Weekly Coach Jordan Interview

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/ on line 33. Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/16/16 Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/16/16 You closed out WAC play last weekend with a pair of wins. I'm sure if someone had told you that you'd get a sweep and play in a five set match you wouldn't have been too surprised but obviously who those came against were a bit of a surprise.
Mike Jordan: Yeah well at this point nothing is a surprise really. It's an up and down affair sometimes with this group. We played the first set okay against Chicago State and then just made mistake after mistake and Chicago State played very well and Juma [Armando] got hot and we struggled even getting good swings. We really made a lot of silly mistakes. In the five sets we played two of them well, one of them well enough to win and then two of them poorly. Obviously not a good night. As with anything you applaud the fact that we stayed persistent and came back and got our act together before it was too late.

UMKC I thought we played very well. We were efficient, we played good defense, we did a lot of things exceptionally well. I told them after that match it's hard to believe we're the same team that played on Thursday but that's the nature of this season. We're happy to be 2-0 on the road. Were you happy with the way the team bounced back against UMKC? What do you see different when you have a match like Chicago State and you have a match like UMKC where it's like you had two different teams take the court?
MJ: Our skill level with some of our players is not great, they're still learning. When you make the mistakes we make physically and you compound them with mental mistakes it can get ugly pretty quick. I felt like against UMKC we were pretty on task. We seemed to be ready to compete and we did that from set to set which we failed to do on Thursday [against Chicago State]. Maybe a bit better focus because we learned our lesson maybe on Thursday.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/08/16 Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/08/16 The team picked up a win at UTRGV on Saturday and we talked last week about your team and your disappointment in their lack of competitive fire in the loss to Bakersfield. Did you see what you wanted to see from your team in the match on Saturday?
Mike Jordan: Yeah I thought we were more persistent and competed better. Some of that might have been the fact that we were feeling better. When we were playing Bakersfield we had three people that were sick and so you never know how that affects some people. We weren't 100 percent for sure. I think we had a little more energy against the Vaqueros and did a pretty good job of staying in sets. We had a chance in the second set to close them out, we were 24-22 and made a couple of silly errors and handed them over the set but we got back on the horse and started to compete a little bit again and just made more plays down the stretch when we needed to. Tatyana Battle again had a career match with 28 kills. We talked after she had the 26 kill night about how she kind of started off slowly but this one she was pretty consistent from the first set through the fifth set getting four, five, six, seven and six kills.
MJ: Yeah she put a lot of points on the board. I was surprised. When I saw the number at the end that she had gotten 28 I was a little surprised. It didn't feel like that many but she was efficient. Her kill percentage, not just her hitting percentage, was really high, close to 50 percent. She did that 28 on a pretty small number of attempts. A great match from her from sure.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/01/16 Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/01/16 You had kind of a mixed bag of results from last week. You get a sweep over Grand Canyon and a four set loss to Bakersfield. Kind of a weird match with Bakersfield but what were your thoughts on the Grand Canyon match first?
Mike Jordan: Grand Canyon, they're just missing arms. THey don't have a lot of physical kids. They play a decent brand of volleyball. They can stay in sets. The first set we got a little high error again and kept it close. Then we minimized the errors and took care of business after that. We were the more physical team but you also have to play clean in order to win and we did that for the most part in the match.

As for Bakersfield that was one of the more disappointing performances I've been a part of. I could see the team somewhat relax after the first set and I've seen that before. Like I said, it's fairly commonplace but when you're playing for the opportunity to clinch the outright championship on your home floor, it's frustrating that you don't get a more competitive personality from your team. I watched us walk out on the floor in set two and look like we believed we were going to win instead of playing to win each point. I hated everything about that match. Maybe the worst thing that could have happened was the trouncing we gave them in the first set. We've been telling them all along that we aren't as good as our record indicates. When you make that many errors, obviously you put yourself in jeopardy. To make 32 attack errors in four sets is ridiculous. We hit balls out of bounds with no blocker in front of us and we hit balls out of bounds with one blocker and we got blocked by one blocker. The setting was atrocious and we just looked completely out of sorts and I didn't see a whole lot of fight in us when we got behind.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/25/16 Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/25/16 The team picked up a couple of wins last week, a five set win over Utah Valley and then a sweep of Seattle.
