country,” Condon said, “so we try to make it a very tough schedule so that they’re ready and it matters.” The team challenges themselves to the highest degree in order to be prepared for their many upcoming matches.
The Beacons currently sit at 16-6 with eight matches remaining and are led by senior Middle Hitter, Kirsten Morrison. The captain acknowledges that, although there’s room for improvement, the team is taking it step by step with the focus on the National Championship.
“This next month is going to be crucial when we get closer to the LEC (Little East Conference) tournament,” Morrison said. The Beacons are focused on dominating the court in the LECs, which begin on Nov. 4. Following the conference tournament, they plan on going to the Regional Championships—which are no stranger to Beacons after last year’s success—and then the NCAA National Championships in Michigan.
The season began with several losses and the unfortunate injury of sophomore star, Patsy Boland. Despite these mishaps, the Beacons are well on their way towards a successful campaign. Condon recognizes that the makeup of the team is mostly underclassmen with a single senior leading the way. A couple of new players have joined the squad and while they’re still acquainting themselves with diverse plays and team dynamics, thus far, the outlook is promising.
“We’re still a pretty young team, with just one senior,” Condon said. “We have a couple of players that haven’t seen a lot of court time, and they’re just getting to learn the offense. It’s a process.”
The team has acknowledged previous faults, such as the need to improve their transition between offense and defense, and serving errors. However, pressure from the upcoming conference tournament has pushed the team training harder than they have before. The team understands the upcoming hardships of a tough schedule and intense training has helped to improve their play and achieve the expectations placed on them by the UMass Boston community. Their determination to win is not undermined by the upcoming challenges.
“(The season opening tournament in) Philadelphia was kind of like our little test run to see how the team worked together and see where people fit, in what positions,” Morrison said.
“It was a bit of a rough tournament but it was a good slap in the face, and now we know what we needed to do to succeed. We just want to go further than we did last year. We are trying our best to get to that National Championship.”
As the Beacons go up against some of the top volleyball teams in the country, pressure—as well as morale—quickly rises. They hope that their peers will be there to cheer them on throughout this season’s matchups. Condon continues onto her 18th season as a coach with great confidence in the Beacons and their ability to reach their personal and team objectives.
“I love the sport. I love working with these young ladies, and I think working in a college keeps you younger as you get older,” Condon said. “If you don’t love [coaching] then you shouldn’t do it. I love watching them grow up.”
The volleyball team next plays at home on Tuesday, Oct. 21, against Eastern Connecticut state at the Clark Center Gymnasium. Match begins at 6 p.m.