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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Returning the LEC Title

After a large overhaul in the roster, the University of Massachusetts Boston Volleyball has a difficult road ahead of them. In the past, the squad has been recognized as the best team in the Little East Conference, and one of the best teams in the nation. Despite prior success, other teams have labelled this season as a “rebuilding year” for the Beacon Volleyball program.
Let naysayers be naysayers, says Junior Captain Pepper Baker. She believes that while there have been significant changes to the roster, the team will still experience the same success. “This year we brought in a lot of freshmen and our team does have a much different look,” said Pepper. “People said they don’t expect us to achieve the same things we have in the past, but I disagree. This year we will be much more of a collective unit. We don’t have a single star. Everyone on the team has their role to play and we have some extremely talented pieces on our squad.”
With a new looking unit, Head Coach Terry Condon has emphasized the importance of taking each step to improvement day by day. “Our team right now is just focusing on getting better every day. Come into practice and push each other to get better,” stated Condon. “We are working on gelling as a team and working to reach our potential. We have such a young team so right now, we are just taking it one week at a time.”
As Condon stated, the squad will be extremely young this year. The Beacons only have 5 returning players, and they’ve added 12 brand new players to the program. Despite the large turnover, the returning players are full of leaders that know how to win. “This year, our team will be led by Pepper Baker, Elizabeth Glavan, Julia Murphy, and Bri Sousa. All [are] upperclassmen that had significant time the past couple of years,” stated the Coach. “They know what it is like to win a championship and know how hard we must push. They will have to show our new players what it means to play for the Beacons!”
With experienced veterans, and an extremely talented set of newcomers, Beacon Volleyball is positioned atop the Little East Conference. While some say having 9 freshmen is a clear sign of team rebuilding, others understand that the youth have immense talent.  For example, this week Eileen Shi was voted LEC Rookie of the Week. Haley Diedrick and Rachel Maslach are two other Freshmen that are expected to make an impact on the court.

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Although the Beacon’s season has started off slowly, it is no reflection of their true ability. UMass Volleyball program has one of the toughest schedules in the entire nation.  “This season, we have a top 10 strength of schedule. We open the season with 6 of 8 teams that are Nationally Ranked or receiving votes,” said Condon. “We will have a tough task [September 11th-12th] when we host #6, Christopher Newport, #12 Eastern and St Benedict. Should be a great home opener.”
Luckily, the Beacons added a few new members to their already established coaching staff. “Yes, this year, we were very luck to bring back Shannon Thompson and Amber Clemons to the program. Those two and our other assistant Kate Carlson, were very important to the rise of this program,” said the Coach. “These three were great players, but what set them apart is they were better leaders … They all care so much about this program and team, it is inspiring and they are great role models for this team.”
With new talent, and an experienced staff, there is no telling what the Beacons Volleyball Teams potential can be. If the players can gel, and continue to push one another, the expectation is always another LEC Championship. Expect the Beacons to return the Tournament Banner to its rightful home: Clark Gymnasium, right here at UMass Boston.