Mike Jordan: To go on the road against two quality teams and get wins is great. Again, two different matches. A high error match with Utah Valley and then our outside hitters did a much better job against Seattle in making attack choices and we located it a little bit better and really did a good job defensively and at the service line in both matches. I saw a lot of really good things and any time you get two wins on the road to pad your lead a little bit down the stretch is great. Tatyana Battle had an outstanding night against Utah Valley with 26 kills and she was really dominant in that fourth set and even though you didn’t win that set she had nine kills and three more in the fifth and carried that over against Seattle. What did you see from her this past weekend?
MJ: She started the Utah Valley match and she made some pretty bad errors and then she got better quickly and that’s key. She didn’t struggle for long. I think after about the middle of the second set she was getting it going pretty good. Obviously we’d like to see somebody play well the whole match but I think the sign of really good players is that they make mistakes sporadically and not in bunches. I was happy to see her bounce back maybe a little quicker than she has sometimes. She made a lot of key plays for us and not just attacking it but at the service line and she made some good digs. She’s an improving player and her upside is pretty good.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/18/16 Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/18/16 Your team picked up two wins last week against UMKC and Chicago State but lost at UNM. In the UMKC match you were playing out of system due to an injury to setter Crash Parker. How do you feel your team handled that situation?
Mike Jordan: It was a difficult adjustment. This team is not built for a 5-1, we’re built for a 6-2. We’ll scrimmage every once in a while with the setters in the front row but offensively we’re not really built for a 5-1. It was difficult at times but we got better as the match went on. We figured a few things out. Adapting to injuries is part of what athletes and teams have to do and we did an okay job of it. I don’t think we played great, I don’t think we were as sharp as we needed to be but I thought we made plays when we needed to. How do you think Brianna played with having to play all six rotations and having to play in the front row with the additional playing time from playing full time and playing a five set match?
MJ: She’s in pretty good shape and I think she handled it physically fine. It changes your decision making so that was a difficult adjustment but I thought she got better as the match went on and made some good plays for us.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/11/16 Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/11/16 You picked up a pair of wins last week, a sweep against UTEP and a sweep against UTRGV. The UTEP match was a lot of the same stuff we’ve talked about the last two or three weeks where you have a huge advantage in kills but are playing close sets and then the UTRGV match you have a match where the kill numbers are close but the set scores look more like what you would have expected from the UTEP box score.
Mike Jordan: Yeah, they were two completely different matches. Both were sweeps but the UTEP match was a lot of the same for a couple sets which is us scoring our points and theirs for them as well and making it closer than it needed to be until the third set. Again, it’s not an overnight fix. We’re not going to go from one week to the next and show huge improvement. We’re just hoping to limit the number of sets in which we get high error. I think if you start seeing us go from nine or ten errors a set to six and seven more often, if that’s our high watermark, then we’re making progress. We do that some sets. We can have as few as two or three unforced errors but it’s consistency throughout a match that we’re looking for and we just haven’t reached that yet.

UTRGV we did a lot of things right for two sets and they were a little bit more high error than normal. We did a good job of defending them and giving ourselves transition opportunities to score. I think a few of our players offensively played well and I think pretty much everyone played well defensively. I was happy with that effort. The third set they made a switch which kind of threw us for a loop for a little bit. We finally got it figured out and made the adjustments we needed to make but I think it was a pretty good performance. Not unbelievable. We had a couple of players struggle offensively but I think we did what we needed to to get a win against a good team.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/04/16 Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/04/16 You picked up a pair of wins on the road this past weekend at Bakersfield and Grand Canyon. You talked about Bakersfield being one of the most competitive teams in the WAC and I thought the Aggies played well particularly in closing out the sets.
