The tune of “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond rang in Lundholm Gymnasium before a matchup against the Harvard Crimson. Fitting the song played as both teams are well known New England colleges. It was a sweet finish for the home team Wildcats as UNH swept its Ivy League opponent in straight sets.
It was a night to remember for senior captain Demi Muses. Muses recorded a season high 17 kills, and was as a crucial part in the win.
Volleyball is a team game and Muses got a great performance from her teammates. Freshman Emily Tanski added 15 kills to the teams total of 47. Keelin Severtson led the way under the net; tallying 37 assists and being a facilitator in Tanski’s and Muses’ performances. Fellow captains Sara Carlson and Courtney Bowman combined for 18 digs.
“[Muses] did awesome,” head coach Jill Hirschinger said. “So did [Tanski] coming in and you got to give credit to [Severtson] for a great job setting.”
“Our setters did a really good job running our offense,” Muses said. “We had a great serve receive and did a great job passing.”
The first set was a back and forth contest as neither team led by more than three points. Muses seemed to dominate the play and the Wildcats showed great chemistry on the court.
The second set was all Wildcats. They jumped to a 5-0 start and led by up to eight points in the middle of the set. The ‘Cats took advantage of Harvard’s faults early on and the Crimson couldn’t rally back.
The final set showed more of the same. The Wildcats started with another five-point lead but the Crimson drew as close as a two-point deficit of 18-16. UNH pulled away in the end 25-16.
“The biggest key to this match was serving,” Hirschinger said. “They were on the defensive side all night.”
The rotation the ‘Cats played today could be a more permanent sight to see on the court. The power upfront provided Muses and Tanski compliment Severtson’s ability to make the pass. All the firepower starts with the great defensive play of Sara Carlson.
“It went pretty well today; we’ve only played that formation one set at Cleveland State…we liked it. It looked pretty good I think.” Hirschinger said.
Muses notes that the chemistry between teammates is starting to form, as well as translate onto the court.
“I love my teammates, we have a lot of good energy,” Muses said. We do really well together, we all get along really well.”
UNH used a lot of different rotations in the start of the season, but after tonight’s performance the team might have found their unit.
The ‘Cats have notched their first home win in their second attempt this season. With six more road games, all consecutively towards the end of the season, UNH looks to gain their home court dominance back. They improve to a 5-6 overall record, and look to build on that in the coming games.
If Tuesday nights game is any indication, it seems the Wildcats looked more comfortable with their rotation and all players on the floor seemed to gain more confidence heading into the Holly Young invitational this weekend.
Next up UNH kicks off the Holly Young invitational when they take on Holy Cross Friday Sept. 6 in Lundholm Gymnasium at 7 p.m.