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The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

UMass Boston Women’s Volleyball Team hopes to bounce back under new coaching

A+player+spikes+the+ball+during+one+of+the+final+womens+volleyball+games+of+the+Fall+2022+season.+Photo+by+Josh+Kotler.+
A player spikes the ball during one of the final women’s volleyball games of the Fall 2022 season. Photo by Josh Kotler.

After a rather disappointing 2022 season that saw them go 8–18 with a second round elimination in the Little East Conference tournament, the UMass Boston women’s volleyball team knew adjustments had to be made. (1) In an effort to help the program, the school made the decision to shake things up by bringing in former University of New Hampshire volleyball coach Stacy Cheney. (2)

Coach Cheney saw plenty of success during her 13 years at UNH, putting together consistent winning seasons, four America East Regular Season Championships, four America East Conference Tournament Championships and—to cap things off—even made the NCAA tournament four straight years from 2013 to 2016. (2) Her experience as a leader has the potential to reignite the spark the Beacons need in order to take their play to the next level.

She is not the only addition the Beacons have made, however, as Morgan Thatcher will be joining Cheney’s staff alongside her. Thatcher was a head coach at Emmanuel College, as well as interim head coach at Stonehill College. She and Cheney have a history together, as they previously joined forces on the Wildcats’ staff for four seasons. (3) Thatcher’s presence played a role in the Wildcats’ success, and bringing her along for the ride should be key in helping the Beacons reach similar heights.

The Beacons’ volleyball squad will also feature three new incoming recruits. Paige Coulson, Mae Lima and Katie Tuohy will be starting their college volleyball careers this fall. (4) Their abilities and talent could prove them to be strong contributors this upcoming season on a team filled with veterans. It’s hard to imagine a more fulfilling offseason than the one that the Beacons’ just had, as all these new additions could very well be just what they need to take the leap this year.

The season will kick off Friday, Sept. 1, but it will be quite a while until the Beacons return to Clark Athletic Center. The Springfield College Tournament will be the first in-game action this year’s Beacons will see. They’ll play three matches in Springfield before returning to Boston Tuesday, Sept. 5 for a match against Emerson College on the Lions’ home court. (5) 

However, their return to Boston will not last long, as they go on the road for the following six games, including three matches in Dartmouth for the UMass Dartmouth Invitational. It is not until Wednesday, Sept. 20 that the Beacons come back to campus for a game. It is there that they will face off against Fisher College for their home opener. (5) 

Strangely enough, after facing the Falcons, the Beacons will play in only five more games on their home court this year, totaling six, which equates to half as many as last season. Four of these opponents are in the LEC; the Beacons will face Plymouth State University Saturday, Sept. 23; Keene State College Saturday, Oct. 14; University of Southern Maine Wednesday, Oct. 18 and Castleton University Saturday, Oct. 28. Salem State is the only non-LEC school aside from Fisher College that will come to Clark, and they are scheduled to face the Beacons Saturday, Sept. 30. (5)

The LEC tournament, as always, will take place in November. Last season, the Beacons managed to pull off an upset against a three-seeded UMass Dartmouth team that won nineteen games in the regular season. The excitement, unfortunately, was cut short by Keene State in their next match, as they ended the Beacons’ season (1). However, this year, UMass Boston looks to make it even further in the tournament and prove that the adjustments they made were the right ones. 

The season will be challenging on a schedule filled with traveling, but this is a brand new team that’s able to start from scratch. Coach Cheney and Coach Thatcher, alongside players old and new, are perfectly capable of turning this team in a new direction and proving that they are not to be messed with this time around.

Sources:

  1. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-volleyball/schedule/2022
  2. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/3/28/womens-volleyball-stacy-cheney-named-head-volleyball-coach-at-umass-boston.aspx
  3. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/5/3/womens-volleyball-morgan-thatcher-named-assistant-volleyball-coach.aspx
  4. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/6/6/womens-volleyball-volleyball-announces-incoming-2023-class.aspx
  5. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-volleyball/schedule

 

About the Contributor
Liam Crampton, Sports Writer