Mike Jordan: Yeah, I challenged the team last week. Part of the growth process is learning how to compete. Sometimes we have a tendency to think Division I athletes are going to be competitive people all the time and that’s really not true. I think being competitive is something some of them have to learn. Many of them grew up the best player on their team and were never really challenged that much or come from backgrounds where nobody really challenged them that much. Learning how to compete is very important. I had a conversation with Don Ball our former tennis coach and Don said he thinks that those who grow up playing individual sports such as swimming or tennis, track and field, have a leg up in learning competitiveness early on. I think that’s true. I challenged them because I think the Bakersfield team is always excited to play and perform. They know that we’re a good team and they get up for us and I think they get up for everybody. I think they compete against everybody. They understand their deficiencies that they’re not real big but they play their butts off. They’re fun to watch. I think you can come out on top if you’re a super competitive group and win some games that maybe you’re playing against better talent. I challenged us to rise up to their competitive level or try and surpass it. I told them I’m not sure what I’m going to see but I’m looking forward to seeing something different from us. I think they took that as a challenge and did a good job with it.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/27/16 Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/27/16 You survived the opening weekend of conference play. What were your thoughts on the two matches?  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/20/16 Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/20/16 The team was able to pick up three wins at the Brown Invitational. What did you think about your team’s play?
Mike Jordan: The competition wasn’t like it was the weekend before obviously when we played Arizona, Sac State and Texas A&M but they were able to do some things against us to create some issues against us. Binghamton in particular. They received it well and when you pass it well and you get good swing after good swing you’re going to stay in the game. They pushed us late into sets. We were high error throughout a lot of that match and that made it closer than it needed to be. I thought in the other two matches we were fairly efficient, especially the last one against Brown. We settled down and started making better choices and attack selection. With this group when we’ve been high error, it’s trying to do too much with what you have. Sometimes you just have to get dug. You’re not going to get a kill on a particular set. We have to learn that. We do it at times but you’ve got to be consistent with it. There are times you have to be more aggressive working the ball off the top of the block. When we we’re able to do that we’re pretty good. That Binghamton match you got out to a big lead in the first set but end up losing that set. After the big lead, the rest of that match was really competitive. The second and third sets you had to fight off a couple set points in both of those sets. What did you see from your kids that allowed them to do that?
MJ: Late in those sets are probably the only times, in two and three, that we weren’t high error. We were able to settle down and make some plays and fortunately they made a couple attack errors late in games. But I think the majority of that match we were high error we just happened to be low error when we needed to most and came away with the win.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/14/16 Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/14/16 What did your team learn about itself from this past weekend’s matches against Sacramento State, Texas A&M and Arizona?
Mike Jordan: Well, I think we learned some good and some bad. I think the negative is that when we’re struggling, we don’t seem to have emotional leadership right now. I think we get along fine but there’s got to be a stronger voice or two out on that floor demanding the ball, pointing people in the right direction, holding people accountable, etc. The people that did that last year graduated and we’re still struggling to find that in this group. We see it in practices in some instances, not enough. But to do it in a game you’ve got to go outside yourself and be willing to help others. We’ve got to take care of that and pretty quick. We’ve got a couple of people on our team that just need to grow up into that role and take advantage of those opportunities. From that standpoint we’ve got some growing to do. We’ve got a couple of rotations that need work. We’re struggling in two of them in particular that we’ve got to find another way out or two of those rotations. All-in-all, we out pass and and out dig our opponents the vast majority of the time which is great. Since the second weekend we’ve been outserving our opponents fairly consistently and so I like the growth there. We’re figuring out who can do what on the floor and experimenting with some lineups still but we’re getting closer to being a little more settled I think.  Continue Reading This Post >>