UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Volleyball continues to spike opposing teams into the ground

Women’s volleyball anticipates home game against UMass Dartmouth. Photo by Salt Lake Photo Company / Beacons Athletics.

With how they’ve been playing, not only are they one of the top teams in the Little East Conference, it seems like a guaranteed lock that they’re the top spike ball players on campus, too. UMass Boston Women’s Volleyball has been playing their hearts out lately, and it looks like they’re having a lot of fun while doing so. 

The Beacons have been stopping their opponents dead in their tracks and digging their graves, all the while spiking their chances of destiny into the ground as they now try to reach new heights with sights set on the LEC Championship. The team has endured a complete paradigm shift compared to last season, and hope to continue the trend upward in the coming weeks in preparation for the LEC tournament. 

Of course, in order to grow stronger, the group will have to go through some hardships to boost their morale and progress forward when the rough patches hit. That was the case in their matchup with UMass Dartmouth Wednesday, Oct. 4. According to Beacons Athletics, entering their game against the Corsairs, UMass Boston held a remarkable 9–6 record, a substantial turnaround from their 2022 season in which they finished 8–18. (1) Much of their success can be attributed to a new coaching staff; former University of New Hampshire coaches Stacey Cheney and Morgan Thatcher make up the duo of coaches that have brought the best out of the Beacons, and so far, their leadership has paid dividends on the court. 

The Beacons were riding high into their Wednesday night rivalry, and at first glance, the group seemed nothing but calm, cool and collected after gathering a ridiculous amount of momentum from their previous match. They came off of an impressive victory over Salem State University at home the Saturday prior, sweeping and sinking the Vikings in dominating fashion. It was noted by Beacons Athletics that the team never gave up consecutive points throughout the night, and after 25–20 wins in sets one and two, they iced the game by jumping out to an incredible 17–1 lead, a jaw dropping feat that’s anything but ordinary. They wound up winning their third and final bout 25–6, and the Beacons were amped up after smoking the Vikings on their home court. (2)

The outcome against the Corsairs, though, produced the exact opposite, and the team fell hard, getting a taste of their own medicine in the process after succumbing to a disappointing 3–0 sweep. The group was playing catch up all night, and when it rains, it pours. Every chance they’d get to cut the lead against the Corsairs, UMass Dartmouth would subsequently find a way to scurry away from trouble right before the Beacons could reach striking distance and ignite their energy with a comeback. 

The first two sets are prime examples of that; the Beacons clawed their way back to a 19–12 deficit in set one and in the following set, converted on four straight kills to bring the Corsairs’ lead to five at 19–14. And yet, in both cases, as pointed out by Beacons Athletics, the Corsairs managed to pull away late with impalpable waves of consistency that manifested in near identical runs of 6–0 and 6–1 for 25–13 and 25–14 wins. Set three saw the Beacons’ best chance of a comeback come and go in a heartbeat. The teams’ biggest opportunity of having a resurgence came midway through the set while trailing 17–14, but UMass Boston couldn’t stop the bleeding. The Corsairs went on an 8–4 run to trigger the final blow, closing the match out with a bone-crushing 3–0 defeat. (3)

Regardless of their loss, there were still numerous bright spots for the Beacons, even after the Corsairs disrupted their flow. Hitter Dylan Wertzberger was in her element and kept UMass Boston alive with her clutch play, consistently bringing the team back into the game and giving them a chance to attack offensively. Strikers Amelia Devlin and Ruby Ackerman also showed how much of an impact the underclass heroes have on the team’s performance. The second-year players pulled the curtain on how much potential the team possesses for this season and the years forthcoming. Group that with Wertzgerber’s leadership as a junior and impact players at the junior and senior level, including Livia Trindade and Taryn Broughal, and it makes a clear-cut formula of success for the Beacons. 

Their loss to an LEC rival may be frustrating, but the Beacons’ resilience is what will be put to the test in the coming weeks. As a result of falling to the Corsairs, UMass Boston gave up their tiebreaker to UMass Dartmouth, which means they’d be in some hot water if they have to face them on the road come time for playoffs. However, it’s a period of growth right now for the Beacons, and the onus of responsibility is on them to fight back against the adversity of losing a crucial game like this. And fortunately, there’s no better time than now for them to dig deeper into their bag of tricks and pull off all the stops to get back into the driver’s seat.

According to Beacons Athletics, Volleyball will continue traveling on the road to Nashua, N.H. this weekend for a non-conference game against Rivier University Wednesday, Oct. 11, and will travel back to Columbia point for their first home game in two weeks against Keene State College on Saturday, Oct. 14. (1) You’ll want to be on the lookout for when the Beacons take on the Owls, as they may just fly away into the night with a well-earned win. 


  1. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-volleyball/schedule/2023
  2. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/9/30/womens-volleyball-volleyball-sweeps-salem-state-in-dominant-fashion.aspx
  3. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/10/5/womens-volleyball-volleyball-falls-to-umass-dartmouth-on-the-road.aspx


About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor