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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Volleyball drops two of three games

UMass+Boston+Women%E2%80%99s+Volleyball+team+prepares+for+a+home+game.+Photo+by+Salt+Lake+Photo+Company+%2F+Beacons+Athletics.
UMass Boston Women’s Volleyball team prepares for a home game. Photo by Salt Lake Photo Company / Beacons Athletics.

With the season coming to a close, the Beacons looked to gain significant traction in the Little East Conference standings. UMass Boston had a record of 12–7 and was in a tight race with other rivals such as UMass Dartmouth and Western Connecticut; all teams held similar records with a gap of just a few games separating them, as noted by little east.com. [1]

Their two adversaries, on Saturday, Oct. 21, were both out-of-conference opponents in Western Connecticut State University and Mount Saint Mary College in a doubleheader. The Wolves of West Conn were the Beacons’ first task of the day and were a solid squad to face off against; Beacons Athletics pointed out that they held a similar record to UMass Boston Women’s Volleyball, with a win-loss of 13–6. [2] 

The game got off to a slow start for UMass Boston, with the Wolves cruising to two set wins, 25–15 and 25–11, respectively. The Beacons were unfazed, though, and didn’t go down without a fight. They took the third set with an easy 25–15 victory of their own. Their strong momentum didn’t stop there as the fourth set was all theirs once again. They galloped to a quick 19–8 lead, and soon thereafter, Dylan Wertzberger secured the victory with the clinching service ace, taking the set 25–11. 

With the match tied at two, the Beacons looked for the reverse sweep. They fell behind 11–7 early on in the narrow race to 15. Decisive kills from Paige Coulson, Dylan Wertzberger and Livia Trindade flipped the deficit to a 14–13 lead for the Beacons. They were one point away from the win but couldn’t capitalize, and the Wolves came back, winning the set and the game. [3]

The latter match of the doubleheader was against the struggling Mount Saint Mary Knights, who came into the game with a dismal record of 3–18. The Beacons took an early 12–5 lead, but the Knights chipped away slowly, cutting the deficit to five and making it 23–18. However, Mount Saint Mary couldn’t hang on and UMass Boston took the first set. In the second set, the Beacons took the 16–11 lead late. The Knights used a 5–0 run to tie the score, though both teams soon took turns exchanging runs. UMass Boston took the lead back 20–17 and clinched it with a service ace from Paige Coulson and a final kill from Ruby Ackerman.

It looked to be an easy win in the third set for the Beacons after taking a 15–7 lead, but the Knights stayed persistent and battled back to cut the deficit to just two. The Beacons held the lead late but it was slowly getting smaller. According to Beacons Athletics, with the score now 21–19, back-to-back service aces from Ally Dean clinched the set for the Beacons and helped them secure the sweep, leaving them with a one-game split heading into their next matchup. [3] 

On Wednesday, Oct. 25, UMass Boston returned to Beaconville to face off against Simmons University. The Sharks had won 12 out of their last 13 coming into their match against the Beacons, an admirable feat after dropping their first four games of the year. They came to face UMass Boston with a much more respectable record of 15–7. [4]

The Beacons fell into an early hole at 9–3, but clawed their way back and were able to cut the lead down to two, inching them closer to turning the tide. The Sharks swam right back and took control with a 7–0 run, winning the set 25–13. Simmons continued their momentum into the second set, and UMass Boston were looking lost after having trailed 13–4 early on. The Beacons slowly but surely crawled back into the set to cut the deficit to 18–17, but the Sharks continued their relentless attack and won the set by a final score of 25–20. 

The Beacons had to pull out all the stops to get the rare reverse sweep win in the third set. The Sharks put up eight consecutive points on the board early, and the closest UMass Boston could get was a five-point deficit with an 18–13 score. The Sharks were just too dominant though and won the set rather easily after overpowering the Beacons, the final being 25–16. [5]  

It was a tough three-game stand for the Beacons, who continue to try and gain ground in the tough LEC conference standings. Fortunately, UMass Boston will be facing out of conference opponents to help boost their overall record, traveling to Fisher College on Halloween night. [2] With their final home game now behind them, volleyball must take advantage of the opportunity to have the standings in their favor, and an ever-growing pivotal conference match against Eastern Connecticut State University could very well hold the state of their LEC tournament seeding, something that would ultimately make or break their hopes of capturing the conference. The Beacons have all the skills to manifest their own destiny and configure a better record than they currently have, but in order to do so, they must play their cards right and maintain their focus as the regular season comes to an end.

 

[1] Little East Conference. Women’s Volleyballhttps://littleeast.com/sports/wvball 

[2] Beacons Athletics. (2023). 2023 Women’s Volleyball Schedule. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-volleyball/schedule 

[3] Clifford, M. (2023, Oct. 21). Volleyball Splits a Doubleheader in Danbury. Beacons Athletics. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/10/21/womens-volleyball-volleyball-splits-a-doubleheader-in-danbury.aspx 

[4] Simmons Athletics. (2023). 2023 Women’s Volleyball Schedule. https://athletics.simmons.edu/sports/wvball/2023-24/schedule 

[5] Clifford, M. (2023, Oct. 25). Volleyball Gets Bit at Simmons. Beacons Athletics. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/10/25/womens-volleyball-volleyball-gets-bit-at-simmons.aspx