Team Ranked No. 16 in American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll
The University of Massachusetts Boston’s volleyball team has earned its highest-ever ranking in a national poll.
The Beacons made team history this month when the American Volleyball Coaches Association ranked them No. 16 out of 485 squads. UMass Boston, coming off a strong 2011 season, earned a total of 211 points in the survey of competing Division III coaches.
UMass Boston compiled a 28-5 record last season en route to a third consecutive Little East Conference tournament title and a second straight trip to the NCAA East Region final.
“It’s nice that the coaches think we are going to be that good,” said Terry Condon, head volleyball coach and senior associate athletic director. “To be 16 in the nation when there are 485 teams is a pretty good honor. I think it’s great.”
“As a four-year member [of the team], it's very exciting to get this high of a ranking. I know that we want to finish higher and go for it all, and this is just the start,” added senior middle hitter Shannon Thompson, an exercise and health sciences major from Moorpark, California.
Last week, Little East Conference coaches picked UMass Boston to earn their fourth straight conference title. It was a unanimous decision, with the Beacons receiving all eight first-place votes for a total of 64 points.
“Our first goal is to win the conference. We have to win the conference to get to the NCAA tournament, and our goal every year is to win the tournament,” Condon said.
This year’s team blends experience and youth, Condon said. Thompson and fellow senior Kayla Wilson could earn their fourth All-American honors this season, while five freshmen are likely to play key roles in 2012, especially at the setter position.
“The team is coming together great in practice. Every day we are getting better and better, and it is great to see how the team is coming along from when we first started,” Thompson said.
The team leaves for California on Wednesday to begin its season against California Lutheran University and the University of La Verne.
About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex urban issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.