Weekly Coach Jordan Interview

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/ on line 33. Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/22/13 Tough weekend for the team out at Bakersfield and Utah Valley.
Mike Jordan: Yeah it was a rough weekend. There's a difference between training and competing or performing. When we're in the practice gym you're getting a ton of reps and I think for us one of the things that's standing out to me is we have to all those reps count. I feel like we take a few too many plays off in practice and that seems to be translating itself to games when we're performing.

We were doing very well at Bakersfield and seemingly had control and we walk out flat, give up seven of the first nine points in the third set. Their [Bakersfield's] confidence starts to grow and almost immediately we started to look like that team at the beginning of the year that was second guessing themselves and waiting for somebody else to make a play as opposed to making a play themselves. There was a huge momentum shift and I thought we settled down in the fourth set, we led the whole way. Then at 22-21, one of our seniors misses a serve, we make a hitting error, we get aced, we make a terrible pass and another hitting error and we lose. That's just really not acceptable. It was very disappointing. Then 11-8 we're up in the fifth and the house of cards come falling down again. We make a serving error, get aced, we make two more hitting errors. We scored literally like 80 percent of their points for them. They played aggressively and took it to us. I was disappointed with how we were reacting on the floor. I didn't see a lot of fight in us and that's something we just have to keep working at. The Utah Valley match, how much of that was residual from the way the final two sets from the match before against Bakersfield?
MJ: I think a lot of it. I think they came out and played very well against us and you tip your hat to them. They were aggressive at the service line, they were aggressive attacking it. They played much better defense. I was appalled at the amount of digs we left out on the floor. So from that standpoint, defense is effort and paying attention to details. We didn't do much of that. We get off to a bad start. Set two we settled down again, we lead the whole way and at the end, again, Stephanie digs a ball over the net that we should have hit, Bradley gets aced, we make a hitting error and all of the sudden we're just giving away points freely and fast. Our confidence just goes in the tank and with some upper clansmen, the expectation is that they will take over and say the right things and do the right things. We're counting on them and they need to step up.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/15/13 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. 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.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/08/13 Your thoughts on the wins over Idaho and Seattle?
Mike Jordan: I feel good about getting the wins. We played well against Idaho. We were pretty consistent throughout the match. We were low error and every aggressive which I loved. Against Seattle, what a difference 24 hours can make. We started very poorly with very little energy and lost a close first set where we made a lot of mental mistakes. Fortunately we got it together and started to pressure them a little bit but again I'd like to see us play consistently from set to set. As far as coming a little bit slow in the match against Seattle was it
MJ: There's no excuses for it. You don't get to make up a reason why when you're an athlete. You've got to take on the responsibility and you've gotta go do it, play hard and be prepared. For whatever reason we just didn't seem to be with it emotionally or mentally and they dictated the tempo of the set. They served tougher, they played harder and they won. It was frustrating to watch. From my standpoint if you get off to a bad start the bad start should be five, six, seven points, it shouldn't be an entire set. I thought we stunk the entire set. We have to be able to turn things around quicker. What were you able to do in between the first and second sets that enabled you to turn things around?
MJ: We changed the lineup a little bit. I put Aleisha Coates back in. She gave us a lift. She blocks a little bit better, she makes a few more defensive plays, passes a little bit of serve receive for us, she serves tougher. Her offensive numbers, we weren't setting her a ton but she gave us some intangibles I think and those other things that I mentioned helped a little bit. Then we also didn't miss as many assignments. I didn't do anything other than changing the lineup but I just appealed and tried to get them to use their volleyball IQ a little bit better.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/01/13 You had a bit of a lineup change over the weekend with Stephanie Ziegler playing all six rotations and Lauren Loerch playing in the front row. Was that move made to help with the passing?
Mike Jordan: We're pretty much playing musical chairs with the lineup right now. In order to put a consistent lineup on the floor we need consistent play from the players and we haven't gotten a lot of that. We've got depth and I think it's important that we use it. We decided in the Pan American match after the first set when we made a ton of errors playing the 6-2 that we should play in a 5-1 and go with Livoti at setter. She's just a lot quicker and we can play a quicker style with her setting. I wanted to settle down the ball control a little bit and I felt like Stephanie moving to outside hitter and bringing on another libero would steady us out passing and defending and it did. We played really well. We're built for a 6-2 but we'll go to the 5-1 if we need to.

As far as this match with Bakersfield, Stephanie attacked the ball well [against Pan American] and I asked her, "What do you want to do tonight?" and she said, "I'll do whatever you want," which is always her response. I said, "Do you feel like taking swings?" She said, "Yeah." So I said, "What the heck, we'll go with it again and put her on the left and see how she does." I don't think that her days as a libero are over certainly. There will be times when I think it's be best when she plays there. But I like a lot of the things she gives us. We're a team that's sort of at the mercy of our ball control and the better ball control lineup we can put on the floor, hopefully we can get more swings to Des and Gwen and the big hitters. There are also liabilities blocking in certain rotations. So you've just got to pick and choose based on who you're playing and I think we'll continue to do that.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/24/13 It was an interesting weekend for you with a couple of wins against Hampton and South Dakota State and a couple of tough losses to Utah and New Mexico.
Mike Jordan: Those five gamers take a toll on you. I think Utah is a very, very good team and we played very well with a very good opponent for stretches. Obviously in game five we did not play well. I was disappointed in that effort but for four of the five sets I felt like we were really competing. It was frustrating to lose but up to that fifth set we played probably as well as we've played.

We played Hampton and South Dakota State, they don't have the talent we have and we win and it was a nice shot of confidence and then we play a New Mexico team that I don't feel has the same kind of firepower that we have and we seemed to be in control after the third set and completely fall apart and make error after error after error. That's very frustrating and just not acceptable from a lot of standpoints. It was frustrating to play so poorly; 44 attack errors, that's got to be a record and it's just ridiculous. Really, other than UNM creating a little bit better service pressure, there was no reason for those attack errors. It was us not being aggressive enough at times, it was us making a lot of bad choices. Sometimes you get in your own head as a player and do things that you shouldn't do. I was frustrated in that loss last night. At times we looked good, sets two and three we made some nice adjustments, seemed to be running smoothly then all of the sudden the engine sputters and the car breaks down. We fell apart, completely fell apart and never really recovered after a terrible start in the fourth set. We've got to grow up and get rid of our weaknesses, improve our skills a little bit and be mentally tougher.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/17/13 Your thoughts on the weekend?
Mike Jordan: A little bit of a mixed bag of results. I was hoping we'd go 3-0. I was very impressed with Arkansas-Little Rock. The foreign players they have are tremendous. They were physically impressive and they played great volleyball and they certainly have a level of experience that we don't. They really took over the games. They made very few mistakes in crunch time and all those games were close against them. We had a couple of set points in the fourth and made some mistakes and you can't make those against great teams.

I think we saw some growth. I think we were better every time we took the floor which is a good sign that we're learning how to play a certain way. I felt like we were more and more aggressive as the weekend went on but weren't aggressive enough yet against Little Rock. We're finding some answers about ourselves, in the lineup in particular, who can play together and who needs some work still. We've just got to continue to work at our weaknesses in practice and get ready for our next practice.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/10/13 Your thoughts on how the team played out in Hawai'i?
Mike Jordan: Well, I wasn't very happy. One of the things that in setting the schedule up we wanted to challenge ourselves and learn a lot about ourselves. So from that standpoint I learned a lot. Unfortunately some of the things I thought we'd be good at early in the season, we're not. That was a little frustrating obviously. The serve-receive inconsistency was a problem. I thought because we had a lot of returning players we'd be a lot better at dealing with the pressure late in games and we weren't. So we've got some strides to make up here pretty quick.

I'm still glad we went. Before and after the tournament I told the team, "Would you feel differently if we were 5-1?," and of course they all nodded their head and said yes. I said, "We could make that happen for you scheduling wise by playing a lot of mediocre teams but the way we would feel about ourselves would be inaccurate. We'd think we were better than what we really are. Now we know to play with the Hawaii's of the world and the UCLA's of the world we have a lot of ground to make up and some specific weaknesses that we have to address. From that standpoint it's better to learn now than to learn down the road.

