Weekly Coach Jordan Interview

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/ on line 33. 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 >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/09/12 Your thoughts on the past week's matches at Utah State, a loss, and San Jose State, a win?
Mike Jordan: Utah State of course has a good team and we're disappointed that we lost. I'm more disappointed the way we played. If we were standing on a beach we couldn't hit it in the ocean. That's how bad we were. We were just so error prone, made a ton of attack errors, a ton of service errors, some at crucial points. We had sizable leads at different points in the first two games and we would just hemorrhage points at times and let them back into it. It was difficult to watch, it was frustrating. It's uncommon for this team to be so error prone. It was by far the worst match we've had from an attack error standpoint that we've had. Lou Henson told me a long time ago that your team is going to play bad three times a year and there's not much you can do about it. That just happened to be one of those nights. You've just gotta get past it and move on.

We did a pretty good job of preparing for San Jose. We played very well for the better part of the first two sets. We were dominating the second set and we let them score some points late which drew my ire a little bit. It seemed like we took our foot off the gas pedal so to speak which is frustrating because we've done that a lot this year. But games three and four were pretty good volleyball. I think San Jose State played really well and we were good in stretches. Not consistently so but good enough to win on the road against a solid team. From a bounce back standpoint I'll take it.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/02/12 Your thoughts on your team's play last week? You had the loss at UTEP but your team bounced back with a good win over Denver.
Mike Jordan: Yeah, we were disappointed obviously losing to UTEP, we hadn't done it in like nine years or something but they've got a good team. It's probably the best team they've ever had and I knew it would be a closer match than a lot of people thought. We had a two sets to one lead and really crushed them in the third set and I think we relaxed a little bit unfortunately. They got off to a good start in the fourth set and jumped on us and we weren't able to come back in time, made a lot of mistakes and then the pressure got to us. We need to grow up a little bit and put together entire matches and deal with pressure better, especially on the road.

Denver we were at home and it's good to play in front of the home crowd even though it wasn't a good crowd because of the noon start on a Saturday and some of the other stuff going on. But I think we were determined to put a whole match together and the players did a good job. We passed the ball pretty well for the most part and they had trouble stopping us from siding out. I still think we can play much better defense than we're playing at times and we're going to need to if we want to put point runs together. We're happy to be 5-0 in the conference but I think we all understand there's a higher ceiling for us.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/25/12 Your thoughts on the two matches this past weekend?
Mike Jordan: It was an interesting weekend. Obviously we had some issues against LA Tech siding out. Give them credit, they played great defense and dug a ton of balls. Frustrated us a little bit. We were able to eventually pull it together and play better as the match wore on. But we weren't very satisfied with our performance obviously.

Saturday I thought we played really well. I thought we worked hard defensively, we blocked the ball well and did some good things. Hopefully we're making progress. As far as blocking goes in the UT Arlington game what were some things from that performance that you want your team to see and carry forward?
MJ: Well, LA Tech plays a game where if you look at their block numbers against, they don't get blocked and they don't get blocked for a reason. They don't hit into you, ever. They play a different style of offense where they're just trying to chip and roll and hit off the hands. It's not like we blocked poorly. I thought we missed a few assignments and had occasional bouts of bad technique but they're just very good at chipping and tooling whereas most teams will come at you with some heat. UT Arlington tried to do that and that's why we were able to block more balls. They're just going to hit lower and harder and if you get in the right spots the chances of blocking a ball a really good. That's really the difference between the matches.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/12/12 Your thoughts on the tournament at Colorado State where your team went 1-2?
Mike Jordan: I felt like we made some progress between weekends defensively. Sweeping FIU was good it was our first sweep of the season. We didn't pass the ball very well but we were able to fight through that. We actually passed exceptionally well against Pepperdine and fairly well against Colorado State. Pepperdine and Colorado State are great teams and if you look at the stats we actually outperformed Pepperdine in a lot of areas, in most areas but they were able to make more plays in crunch time than we did. We were serving at 23 all in the third set tied 1-1 and we missed a serve and that was a big momentum killer for us. If we win that third set obviously things could had been a lot different. Give Pepperdine credit they are a great team. In stretches I thought we played some of our best volleyball there.

The Colorado State match was tough from the standpoint of how good a blocking team they were. They served it tough, they blocked big and they were able to take us out of our rhythm offensively and they played well on their home court and they swept Pepperdine two nights before so their confidence was high. Both teams are clearly Top 20 caliber teams and I think we learned a little bit more about ourselves.

Defensively we're playing a little bit better but we've got to block better so we're making some changes there. We're going to spend more time on it. Offensively we're hoping to be a little bit more versatile and I think that'll come with time and better ball control. I would expect us to make strides there soon.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/06/12 Your thoughts on this past weekend's tournament where you picked up a couple of good wins over Cincinnati and Drake and had a competitive match against Northwestern?
Mike Jordan: We were disappointed in the loss to Northwestern. We didn't defend very well particularly in the first set and they were able to score some points that I don't think they had to work too hard for unfortunately. It was a winnable set. Set three we made a couple changes and started playing a little bit better. Set four we're up 24-22 with an opportunity to push it to a fifth set and made some mistakes you just can't make in crunch time. A couple bad passes in serve receive, our setter's shoe comes off in the middle of a rally. Kind of a comedy of errors. I think I heard carnival music playing the background. But it was a loss against a pretty good team.

The Drake win, you take the 'W' but I don't feel like we defended well in that one either. The Cincinnati win is a solid one. After the first game we picked it up a notch tempo-wise offensively and did some good things against what I think is going to be a solid Big East team. So 2-1 is not bad but 3-0 was the goal and we didn't quite get there and so we move on.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 08/29/12 You had a very successful opening weekend going 3-0 in a very competitive tournament. Your thoughts on the overall weekend?
Mike Jordan: I was excited that we finished 3-0 and we played three good teams. We did enough to win and when you're playing good teams early anything can happen. I think every coach in the tournament from having talked to them, felt like they could go 0-3. Again, it's a nice start for us for sure against some quality competition and hopefully we'll keep it going. In the first match against Wichita State and second match against North Dakota State your team got down by six points late in the fourth and first sets respectively and came back to win those sets. You talked last week about wanting to see how your team competed when they were faced with adversity. You have to be pretty pleased with your team's ability to come back and win both of those sets and eventually those matches.
MJ: We kept competing which was great, that was one of the things we wanted to see and early season teams struggle with certain things. We played bad enough and made some mistakes to get us down but we are also capable of playing at a higher level and we turned it up a notch here and there and managed to say in some games which was great. I think some of that too is we're a very, very physical team so in transition if we play defense well enough and get a quality enough swing we're going to put a lot of pressure on people and we were able to do that late in games.  Continue Reading This Post >>