The recently crowned America East regular season conference champions owe a lot of their record setting success to transfer student-athletes. UNH has three junior transfers on its roster, Brittani Lai, Kat Fogarty and their newest transfer, Olivia Healy, has already been making her impact felt.
The 5’10” guard joined the already dominant junior class in the middle of the season, and she’s wasted no time making an impact. In 13 games played, Healy has avergaed 10.5 points per game, and adding 6.2 rebounds a game.
“l try to provide anything I really can, whether it would be passing, rebounding, scoring in certain games,” Healy said. “I haven’t really played in two years so coming out I got a feel for it the first five games, and now I know I need to crash the boards every game, look for my shot and pass.”
“She’s been such an amazing addition,” head coach Maureen Magarity said. “What I love most about her is her toughness. Finding ways to score, or if we need a big defensive stop or rebound, she finds a way to do that.”
As the ‘Cats have been the best team in the conference all year, a lot has to do with the chemistry of the unit. Healy found out first hand how close the team is and how it has allowed for success this season.
“It’s been a family atmosphere since I got here,” Healy said. “[The conference title] means a lot to us, it means a lot to the school and it speaks a lot to coach Magarity and all the support we’ve had.”
Healy’s first game was against the University at Albany and she impressed in her Wildcat debut as she scored 14 points. Healy’s best scoring performance came against the University of Maine when she scored 16 points in a win.
Healy has been averaging 30 minutes per game and has started for the Wildcats in their past 10 games. Adding Healy’s offensive talents to an already dangerous team has opened up a lot of UNH.
With the forward play of Fogarty and Carlie Pogue generating a lot of issues for opposing team’s defenses, the backcourt of Healy, Lai, Kristen Anderson and Aliza Simpson has had their moments to take over games.
“It’s been awesome, (Healy) brings such a different dimension to our team,” Magarity said. “We’re able to put her inside and post up on smaller guards, and she can step out. She’s one of our defensive stoppers. She’s another weapon offensively and defensively.”
Healy requested a release form from the University of Richmond in August and as soon as it was accepted she began the college search, again. After a meeting with Magarity, Healy felt at home.
“I came here and they gave me a playbook and (Peyton Booth) was roommate on road trips and she quizzed me every night,” Healy said. “We’re one unit and really cohesive.”
At Reading Memorial High School, Healy was a star and was named the 2013 Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year, and the Miss Boston Player of the Year. Healy’s homecoming has also allowed her to play in front of some familiar faces.
“My 94-year-old grandmother came to the Hartford game and she has never seen me play college basketball,” Healy said. “Playing in front of people you know and you love, it’s exactly what I missed and wanted and got when I got here.”
Healy and the ‘Cats take the court on senior night, Thursday Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. against the University of Massachusetts Lowell at Lundholm Gymnasium.