Volleyball: ‘Cats earn top seed

Bret Belden

By Melissa Proulx, Staff Writer

Cameron Johnson/Staff UNH captured its fifth straight America East regular season title on Thursday.
Cameron Johnson/Staff
UNH captured its fifth straight America East regular season title on Thursday.

After a long fight, the UNH Women’s Volleyball team won on Thursday, extending its win streak to eight games against Stony Brook with a 3-0 win and clinched the title of America East for the fifth year in a row.

From the very first set, UNH played hard and strong, ending the first with a score of 25-18 and earning the first kill of the game within the first minute. While the points added up quickly, this comfortable point difference between the two teams shrank over the next two sets, with a score of 26-24 in the second and 25-20 in the third, even tying at 16-16 during the second set.

This change in play was something that head coach Jill Hirschinger picked up on.

“It’s great anytime you win the regular season 3-0,” Hirschinger said. “I thought we played extremely well in the beginning; I thought we lost our focus a little towards the end …[but] a win’s a win.”

It was junior outside hitter Abby Brinkman who scored the final match point, making it her ninth kill in all. Brinkman was recently picked for the Capital One CoSIDA Division Volleyball All-District First team on Thursday, Nov. 6. Her first ever nomination, the honor is given to a player who is either a varsity starter or key reserve and maintains a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 on a 4.00 sale.

Cassidy Coci, a junior middle blocker, earned this honor last season and was named to the Second Team this season.

Defensive specialist, junior Maddison Lightfoot, who recenwtly achieved 1,000 digs during the Friday, Oct. 3 game against Binghamton University, was able to add 11 more to her record after tonight.

But even with all the specific success, Hirschinger was proud of the way the entire 

team had worked together.

“I can’t even say one player that stood out because I think they all stood out,” Hirschinger said. “They all did their job, and they all did great.”

This game mirrored the Wildcat’s success when they last faced the New York school back on Oct. 18 with UNH winning 3-1.

But even with this, Hirschinger says that they will continue to work on their weaknesses they’ve dealt with for the entire season and improve their game.“Serving and passing, it’s kind of what we live and die by. We did a great job, except we started off missing too many serves, and we have to let up a little bit,” Hirschinger said.

Hirschinger has no doubts that the team will be able to overcome these in tomorrow night’s game.

“I think they felt a little more pressure on winning this because it’s a big game. I think it just gave a lot of confidence going in and going in to Hartford tomorrow,” Hirschinger said. “It’s another important match at the end of the season.”

“We want to get another win,” she added. “Every match is important.”

The team will be hosting Hartford in Lundholm Gymnasium at 7 p.m for the last game in the scheduled season. The Wildcats will also be celebrating their Senior Day during this time, where they will honor middle back Delaney Dameron, Server Taylor Dunklau and defensive specialist and co-captain Katie Sattora.

UNH will also serve as the host of the America East Championships, set for Thursday, Nov. 21 and Friday, Nov. 22.