Stefanie Dolson is admittedly not a huge fan of traveling. With that in mind, this recent stretch was not ideal for her or the Huskies.
UConn spent time in College Station, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, West Hartford, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Calif., Eugene, Ore., Washington, D.C. and Milwaukee since Nov. 17. The Huskies capped a stretch in which they played nine of 14 games either on the road or at a neutral site with Saturday’s win at Marquette.
“We’ve done an awful lot of travel,’’ UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “And I think it’s tiring physically as much as mentally. It seems like every time we turn around we’re packing our bags to go some place. And now we’re going to be home for a whole week. I don’t know who we play after Duke (Jan. 21) but I know we have some time off after that game. So it’ll be good to be home. Actually, we’re going to be home for two weeks now. So that’s a good thing.’’
Said UConn sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis: “Coach told us it was going to be like that. He told us we were going to have a lot of away games and we’re going to be tested and we’re going to have to work against adversity. But I think we’ve done pretty well. Our only loss was here at home (against Notre Dame Jan. 5).
“The coaches do a good job of trying to give us enough time where we land and get time to rest. (Associate head coach Chris Dailey) definitely makes sure that our schedule is good enough for us to rest and she wants us to get up and not be dragging around. But you do get tired from traveling, going on the plane to the bus and then to the hotel and practice and all that stuff. But it’s kind of part of the deal when you come here.’’
Entering tonight’s game against No. 15 Louisville at the XL Center, the Huskies will finally have some time where they can relax a bit and enjoy the comfort of being at home. They will play nine of their next 13 games at home, with five at the XL Center and four at Gampel Pavilion.
UConn has just one road trip that entails boarding a plane (at Cincinnati Jan. 26) in this span and will bus to St. John’s Feb. 2, Providence Feb. 12 and Rutgers Feb. 16.
“It’s going to be good for us to actually get some home games and get comfortable again,’’ Mosqueda-Lewis said. “We’re going to have more time on the court to prepare ourselves for a game. I think it just gives us and the coaches more reassurance that, `We’re going to have time to get ready for this.’’’