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Wildcats struggle in New York

The Wildcats continued their October road trip as they headed to New York to face off against conference opponents, the Binghamton University Bearcats and the University at Albany Great Danes. The ‘Cats entered the weekend with a four-game win streak and were tied for first in the America East conference standings. The hot streak cooled off as they dropped both matches.

Senior Demi Muses had a career weekend and freshman Emily Tanski recorded a career-high 20 kills against Albany.

The weekend sweep drops UNH to an 11-10 record and they now sit at third in the conference rankings with a 4-2 record.

“We ended our first round of conference play at 4-2,” head coach Jill Hirschinger said. “We’re excited to wrap up our regular season non-conference opponents this weekend and get back to work for round two [of conference play].”

On Friday, Oct. 14, the Wildcats faced Binghamton and dropped the match in four sets. The teams traded sets one and two but UNH dropped the third and fourth sets 25-23 and 25-19, respectively.

Muses recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 18 digs, Tanski added 11 kills and senior Sara Carlson tailed 15 digs. Senior Keelin Severtson led the way with assists, notching 36 assists in the loss.

Sophomore Gabri Olhava added 10 kills and two blocks. Hirschinger gave credit to the Bearcats on a competitive match. The Bearcats were 2-2 at home heading into the match vs. the Wildcats.

“Binghamton played very well, I give them credit for the way they attacked us,” Hirschinger said. “It is difficult to beat a team on their own court when they are on fire.”

The Wildcats then faced the  Great Danes, who are the conference leaders and undefeated in America East play. After falling behind 2-0, the Wildcats rallied to force a fifth set, but Albany held on to improve to 6-0 in America East play.

Tanski and Muses both notched double-doubles. Tanski had her personal best 20 kills while adding 20 digs. Muses recorded a season-high 22 kills. Severtson tallied 58 assists.

“We, again, had solid performances from [Muses] and [Tanski]. Today was a hard fought battle between two great teams,” Hirschinger said. “I am very proud of the way we came back from a 0-2 deficit to take the match to the fifth set.”

UNH had a great stat line this weekend, but the only category that matters is the win column. The Wildcats recorded season-high team totals in many categories this weekend, with 74 kills, 70 assists and 96 digs.

Looking ahead, the ‘Cats will travel to Delaware State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in a Friday and Saturday back-to-back game slate. UNH will look to bounce back and generate momentum before the second round of conference play.

The ‘Cats close out their road trip at Stony Brook on Oct. 28, and University of Maryland Baltimore County on Oct. 30. UMBC sits ahead of the Wildcats at number two in the conference rankings and a road test against a top conference team may have big seeding implications for both teams.

UNH returns home Nov. 4 against the University of Massachusetts Lowell at 7 p.m. at Lundholm Gymnasium.

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