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The Mass Media

Volleyball goes through some ups and downs

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Women’s volleyball prepares for a game. Photo by Salt Lake Photo Company / Beacons Athletics.

On Saturday, Oct. 7, UMass Boston faced off against Rhode Island College in Providence, RI. The Anchormen of Rhode Island have just about been a .500 team all year, with their record standing at 6–7 going into this matchup. 

The Beacons got ahead early in this one, winning the first set despite a strong Anchormen comeback, 25–22. The second set was a nail-biter, as the Beacons’ 20–15 lead was cut short by a 4–0 Rhode Island College run to make it 20–19, but a pair of timely kills by freshman Mya Perron gave the Beacons another 25–22 victory. UMass Boston needed one more set to finish them off and secure a whopping 7th sweep of the season, and they got exactly that. The Anchormen fought hard, but the Beacons proved to be victorious in the end, taking a 25–19 win in the third set, and as pointed out by Beacons Athletics, secured a 3–0 sweep over the Anchormen (1). 

Four days later on Wednesday, Oct. 11, the Beacons took a trip up north to Nashua, NH to take on Rivier University and their Raiders. Rivier was coming off a gritty 3–0 sweep from Plymouth State the day before on their home court, while the Beacons looked to follow up their triumphant 3–0 victory over Rhode Island College with a win here against a rowdy Raiders squad. 

In the opening set to start the game, the Beacons came firing right out of the gate, getting a pair of aces from Amelia Devlin and three kills from Dylan Wertzberger, helping the Beacons elevate to a 7-0 run and tying the set after being down 17–10. UMass Boston was able to put together some leads late in a thrilling back-and-forth set, making it 23–21, then 24–23, and then 25–24. But in the end, Rivier would come out on top, winning a crucial extended set 27–25. 

The second set, on the other hand, belonged solely to the Beacons. The team got out to a quick 18–9 advantage, acquiring some important kills from Alley Dean, Lauren Westlund and Katie Touhy. They put together a dominating 7–3 run and ran away with the set with a final score of 25–12.  Rivier refused to go down without a fight though, and in the third set, after the Beacons sparked a 7-0 run early, nearly came face to face with another loss as the match point came around. The score was 24-15 and UMass Boston showed their strong resiliency, cutting it close to 24-22. Paige Coulson contributed three aces to the comeback attempt for the Beacons. However, their comeback campaign was cut short as Rivier quickly closed out the set 25–22. 

The Beacons were now deep in the hole and needed back-to-back set victories to secure a hard-fought match. UMass Boston had an early 12–8 lead, but Rivier cut the lead down to 16–15 in the early goings. The Beacons then got what they needed with three kills from Taryn Broughal and another from Mikayla Cleary, pushing the lead back to a comfortable 21–15 advantage. That turned out to be the separation the Beacons needed, as they closed out the fourth set 25–18. UMass Boston was now in control of their destiny after making it an interesting game going into the fifth and final set. 

The last set was a heavy back-and-forth affair. Both teams were neck and neck with the score at 9–9 in the short sprint to 15, but Rivier closed it out with a 6–0 run, and as noted by Beacons Athletics, came away with the final set 15–9, taking the 3–2 victory (2). It was a gritty game played by the Beacons as they came extremely close to pulling out a grueling win, but the momentum just didn’t go their way this time around. 

Coming out of their matchup against Rivier, UMass Boston stood tall with a 10–7 record, but their conference record of 1–2 heading into last weekend is something they must fix. Thankfully, the Beacons have the opportunity to get on the right track in conference play; they face off against Southern Maine at home this Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 6:00 p.m, before traveling to Danbury, CT for a conference matchup against WestConn this Saturday (3). Support your fellow classmates as they look to turn the tides against the Huskies and make a name for themselves in the Little East Conference. 

 

[1] Clifford, M. (2023, October 7). Sweepin’ Beacons Pick Up Their First LEC Win. UMass Boston. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/10/7/womens-volleyball-sweepin-beacons-pick-up-their-first-lec-win.aspx

[2] Clifford, M. (2023, October 11). Beacons Battle to Fifth Set in Nashua. UMass Boston. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/10/11/womens-volleyball-beacons-battle-to-fifth-set-in-nashua.aspx

[3] UMass Boston. 2023. Women’s Volleyball Schedule. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-volleyball