With the Wash U game looming in the distance, Chicago travels to New York and Boston this weekend to play NYU (10–12, 2–9) and Brandeis (1–10, 8–14), two teams they thoroughly dominated in the first half of UAA play. This regular season road trip will also be the last for a storied class of fourth-years: Morgan Herrick, Meghan Herrick, Taylor Simpson, Bryanne Halfhill and Joann Torres. There were mixed emotions on whether or not the grueling weekend trips, which involve two games in two different cities in just three days, would be missed.
“I will definitely miss road trips,” Morgan Herrick said. “It’s basically time set aside for us to all hang out and be goofy with no obligations.” However, head coach Aaron Roussell had a different story from yesterday morning’s practice.
“I don’t think they were sad about it. I think they were pretty happy that it was the last 7 a.m. practice they were ever going to have before a road trip,” Roussell said.
“I’m not going to lie, these trips are exhausting,” Halfhill said. “[But] I am definitely going to miss the weekends that completely revolve around basketball and being with your teammates.”
Chicago has had their way with the UAA this year, winning games by an average of more than 20 points. This weekend’s teams were no exception. When NYU and Brandeis traveled to Chicago, they were defeated by 22 and 28 points, respectively. Despite the wide margins of victory in the first half of UAA play, Chicago is not underestimating their opponents.
“We did beat these teams out by a significant amount, but we were also at home,” Meghan Herrick said. “There is an element of unfamiliarity that we will have to undergo in combination with traveling. Especially at the end of the season, it is definitely not time to get lackadaisical and take a team for granted.”
It will be a tale of two styles, as well, as Chicago will first face the high-octane offense of NYU before playing Brandeis’s slower and more physical style. “I think NYU scares us, because in transition they’re just so fast. I think playing at their place on a Friday night also presents difficulties,” Roussell said. “We’re going to have our hands full this weekend.”
Brandeis also features guard Morgan Kendrew, one of the most dynamic and intelligent scorers in the UAA.
“Kendrew is a great player,” said Meghan Herrick. “She finishes well at the basket and shoots threes with a high percentage, but most of all she is a smart player. I want to challenge her ability to score with contested shots.”
After this weekend, Chicago will take on Wash U at home, a game that will likely mean little in terms of UAA standings, but will serve as an important barometer of the team’s preparedness heading into March. Wash U is currently ranked 12th in the country.
“If you look too far ahead you’re going to get yourself into trouble,” Roussell said. “I think Sunday night, sitting in the airport, Carissa and I will really start to get into the Wash U preparation.”
Chicago will play at 6 p.m. tonight against NYU and 2 p.m. on Sunday against Brandeis.