With 9 games left, UH looks for conference-title push
At the mid-season mark, UH (13-11 5-4) has nine matches remaining on the schedule with only four separating them from first place.
Head coach Kaddie Platt said she is appreciative of the previous weekend and its lighter-than-normal game load because it allows more fresh legs this week going into the last stretch of conference play.
“We feel a little bit more energized and prepared for this weekend’s competition,” Platt said.
By virtue of a conference-wide three-way tie for second place, the Cougars are only four wins away from conference-leading Louisville. Platt said the difference between teams at the top of the standings could be attributed to its competitive nature.
“Right now, we are playing everybody for the second time around, so everyone else knows how we play,” said junior middle blocker Kaiti Waters. “Coach says we need to be comfortable and focus a lot on positional hitting and where to score.”
The focusing involves a certain amount of looking at the schedule. Senior defensive specialist Meredith Ware pointed out the unpredictable nature of the conference but said the team is still working to reach the goals they all share.
“Before and after every practice and game, we talk about our goals and the process of how we’re going to get there. We remind ourselves that it’s going to take discipline and determination to get there,” Ware said.
“There are those moments where it starts to get long. But it’s definitely been weird to process that we only have nine games left. We want to keep pushing every single day, knowing that it’s going to end soon, and we don’t want to have any regrets at the end of the season,” she said.
One of the team’s specialties has been the success of the freshman and sophomores, including freshman outside hitter Sarita Mikals and redshirt sophomore Kadi Kullerkann, who is coming off a season-ending injury.
“It’s been really good to watch,” Waters said. “This year, we have a lot of freshmen and sophomores making great impacts, and it shows how great this program can be.”