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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Lose and Go Home

Nothing beats the postseason. Athletes’ tempers are flaring, stakes are increased, and a single loss can be the end of a dream season.
Fortunately, the University of Massachusetts Boston Women’s Volleyball team is accustomed to the intensity of the postseason. The Beacons have been a Little East Conference Championship contender for the past seven seasons. Head Coach Terri Condon has ingrained an identity and attitude within the program that is well suited to high-stakes games. This is reflected in UMass Boston’s five postseason conference tournament titles in her decade as Head Coach.
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Early in the season, critics were questioning whether or not the Beacon Volleyball program had peaked and fallen off a cliff. After seven straight winning seasons, UMass Boston Volleyball started their 2015 campaign 2-8 overall. Naysayers exclaimed that the Beacons were done this season, and the remainder of the year was for “rebuilding.” On the contrary, the Beacons were far from packing in the towel. The heartache and difficulties in the first half of the season proved to be learning experiences for the squad.
The remainder of the year, UMass Boston Volleyball relentlessly competed and fought to turn their season around. In the following 15 games, the Beacons went 8-7 overall and 6-0 in Little East Conference play. After a slow start, the team finished their season 10-15 overall in regular season play and 6-1 in conference play.
Entering the Little East Conference Tournament, the Beacons are seeded as the second place team, behind first place Keene State. UMass Boston is set to face a short-handed Rhode Island College in the first round of tournament play. The Beacons are heavily favored in the match, but if they don’t bring their A-game, defeat is not out of the question. While the Beacons have been excellent in conference play, they have been extremely inconsistent overall in the regular season. The team’s performances have been described as Jekyll and Hyde. No one knows what to expect from them.
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Despite the inconsistency, the Team is still confident that they will be able to hang another banner in Clark Gymnasium. “We have been resilient this year. When people thought we were on our way out, we hung in and found a way to pull out some big time wins,” said Captain Baker. “People doubted that we’d even be a postseason team and now we are second seed and a title contender. We just want to go out and win. We want to prove how good of a team we really are.”
Baker, Murphy, Shi, and Sousa have all performed exceedingly well this season. Their leadership has been an integral piece of the sustained success experienced in the second half of season play. Having said that, none of them would be content with the season ending today. “We want to win the LEC; that’s our goal. Anything less and we fall short,” said Baker. “We just have to work together and keep fighting. We know it won’t come easy.”
Baker is right. Championships are earned, not given. If the Beacons want to hang another banner, they better expect to shed blood, sweat, and tears.  While the journey will be difficult, the resilient Beacons are poised to make another run at the LEC hardware.