bleedCrimson.net: The season kicks off on Friday and this is a very challenging schedule, it might not have the biggest names for the people that don't necessarily follow college volleyball but all three non-conference weekends are going to be some pretty stiff tests.
Mike Jordan: Yeah, it really is. You're right it doesn't have a Texas or Stanford but that's by design. We needed to schedule teams that we felt were Top 75 teams in the non-conference RPI-wise to help us out and by help us out I mean help get us to the NCAA tournament for an at-large selection. If you win matches against some of these teams then your RPI is going to get a huge boost because you know they're all going to win a lot. They're all very good teams. If you lose to them it doesn't hurt your RPI number that much, if at all in some cases. It's a challenging schedule there are no guaranteed wins on it and it's going to be a tough test every day. We've got an opportunity to play our way into the NCAA tournament before conference play even starts and that's what we're looking for. If we don't do it, if we're not successful, if we don't get any wins against the good competition then we've still got the automatic qualifier to play for. We're giving ourselves the best chance for a high RPI and quality wins and preparation for the conference slate as well.
bc.net: The conference slate is a little different this year because you've got five new teams coming in so it's almost like your entire schedule is like a non-conference schedule because you're learning about these new teams and unlike last year when there were only eight teams in the conference, you've got a much longer conference schedule this year.
MJ: Yeah and it's going to be a challenging schedule. Obviously the big dog, Hawai'i, is gone but there's still a lot of good teams. Idaho returns a lot of good players from a year ago. Utah State, I think, will be improved. They're a little bit more veteran ball club this year. Then Texas State and Texas-San Antonio had good really good seasons last year with Texas State going to the NCAA Tournament. Those four teams are all solid, they're going to compete and be in the equation down the stretch and I think you've got some teams that have shown a lot of improvement as of late. San Jose State is a team that's vastly underrated. I think they're going to be a lot better, they showed signs of it last year. So I think we're going to have to play really good volleyball to win night-in and night-out. Continue Reading This Post >>