I think this is only going to benefit us from an improvement standpoint. We have a bar to shoot and we'll hold it over their heads every day to improve. We've got really good physical athletes, we've just got to get better at playing volleyball and specifically the serve and pass stuff has to improve. I'm sure it will. We've got to find a way to get Gwen Murphy untracked offensively. She's got so many great physical tools. We've got to start locating sets to her that she can put away. And we've got to be less error-prone. If we can do those things we're going to be fine.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/03/13 You opened the season 1-2 but very easily could have been 2-1. Your thoughts on the opening weekend?
Mike Jordan: I'm disappointed that we're not 2-1 but I can't say I'm that surprised. It was certainly a winnable match. We out-hit them by 80 points, we out-blocked them 13-7. Statistically we won almost every category with the exception of two -- service aces and service errors. The service game really let us down over the weekend. Against Santa Barbara we missed crucial late-game serves and twice in set five after ten. That's ridiculous. You just can't do that.

Against Cal we served really soft. I think we were a little tentative and nervous and I think sometimes you tend to back off and play careful and against a team with that much offensive firepower you can't do that. It's going to be the same this weekend with the teams we're playing. If we serve it lame, too soft and they stay in system and hit bombs at us all day, we're going to be in trouble. What were some things that going into the weekend you were concerned about that you come out of the weekend maybe not quite as concerned about?
MJ: I was impressed with Aleisha Coates. You never know what you're going to get out of a freshman and I thought she gave us some great time. She played a little more relaxed as the weekend went on. From that standpoint I thought we played well there. We played really hard defensively. We dug a lot of balls. The quality of dig wasn't very good at times and that's something you can definitely improve on. I saw some good things from that standpoint and defensively I was pretty happy with what we did.

From an offensive standpoint it's continuity. It takes time. It's not an overnight thing where we're going to be fluid and always locating sets well and that kind of thing. Our serve receive was okay, it was good at times and then it would soft of fall apart. We've got to shore up that consistency. I saw some good things from [Bradley] Nash and Coates and [Stephanie] Ziegler passing the volleyball the they're going to be a good trio. I liked that.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/27/12 Last week the team play possibly the best three match stretch that they've played all season long.
Mike Jordan: Yeah, I certainly wouldn't disagree. The one possibility you could say was the opening weekend of the season. We changed the lineup before the tournament and made some drastic changes. We put Preslie Alexander back in the middle and Steph Ziegler at libero again Bradley Nash played all the way around, six rotations, she's been getting stronger the last month so it kind of made sense to do that. She's a solid ball control player, she's able to move around and the knee is getting stronger. She really, really played above expectations. I think she's come on so much in the last month, I'm really proud of her. Preslie being so offensive and getting so many kills in the middle made it difficult for teams to key on Meredith. Meredith's kill attempts went down but her hitting percentage went up and that's a big deal obviously. Those things, Nathalie Castellanos taking Preslie's place on the right. Nathalie didn't lead us in attempts or kills or anything special but she was just a good athlete and came up with big plays when we needed them. We had a lot of balance and it's tough to beat teams that had a lot of balance like we did. You mentioned the opening weekend, during the WAC tournament last week I thought your team served the ball as well as I'd seen since that opening weekend.
MJ: You know I think it's the best we've served. We had some people get back there and really put more into serving it tougher than they have, something we've been really trying to get them to do but I think they understood how good the other teams could be if they're allowed to pass easy serves. Fortunately we stepped up and got on a nice run, against Utah State in particular. Of the six players that were consistently going back and hitting serves for us, five of them were serving tougher than they normally do and hitting spots too which was great. That was certainly a key to the matches.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/16/12 You split a pair of matches last week sweeping UTSA but losing in five to Texas State. What were your thoughts on the week?
Mike Jordan: Well, I was pretty happy with the effort against UT San Antonio, we held them to a really low hitting percentage. We didn't attack the ball great ourselves but we were able to keep consistent pressure on them. The key factor was we passed the ball for the majority of the game, there was a consistency in our passing that we have struggled with at times. Their top attack Adams struggled a little bit and we were able to get the sweep.

Saturday we passed the ball terrible and kept putting ourselves in situations where we weren't getting good swings and we were giving up point runs. You just can't do that. Even in the first set win we didn't play well at all. We were just fortunate to get a 'W', they were playing poorly as well. We got a lead late in the fourth set and we get Desiree and Meredith in the back row and we get aced, take some really bad swings, makes some bad decisions and then next thing you know we're going to a fifth set. Again, I think on-court leadership was lacking a little bit and the ability to get kills in certain rotations sometimes because of our passing really puts us in jeopardy a little too often.  Continue Reading This Post >>