After a disappointing loss last weekend to Wash U, the Maroons look to get back on track in a slate of weekend road games this weekend. Chicago hits the road to play at Carnegie Mellon on Friday and will stop to play at Case Western Reserve on their way back to Chicago on Sunday. These two conference road games will be a tough test for the South Siders as they try to climb the UAA conference standings.
The Maroons are about halfway through their season and have just started the most meaningful part of the year: conference play. After an 80–63 loss last week to Wash U, Chicago comes into this weekend with a record of 8–4. The team is looking to steal a couple of road games this weekend to improve their mark.
It is always tough coming out of a big loss like the one the team suffered last week to Wash U. However, second-year guard Elizabeth Nye is not worried about any carry over from last weekend. “The loss to Wash U was tough but I think we will bounce back from it for sure. We now know what it’s going to take to win in UAA,” Nye said. Even though the team lost their last game, Nye shined as she scored a season high of 22 points.
The Maroons are mentally ready for the weekend, but they will need to make some adjustments in practice and scheme for their results differ from last weekend. After letting up so many points, defense was the focus this week for the Maroons. “Wash U scored 80 points on us…that should never happen, so we have been working on the parts of our defense that have been struggling,” Nye said. Second-year guard Madison Dunbar also said that this has been an intense week of practice, centered on fixing the problems against Wash U. “This week of practice has been focused on correcting those problems. For example, we are focusing on rebounding every drill to completion this week so that it translates into rebounding for the games,” Dunbar said.
Chicago will try to bring these adjustments into play this weekend against two conference foes. The South Siders are ready for this new part of their schedule to start up. “Conference games are definitely more exciting. Each one feels like a rivalry because there is just so much history between all the teams,” Nye said. First, the Maroons will play Carnegie in Pittsburg. Coming into the game ranked 21st in the country and with an undefeated record of 12–0, Carnegie will surely be a formidable opponent. After Carnegie, the Maroons travel to Cleveland to play Case Western. Case is coming into the weekend with a record of 5–7.
Besides the two tough opponents the Maroons will face on the court, they will also have to face the trials of their first big road trip on the year. Travel is difficult on any team, but the veteran-filled squad seems to be ready for the challenge. “Travel weekends are always tough because there are still many distractions such as school work and missed class. However, when it’s time to practice or play a game we always do a good job of blocking out those distractions for the hours we are playing,” Dunbar said.
The South Siders are looking forward to hitting the road this weekend. Chicago tips-off against Carnegie on Friday at 5 p.m. Then on Sunday, the Maroons play Case in Cleveland at 1 p.m. After this weekend, the Maroons come back to Chicago to face off against fourth-ranked NYU next week.