“There’s no place like home,” senior Demi Muses said.
The Wildcats returned home to Lundholm Gymnasium this weekend after a long eight-game road trip. The familiar atmosphere boosted the ‘Cats as they dominated both matches against the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the University of Hartford, winning both in straight sets.
UNH went undefeated on the weekend and now, with a current six game winning streak, they improve to 17-10, and 8-2 in conference play. UNH has now secured a spot in the America East championship tournament.
Friday, Nov. 4 brought the Riverhawks to Durham for their second matchup of the season. Muses continued her stellar play as of late as she recorded her fourth consecutive double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs.
“We’ve really been working hard on discipline this week, just hitting our bases on defense and we executed it in tonight’s match,” Muses said.
Although it was a sweep for UNH, assistant coach Stacy Barnett knew UMass Lowell wasn’t an easy matchup.
“I was really proud of the team for how we closed it out in three. [Umass Lowell] is tough, they fight, they’re really scrappy, so I was proud that we closed the door in three,” Barnett said. Head coach Jill Hirschinger was not present for the matches this weekend due to personal reasons.
Sophomore Gabri Olhava added eight kills and five blocks, as senior Keelin Severtson tallied 29 assists in the win.
With the win, UNH clinched a spot in the 2016 America East conference tournament where the games will be hosted by the top seed, which is to be determined.
Saturday, the ‘Cats continued their dominating trend as they also swept the Hartford Hawks. UNH only allowed 22 combined points in the first two sets.
Freshman Emily Tanski notched a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs, while fellow classmate Kennedi Smith recorded 11 kills and Severtson added 35 assists.
Severtson’s single-season assist number grew to 1,051 this weekend which ranks her ninth all time in program history with assists in a single season.
As the season winds down, every game matters, especially for UNH as they take on the number one seed and the number three seed in the conference for their final two games.
“One game at a time, we’re excited, we just got to take care of our game, we can’t look ahead. We’ll think about next week, next week,” Barnett said.
With a fourth-consecutive America East championship at stake, the Wildcats have adopted a constant work attitude as the regular season draws to a close.
“We’re excited, we’re working hard, no days off, no games off, no plays off and we’re looking to win a championship and I think we can do that with our hard work,” Muses said.
Demi Muses’ could put her in the conversation or America East Player of the Year. Muses was the co-player of the year last season and has improved her game heading into her senior campaign. Muses leads the team in kills, but has shown her all-around skill with great digs, serves, and leadership on the court.
UNH finishes their season with two home games against Albany on November 11th at 7 p.m., and against Binghamton November 13th at 1 p.m.