The University of Massachusetts Boston women's volleyball team received 2010 championship rings in a ceremony on March 29, capping off their best season in university history.
Coming off of a record-breaking 2009 season, the Beacons continued their domination of New England Division III in 2010. Winning the Little East Conference Tournament Championship for the second time in a row, the Beacons bested Springfield College to capture the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship in November.
They advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight for the first time in program history.
Although the season ended with a loss to Calvin College in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals in St. Louis, the Beacons went home ranked 17th in the country, the program's highest national ranking ever.
**Check out photos from the ring ceremony on the UMass Boston Flickr site.**
"I didn't expect this at the beginning of last year," Head Coach Terry Condon said at the ring ceremony. "I had a wonderful team that worked hard, are great students, and accomplished a tremendous amount."
Condon hopes to see her team at the national championship next season.
"I keep saying, 'Two more,'" she said. " We were just two (matches) away from winning it all, two from the championship. ... It was a great year, and next year we'll do more."
Each member of the squad was given her ring by Coach Condon, Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Charlie Titus, and Chancellor J. Keith Motley.
"You have put us on the map as strong Little East contenders, and are inspiring future players to come join us," Chancellor Motley said. "With all your hard work, spirit, and passion, we really couldn't be prouder to have you represent us out on the court."
Not only did the team have its best season, but sophomore middle hitter Shannon Thompson was selected as a First Team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), the first student-athlete in program history to earn the honor. She was also named Player of the Year by the New England Women's Volleyball Association. Coach Terry Condon was named New England Region Coach of the Year by AVCA for a second time.
The Beacons have not lost a home match since September 2008, with 29 consecutive victories in the Clark Athletic Center.
The 2010 volleyball team is only the second team in UMass Boston Athletics history since the 1980s to advance to a national championship. The 2010 Beacons baseball team made its first-ever appearance in the Division III College World Series last May.