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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Volleyball on precipice of history

Eastern Connecticut’s volleyball team announced their presence in the Little East Conference tournament semi-finals at Keene State College by talking trash. The Lady Beacons announced theirs by sweeping the Warriors out of the gym.The Lady Beacons (25-8) won in a laugher, 3-0, after being motivated by some questionable comments made by an Eastern Connecticut player before the match.”During the coin flip, the referee announced that we would be the home team,” Condon said. “One of their captains said, ‘That’s [expletive]. They’re not even that good.’ “That pumped us up”The game was never in doubt, as the Lady Beacons won in straight sets, 25-19, 25-14, 25-15, with even less trouble than the 3-1 quarterfinal win over Rhode Island College at the Clark Athletic Center Tuesday evening. The only question was whether the Lady Beacons would take the bait offered by the Warriors and get into a war of words with Eastern Connecticut (20-12).”They [Eastern Conn.] were fired up and talking all kinds of trash, but my kids didn’t say a word,” Condon said. “They knew what they needed to do.” Kate McWhorter connected for 16 kills while freshman middle hitter Molly Rattigan and junior outside hitter Kate White combined for 14 blocks. Libero Megan MacAuley led the defense with 16 digs.With the sweep, the Lady Beacons set up a rematch with the Keene State Owls set for last Saturday afternoon. On September 27, Keene State dropped UMass Boston, 3-1, in the second game of a conference double header, handing the Lady Beacons their only conference loss of the season.”Cassy Hanneman had a great game setting up the offense, and Molly Rattigan had a great blocking game as well,” Condon said. “And of course, Kate McWhorter had a great hitting game.”With those three stars playing to their abilities, the Lady Beacon engine hit on all cylinders. Such was the case in the home quarterfinal match against Rhode Island College, when McWhorter finished with 21 kills on the evening, including 9 in the final set. Hanneman was brilliant as well, finishing with 43 assists. Junior outside hitter Kate White also added 15 kills in a win that was hard-fought.”They’re a scrappy team,” Condon said of Rhode Island. “They kept coming back.”The Anchorwomen took the second set last Tuesday to tie the match before taking a lead in the fourth set. However, Hanneman began to set up the offense, and McWhorter came alive to quell any ideas Rhode Island (8-23) had of an upset. That win put the Lady Beacons in a position to take on the Warriors in a rematch of an LEC win at the Clark Center earlier this season, but on a much bigger stage.”I was nervous going into the game, as this was the first Conference semifinal game for a team with a lot of freshman,” Condon said. “But everybody played great.”To win the LEC, the Lady Beacons must now defeat Keene State, their lone conference defeater in 2008. Following that loss to the Owls, the Lady Beacons proceeded to win 15 of their next 16 matches, leading them to the LEC championship game.In other volleyball news, the Lady Beacons not only won the match, but a credible source said that the Lady Beacons will be awarded several individual honors when individual player awards are soon announced. According to the source, McWhorter will be named LEC Offensive Player of the Year and earn a spot on the All-Conference first-team. Also, Cassy Hanneman will be named LEC Rookie of the Year and be placed on the All-Conference second-team. In addition, Nina Sullivan will be added to the All-Conference first-team.