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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The (Beacon) Blues Continue

The young UMass Boston women’s volleyball team had more growing pains in the 2003 season, losing to a cohesive and powerful Emmanuel College squad 3-1.

The defeat had nothing to do with a lack of effort on the part of the Beacons. Every single Beacon made diving dig attempts and the team’s hustle was in exhibition throughout the entire evening.

UMB just couldn’t handle Emmauel’s power. The Saints displayed a frightening frontline of middle blockers and outside hitters who combined a mixture of pinpoint accuracy and touch on kill attempts.

Middle blocker Stephanie Adams (game high seven aces) led the Beacons to an early 6-2 lead while serving. Emmanuel, however, soon tied the game at six, helped by a pair of kills by outside hitter Rachael Ziminsky. The intensity on both sides picked up, made evident by ferocious kill attempts and miraculous scrambling recoveries on the sidelines.

Emmanuel went on a mini four-point run, forcing Beacon coach Ken goon to call a timeout to quell the momentum. The timeout had little effect as Emmanuel continued to apply pressure, slowly increasing the lead to eight (22-14). The Saints would have run away with the set if they had not made so many service errors.

The Beacons, nevertheless, could do little to stop the momentum. Emmanuel’s frontline hammered away on kill attempts. Although UMB hung in there with some long exchanges and cut the lead to five (25-20), it was too little, too late, as Ziminsky, with a hard accurate kill into the far right corner, finished off the set 30-22.

The second set started out much like the first as the Beacons grabbed an early lead (3-0), but the Saints quickly came back and took the lead, 4-3, as Emmanuel’s Andrea Basteri won a tipping contest at the net against UMB’s Julian Fariass.

UMB kept the score close with Kerrin Morganelli making several impressive digs, and Katharina Schnur (16 kills) demonstrating the offensive skills around the net that helped her to win the Little East Conference’s Rookie of the Week in the second week of the season.

Although the momentum switched back and forth for a little while, Emmanuel seized control of the set, pushing the lead to 25-18. Even after a UMB timeout, the Saints capped off the set with a 5-2 run for a final score of 30-20.

It would have been easy for the Beacons to lay down in the third set. Yet the young team played its best. UMB jumped out to a 9-7 lead, and then to a 13-9 advantage, with a combination of Adams serves, Farias digs, and Schnur kills.

Even though Emmanuel made more mental errors in the third set, it was the never say die attitude that kept the Beacons out in front. There were several times that UMB kept the ball in play when it looked like Emmanuel had a sure point. The energy of the Beacons never abated, and helped by the enthusiasm of the spectators, UMB finished off Emmanuel, taking the set 30-24.

The final set of the match was close early on. However, the frontline of Emmanuel continued to launch vicious kill attempts, while the lack of overall power of UMB allowed the Saints to recover and set up plays. Several timeouts by Coach Goon did little to help the Beacons recover the magic of the third set. Although the fourth set was not a runaway, the Saints for the most part had control, taking the set 30-24, and winning the game 3-1.

The Beacons did not fare well in a Little East Conference tournament held on the campus of Western Connecticut State, losing 3-0 to Western Connecticut and then dropping a 3-1 game to Keene State. After the tournament, the team’s record stands at 2-21. The Beacons finished their home schedule on Wednesday October 29 against Massachusetts Maritime Academy at 6pm. It finishes the season on the road against Wentworth Institute at 12pm.