Wildcats drop two to end America East winning streak
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
After dominating the first third of conference play by going 4-0, the UNH volleyball team ended their first run through of their conference foes on the wrong foot, dropping back-to-back games at Albany and Hartford.
The Wildcats travelled to Albany on Friday to take on the Great Danes. New Hampshire got off to a hot start, streaking out to a 5-1 lead in the opening set. Albany put up little resistance and UNH won the set 25-16.
But Albany came out firing for the second set, and the Wildcats never got settled. Albany led from the get-go and squashed every UNH rally. UNH never led in the set and despite only losing by five (25-20), were never in the set at all.
The third set was the closest of them all, with a lot of back and forth play between the two teams. Albany once again led for the majority of the set, but UNH was able to successfully rally and keep the score close throughout. The Wildcats were unable to close it out, however, and loss the third set 25-22.
UNH had little life in the fourth set and were down for the entirety of the set. Though the Wildcats went on two rallies, they were cut down early enough to do little damage to Albany’s lead. Albany took the set, 25-20, winning the game 3-1.
After posting a .351 kill percentage (15 kills and two errors) in the first set, the Wildcats cooled down considerably committing a combined 23 errors compared to the Great Danes 16 errors in the remaining three sets, contributing to their loss.
The Wildcats were looking for revenge against Hartford on Saturday, Oct. 13 after the Albany loss but instead lost in heartbreaking fashion.
New Hampshire started off the game well with a seesaw type first set. Hartford led early in the set before UNH took the lead and held off a late Hartford rally. The Wildcats took the first set 25-21.
For the second day in a row, UNH came out in the second set cold. Hartford was able to take a commanding lead, 19-10, after nine straight Hawks points aided by four UNH errors. After a Wildcat timeout, UNH was able to rally and even take it to a set point at 25-24. The Wildcats were once again unable to close out the set, however, and the Hawks scored three straight points, the last being a service ace, to take the third set.
UNH came out firing for the third set, dominating the Hawks and only posting two errors compared to Hartford’s 13 errors. The Wildcats took it 25-17 and looked to be firmly in control.
The Hawks responded with their own dominating set and crushed UNH in the fourth, 25-15. The fifth and final set was a back-and-forth affair, with each team having chances to close out the game. It was not until the set was knotted at 12-12 that Hartford would make their move with two kills sandwiched between an error to take the set, 15-12, and the game 3-2.
The defeats leave the Wildcats at 4-2 in America East, tied for second with Binghamton. Albany now has a decisive 6-0 conference record at the halfway mark, two games up on UNH. The Wildcats, hoping to host the America East tournament this year, will have to defeat Albany in the second half of the conference schedule to stand a chance at being the number one seed.
UNH returns to action this Saturday, Oct. 20 at Providence.