With an 11-10 overall record, the UNH Wildcats have two non-conference games before heading into round two of America East play. The ‘Cats will square off against Delaware State on Friday, Oct. 21 and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday, Oct. 22, both on the road.
After losing two straight games to Binghamton and Albany, UNH looks to the weekend to get back on its feet.
“We played really well last week, we didn’t make any mistakes we just ran into a hot Binghamton team and a good Albany team,” head coach Jill Hirschinger said.
The games may not hold conference importance, but for a team struggling to find its stride as the season winds down, every game matters.
“Conference games matter, that’s what’s important,” Hirschinger said. “But we want to get better every time we step on the court.”
After 21 games this season, and plenty of years of experience at the helm of the program, Hirschinger knows how to fix her team’s play and this year is no different.
“We just need to work harder, work harder off the ball, we’re too hesitant,” Hirschinger said. “Everyone has to take care of their job. We need to get better at the serving and passing game.”
Delaware State and UNH share two common opponents this season, Sacred Heart and the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). The Hornets lost to UMBC three sets to one, and got swept by Sacred Heart in three straight sets.
The Wildcats beat UMBC in straight sets 3-0, but fell to Sacred Heart three sets to one earlier this year.
The Hornets hold an 0-22 record and have only won four sets all season. The struggles of Delaware State provides an opportunity for UNH to built momentum heading into the final road trip of the regular season.
“We have to take care of us,” Hirschinger said on the matchup with the Delaware State Hornets. “We can give experience to players who haven’t had it and give them the opportunity to play.”
The fire power of Demi Muses, Emily Tanski and Kennedi Smith upfront as well the skills of Keelin Severtson and Sara Carlson will see some rest as players from the bench will be called upon to perform.
Players such as Hannah Petke, Logan Welti and Molly Wotton, will be called upon to have a bigger role this weekend.
The Hawks are 13-10 overall and have a 6-1 conference record. The Hawks are 3-3 at home where they will face off against the Wildcats. Both teams have played Navy this season and lost. This season, the Hawks played and swept Delaware State 3-0 on Oct. 14.
“[The Hawks have] a good shot at the NCAA tournament, we want to take care of ourselves on the court,” Hirschinger said. “We want to get better during this game.”
After a weekend of road trips in the Mid-Atlantic, the Wildcats return to the Northeast against Stony Brook Oct. 28 on the road, and then finish their road schedule back in Maryland to square off against UMBC, on Oct. 30.