bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on tonight's match with Nevada and Saturday night's match against Fresno State?
Mike Jordan: Nevada has played a lot of good teams and I don't think their record is indicative of what kind of team they have. They have a lot of returners from last year's team. I think they do some things that could give us some problems for sure. They always play well in their gym and we've had a lot of moments when we haven't played well in this gym. We're gearing up for it. I think it's going to be a pretty good match
Fresno obviously hasn't lost in conference play yet. A lot of good talent on that team. I think it's within our reach to go out and get two wins on the road but we're going to have to play well to do it.
bc.net: You mentioned Nevada playing well in their gym, they've only played there twice this season. What kind of challenge will it pose playing a team that will be really fired up to finally be playing at home?
MJ: Yeah, I'm sure they will be. They've been on the road so much, it's just tougher to win. I would expect to get their best effort for sure.
bc.net: Michelle Kuester has really started to get into a groove the last couple of weeks.
MJ: Michelle is playing well and she's our best blocker and has really improved her offensive game. We're starting to feel a lot more comfortable setting her in certain situations. She's just really playing well, playing the best volleyball of her career. I think she can keep getting better.
bc.net: One of the other things that has picked up in the past couple of weeks has been your blocking and your floor defense.
MJ: Yeah, I think we've been playing a little bit better. We still miss too many assignments and we go through lulls that we can't go through defensively where we've got to sacrifice our body a little bit more. Everybody on the floor needs to work at defending, not just the back row defenders. If we can get all of our players on the floor at the same time competing hard defensively I think we'll be even better.
bc.net: With the past three matches, Idaho, Utah State and UNM stretch, do you feel like your team is starting to put together longer stretches of sustained good play?
MJ: Yeah, it's still not consistent enough. To be a great team, when we've had great teams we've been able to play at a high level for three straight sets or four straight sets, whatever it took and very few instances of bad play. This team is still a little inconsistent that way but I have seen improvement and that's all you can ask for. You want it to happen overnight but it's not an overnight process.
bc.net: One of the other things that you've talked about not being an overnight process is the serving game and the team has started to serve the ball better in the last couple weeks as well.
MJ: Yeah, I don't want to jinx it and say that we're definitely better but the numbers have shown that. We out-served and passed UNM the other night and they're typically a very good serve and pass team. I feel good about our improvement but we've still got a ways to go to compete with the Hawai'i's of the world.
bc.net: What are a couple keys to tonight's match against Nevada and a couple of keys to Saturday night's match against Fresno State?
MJ: I think Nevada sets the slide very well and we haven't been that great at defending it. I think we need to hopefully step up there and slow them down. Obviously our biggest issue all year has been the unforced errors and we're hoping to keep those to a minimum.
Same thing for Fresno State as far as our unforced errors, we've got to minimize those again. We're going to have to work hard to stop [Brianna] Clarke and their outside hitters. They're a pretty athletic team and hopefully we can keep their best players in check like we did with UNM and Utah State.