bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/15/13

bleedCrimson.net: The team got off to a little bit of a slow start in the first set and you talked about last week that your slow started needed to start lasting no more than five or six points instead of lasting entire sets. You were able to turn it around and once you got going you were hard to stop.
Mike Jordan: They just don't have the athletes that we have. We got off to a little bit of a slow start mainly because of our errors. Lauren started poorly and I pulled her and put Aleisha in and she did a nice job of just bettering the volleyball. Eventually as a group we started to click. Lauren came in and started to play a little bit better. You want to stay error free and against teams that you have a physical advantage you don't want to be scoring their points for them. That's an issue we have from time to time and fortunately it only lasted a few points in the first set and after that we were pretty dominant.

bc.net: Decision making in that match from your setters must have been pretty good for you to put up the type of hitting numbers that you did and also be low error.
MJ: Absolutely. Kill distribution was good and I thought we did a good job of staying low error, except in the very beginning. We won more than our fair share of long rallies and when you do that you're going to put yourself in a position to win no matter who you're playing.

bc.net: Against Kansas City you also get a sweep. What were you impressed with with your team in that match?
MJ: We won despite the fact that we didn't play well. I felt like defensively we made a lot of mistakes. There were a lot of digs that we didn't make that we should have made and we missed some defensive assignments and that was a little frustrating. I hated the way we served. I thought we served lame and out too often. If you're serving a bunch of softballs they better be all landing in. That was a little frustrating but Desiree was dominant and the block was pretty solid. So things and Gwen had another good night. Those things were a little bit too much for UMKC to handle.

bc.net: Was there anything that Kansas City did that you'll make a note of for the next time you play them?
MJ: Well they tipped and shot it a lot. They tipped to corners quite a bit. That's the first time we've seen that during the year, a team do it that often or try to do it that much. We were a little slow to responding to it but we got better as the match went on. I think they did a decent job serving. They served it pretty tough. Their numbers show they're not a very good serving team but I think they're a little bit better than their numbers indicate. They did a good job and we'll be prepared for those things the next time around.

bc.net: Up next you have trips to Bakersfield and Utah Valley and Utah Valley is in the second place in conference play right now. What's important about this weekend's road trip for your team and their continued development?
MJ: It's a difficult trip because we just came off the road and have to go right back on. These four day trips are difficult and you get a little road weary. We're trying to rest up as best we can and have fresh legs. Bakersfield upset Utah Valley the other day and they obviously play well at home. We've got to be prepared for them to bring their best game at us. As far as Utah Valley goes it'll be the first time we've seen them. They're a decent blocking team and they've got some decent athletes. It's not a match that we can play poorly and win. I think our whole focus right now is preparing for our opponent one at a time as best we can and really trying to speed up the improvement process on our end. We've got some things we want to add offensively and we've got to improve ourselves at the service line and defensively still and those are goals we're trying to meet every day.

bc.net: With this being the second time facing Bakersfield what are some adjustments that you'll want your team to make?
MJ: I thought we did a nice job against them the first time. I would hope we'd understand how to score against a team we just played. We don't have to reinvent the wheel fortunately. We just have to take care of the volleyball and make sure we're working hard to get stops. If we're doing those things we'll be fine.

bc.net: You talked about Gwen Murphy starting to play better recently and you've talked about needing to get good passing to be able to get her the ball. What are some improvements you've seen?
MJ: She's a versatile attacker and there's not many things that she doesn't hit well so we can move her left and right. She can attack quick balls in the middle. She's very good off of one foot if we locate well. Again, it's trying to make Gwen more of a priority in the setter's mind than she was a year ago. I'm expecting her to set her a little more often as the season goes on. I'd like to see her get to a point where she's dominating matches like Desiree is.