Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/10/15 Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/10/15 Congratulations on winning the WAC regular season championship. I’m sure it was one of the team’s goals entering the season. What are your thoughts on this team being able to accomplish that goal?
Mike Jordan: We felt like certainly if we were healthy that we would be the favorite. UMKC obviously was picked to win in the preseason but I think last year with the difficult year because we had so many injuries and we were young, I felt like we had the most talent. We just needed to stay healthy and improve the offseason. I felt like this was possible, what we’ve done. Players have to go out and do it. You’ve got to work hard to get those goals and fortunately they did and they’ve earned what they’ve done so far. What are your thoughts on the two matches last week against Bakersfield and Grand Canyon and your team’s play?
MJ: We were solid. We’ve been pretty good offensively most of the year. We were a little high error in the first match on Thursday but did some other things pretty well. I thought our defense was solid and we served the ball pretty well. Saturday we were very good offensively in stretches. The one set we dropped we were really bad defensively. In fact I told the team we played two types of defense in that set, bad defense and no defense. We just had to get it together and get after it defensively again. We did that in the third set and it obviously changed how we attacked the ball too. We hit for a big percentage and we did fine. Obviously in November you’d like to see some but at this point of the season you just take them as they come. This week you wrap up regular season play at Seattle and Utah Valley. Obviously you take one match at a time and you want to win every match but going into a season is winning all of the conference matches a goal for your team?
MJ: It may be for them. It’s not really something that’s at the forefront of my mind. Winning the title in the number one thing. Keeping us healthy and getting us ready for the WAC tournament is now at the top of my priority list. We want to win every match that we play but I also have to be careful to make sure that we’re at our best in Kansas City and not worry too much about this trip right here. With the regular season title wrapped up and top seed in the tournament wrapped up does that mean you may end resting a few players a little more than you would if those things were on the line this week?
MJ: Yeah, it’s distinctly possible. I may only rest a couple people but also experiment with the lineup a little bit. We’ve used quite a few different lineups this year. We’ve changed within matches quite a bit and that’s the beauty of this team, the versatility. We worked hard in the offseason improving their skill level and their ability to do multiple things and play multiple positions. I want to make sure we’re continuing that trend so that we can play whatever rotation or lineup we need to in order to win and go deeper in the NCAA Tournament. From a team perspective relative to maybe some of your other teams, how much has this team grown from the start of the season up to now?
MJ: It’s pretty good and fairly consistent. I think we’ve seen most of our growth come in the offseason in the spring but we’ve definitely changed as a group from August as well. We’re a team that is versatile and some of the freshmen now are doing some good things for us and contributing a little bit. I feel like we’ve got a team that’s about eleven or twelve deep that we can win with. Obviously an important player for you who returned from injury is Jordan Abalos. How would you assess her play in the last three matches that she’s been back?
MJ: Most days she’s our best passer, she’s definitely helped us on that side of things. She’s played well defensively. We need her to be more consistent offensively but she does a lot of good things for us and is a factor in our rotation for sure. Heading into this last week and the conference tournament is this as healthy as you’ve had a team go into the tournament in a while, minor bumps and bruises that come during a season notwithstanding?
MJ: Yeah, well certainly moreso than last year which is a good thing. It’s a day to day thing with some of them. Some of them are dealing with some pretty difficult issues physically but they’re managing and it’s November and it’s time to suck it up and they’re doing a good job of it. In terms of this senior group, as the season starts to wind down have you noticed any change in their attitudes with it nearing the end, maybe more of a sense of urgency?
MJ: Not really. I think this group has been pretty focused all year. I don’t want to say not a lot of room for improvement, from a leadership standpoint you can always improve but I think this group is pretty driven and this senior group is pretty driven. I think it’s status quo. I don’t see things changing a lot but I don’t know necessarily that they have to right now.