After losing in straight sets to Fresno State, UNH bounced back as they grabbed victories against Siena College and Boston College at the Beantown Challenge. Friday night, the ‘Cats won the fourth and fifth set to come from behind and knock off Siena. In similar fashion on Saturday, UNH rallied in the final two sets to beat Boston College.
Fresno State seemed to be a great test for this young Wildcat team playing without star player Demi Muses. UNH contested the Bulldogs in the first and third set playing back and forth for the majority of the sets. Fresno state was able to pull away early in spots. A 5-0 run in the first, and a 7-3 run in the third was too much to overcome for the ‘Cats ultimately.
Heading into the Beantown Challenge, head coach Jill Hirschinger mentioned that her team needed to get on the court and practice.
“We just need to work on our systems,” Hirschinger said. “We need things to become habit and they just aren’t habit yet.”
“We need to work on all aspects of the game,” freshman Logan Welti said. “If we get extra reps and more touches we’ll be fine.”
Behind freshman outside hitter Emily Tanski’s double-double of 15 kills and 14 digs UNH got back on the winning track Friday night over Siena. Fellow classmate Welti led the team with 15 digs. Senior captain Keelin Severtson tallied 51 assists.
Saturday night seemed to be more of the same as UNH held off the Eagles of Boston College in five sets. Tanski had another double-double (14 kills, 22 digs) and Severtson had another great assist night with 52. The eagles came back from an 18-8 deficit in the third set the ‘Cats had to rally once again to win in five sets.
With two straight wins, the Wildcats get back to .500 with a 3-3 overall record. The return of senior captain Demi Muses and the experience gained with each game by the young UNH squad has proven to be a key factor in their recent success.
The youth of the Wildcats is no exaggeration. With eight freshmen and four sophomores on this year’s squad, the underclassmen outnumber the veterans 12 to six.
Dealing with this young of a team is no challenge for Hirschinger and her staff. When facing the task of getting younger players involved, Hirschinger talked about using team meetings, and team building techniques to build chemistry.
“We Just want to get better every time we step on the court,” Hirschinger said.
With an abundance of freshman, some are asked to step into important roles with little collegiate experience. Three of the Wildcat freshmen are featured in the starting rotation.
Against Fresno State, five members of the class of 2020 saw the court.
“We’re so excited to be this young,” Welti said.
UNH is back in action Tuesday Sept. 6 against Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island