The UNH Coaches Blog will be a weekly feature in which selected coaches share thoughts and insights about their program. This week’s blog highlights the women’s basketball and women’s swimming & diving teams.

We are just 2 weeks into our season and the women’s basketball team is off to a good start! We are 3-1 following our overtime victory against Harvard on Tuesday, November 24th. We also have 2 good wins over St. Joseph’s and UMass, both games were hard fought and we gutted it out to get the wins. Our only loss comes at nationally-ranked Maryland.

We had the pleasure of hosting a book signing for UNH alumnae Jackie MacMullan’s When the Game Was Ours just before we tipped off the season against St. Joseph. We had a fabulous turnout for the event. It was wonderful to see so many basketball alumni, specifically teammates of Jackie’s, come back for the event. We topped off the successful event with a reception after the game, which allowed our current players to meet and get to know the players who paved the way for the UNH women’s basketball program.

Although it is early, we are excited about our progress and that we have gotten off to a good start. Our focus this year is on getting better each and every day, and I feel at this point we have done just that. Our players continue to work extremely hard and they are determined to get better. We were picked tied for 4th in the America East pre-season poll. And as I told our players, it’s not where you start, but rather where you finish.

Please mark your calendars for our game against Louisville (national championship runner-up) here in Lundholm Gymnasium on December 22nd at 7pm.

It is always great to be a WILDCAT!

(Kristin Cole is entering her third year as UNH women’s basketball head coach.)

As first semester winds down we are in a great position. Training is going well and we currently stand undefeated at 4-0. This past weekend we competed at the Terrier Invitational at Boston University. The competition was amazing and it was a really fast meet. Our swimmers turned in some top times of the season as we took on teams from the Ivy League, A10, ACC, Patriot League, Colonial League, Northeast Conference and our own America East.

The meet was based on the three day championship format, however there were no squad size limitations or relay restrictions and the permissible event cap was raised allowing each participant to swim more events. This provided more opportunities for the swimmers but also gives a strong advantage to larger teams unlike in dual meets or a regulation championship meet. While the majority of teams were rested, shaved and wearing fastskin racing suits we “swam through” the meet with just two moderate training days prior to the meet and we raced in our dual meet suits. We chose to do this because we have already turned in some great performances over the semester and we didn’t want to sacrifice our long term plans by reducing our training for short term results.

Nevertheless, UNH swimmers rose to the challenge and turned in some fantastic times in terms of in-season personal bests. Ironically many of our women swam faster at the meet this year than they did last season at the same invitational when we did rest and wear technical suits. At the conclusion, we left Boston with three Wildcats – juniors Amy Perrault and Allison Nahin along with freshman Mallory Morrell – all posting times that rank them in the Top 60 in the nation in their respective events.

So from a seasonal plan standpoint, this meet was a tremendous success. Now we are hitting it hard for the remainder of the semester; we have one last home meet before Christmas Break with Vermont on Sunday December 6th at 11:00 am. We had a great turnout at our last home meet in early November, so we are looking forward to seeing a nice crowd.
On another note, we welcomed back close to 50 alums for Homecoming on October 9th. In the morning before UNH football went on to defeat Villanova, we held an Alumni Swim Meet and everyone got to see the great renovations to Swasey Pool and have a swim. We had a terrific showing and alumni brought their families and children and had the chance to compete on some relays with former UNH swimmers. It was a beautiful day and we had the chance to share a lot of memories. Happy Holidays to the UNH Community from our team!
(Josh Willman is in his 18th year as head coach of the UNH women’s swimming and diving team. He was also an assistant coach with the program for one season.)

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