bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the two matches this past weekend?
Mike Jordan: It was an interesting weekend. Obviously we had some issues against LA Tech siding out. Give them credit, they played great defense and dug a ton of balls. Frustrated us a little bit. We were able to eventually pull it together and play better as the match wore on. But we weren't very satisfied with our performance obviously.
Saturday I thought we played really well. I thought we worked hard defensively, we blocked the ball well and did some good things. Hopefully we're making progress.
bc.net: As far as blocking goes in the UT Arlington game what were some things from that performance that you want your team to see and carry forward?
MJ: Well, LA Tech plays a game where if you look at their block numbers against, they don't get blocked and they don't get blocked for a reason. They don't hit into you, ever. They play a different style of offense where they're just trying to chip and roll and hit off the hands. It's not like we blocked poorly. I thought we missed a few assignments and had occasional bouts of bad technique but they're just very good at chipping and tooling whereas most teams will come at you with some heat. UT Arlington tried to do that and that's why we were able to block more balls. They're just going to hit lower and harder and if you get in the right spots the chances of blocking a ball a really good. That's really the difference between the matches.
bc.net: When you look at UTEP on Wednesday night, obviously their program has been improving and they're on a three game winning streak right now. What do you see from them?
MJ: I think they've got some veteran players, obviously home court advantage and they've got some good athletes. In particular I think their middle Herrera and the outside hitter Horton are doing a nice job for them. We're going to have to work to slow them up a little bit and hopefully win the serve and pass game.
bc.net: You're back home on Saturday against Denver what are your thoughts on that match?
MJ: Denver has some nice athletes, they're playing an uptempo style. It's another conference match and another opportunity for us to extend the lead in first place and it's good to be home and you've got to take advantage of home court.
bc.net: You've mentioned that you have wanted to see your team play better defensively. How would you rate your team's play on defense through the first four conference games?
MJ: I think it's getting better. We're starting to get a little better sense of urgency defensively. I think we had been relying on our arms to side out quite a bit and to score in transition quite a bit and this team is starting to understand that if everyone is not committed to playing hard defensively for a tough, grass roots defense, we're going to struggle and we're going to give up points that we shouldn't. I'm starting to see a better effort at team defense, especially the floor defense. The blocking we've been working at pretty hard but the floor defense is starting to improve which is good because we need it to.
bc.net: Maggi Jo Keffury got a bit of playing time this weekend and really seemed to give the team a spark when she came in to play.
MJ: She did a nice job. All three setters have a lot of room for improvement. All three bring different things to the table. They have different strengths and there's reasons at times to play all three of them. I think it's sort of a setter by committee type situation right now and if someone's not playing well or not making good choices we can sit them down and give them a little breather and hopefully they can learn from their mistakes before they go back in. All three of them can help us win and at the same time have room for improvement.