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bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/11/14 | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/11/14

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bleedCrimson.net: You had one match last week, a win against UTPA. How do you think your team did adjusting to the changes you’ve had to make because of the injuries?
Mike Jordan: We did fine. We had one bad set and some up and down play here and there but I think the thing that’s interesting about this group is we have some versatile people and I’m not afraid to change things. For instance we had Andi Tauai at libero for two sets and felt like we needed to make her a left. We put Ari Sierra at libero and they both did a good job. We’re fairly versatile at this point and I think the group understands that they need to compensate for the loss of the players we had and they’re willing to do whatever is asked of them.

bc.net: How would you rate the play of Andi Tauai now that she’s gotten a little more time under her belt at libero?
MJ: She’s doing well. She’s a competitive person which is half the battle and she wants to be good at it so she’s working hard. I think the serve receive has been very solid. She’s serving the ball tougher now. Defensively she’s improving and quality of dig is what we’re looking for now. I think she’s touching a lot of balls but we’re looking for quality of dig and she’s doing a good job.

bc.net: Aleisha Coates got a little bit of playing time. Is she a player we might see more playing time from this last bit of the season?
MJ: Yeah. She’s got such a good arm and she’s capable of doing some good things. It’s just the consistency that’s lacking. From a physicality standpoint I like what she brings to the table. She played well in the first set, she struggled a little bit in the second and that’s when made the switch to put Tauai at the outside hitter spot but we feel like we can count on Aleisha to come off the bench and give us a little spark here and there and when she does it’s certainly a good thing for the club.

bc.net: Nathalie Castellanos is having a good season and she’s made a lot of strides since last year. She seems to be a really integral part of the team and aside from Hannah Walker she seems to be a player who really brings a lot of energy and competitiveness.
MJ: She does and she is playing well. I think she’s a leader by example type. She’s fiery and she competes hard all the time in practice and in games. We need more people like that. She’s not a leader in terms of her vocality yet. She’s not a big talker in between points and that kind of thing. I think we need her to do a little more of that but she’s certainly putting up good numbers and she does play hard all the time.

bc.net: Your late set execution in the match against Pan Am. You had some tight sets coming down the stretch and you were able to execute and pull away.
MJ: Well, we’re the more physical team and as long as you handle the ball well and play hard defensively you should win as long as you’re not high error. We were a little too high early and we weren’t playing good defense. We let a lot of easy digs go and didn’t capitalize on those opportunities and it made the game closer than it should have been. Fortunately down the stretch we got it going a little bit in some of those games and that’s good to see.

bc.net: This week you’re on the road at Chicago State and Kansas City. What do you expect to see from those two teams the second time around?
MJ: Chicago State is struggling to find wins but I think they’re a better team than they were a year ago. They have a couple of players who can give you trouble. I think they serve the ball fairly well. We’re not a team that plays very well out of system in certain stretches. Hopefully that won’t be an issue on Thursday.

In terms of Saturday, obviously we could be playing for a share of the regular season title and that’d be a big deal. It’s going to be their senior day and they want to win it outright. They’ve got a very good team loaded with a lot of juniors and seniors. I think it’s going to be a difficult match but certainly winnable. Even with all the injuries we’ve still got enough physical talent to beat people. Hopefully we’ll get it done.

bc.net: The first meeting with Kansas City you had them down 2-0 and lost the match 3-2. What can your players take away from that match in terms of what not to do or what to do in the match on Saturday?
MJ: Well we’re a different team than we were then. We had Hannah and Sasha and we don’t have them anymore. That’s going to play a factor. I do think that our team is pretty disappointed that we didn’t finish that match here at home and hopefully it’ll serve as some motivation. Again, I’ve said to them over and over again this year, our best volleyball is better than everybody else but we’ve just got to play it more consistently and until that happens who knows what’s going to happen out there on the floor. I think our team certainly shouldn’t be nervous. I think we’ll compete well. We’re a little bit the underdog actually with all these injuries now and our youth. We’ll just let it fly and see what happens.