bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview

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bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 08/22/12 :: Season Preview

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 >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: Semifinal Recap/Championship Preview

bleedCrimson.net: You got three very good performances from Kelsey Brennan, Meredith Hays and Stephanie Ziegler in the win over Idaho last night.
Mike Jordan: We passed the ball really well and we were able to stay in system offensively so we hit for a good percentage against a very good defensive Idaho team, that was great to see. Defensively we didn't block well but we dug the ball pretty well. Everyone was engaged defensively, playing hard and made a lot of really really good digs in key moments and I think that was the difference.

bc.net: You take on Hawai'i tonight in the championship match. You've played them twice now. What do you take away from both of those matches and what do you need to do well tonight?  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/22/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the match last night?
Mike Jordan: I thought we played well defensively early which got us off to a good start, a nice point run, built some confidence and played pretty error free in sets one and three obviously. Set two we struggled a little bit but that's not uncommon for us. We've got our error issues occasionally that peak their head out and create issues for us but it's not something that we're unaware of obviously. We understand going low-error is really important to us. Some of it is just the skill level and execution. As we get better at it we'll be tougher to beat and be more consistent.

bc.net: How much has the week off between the last match and yesterday's match helped the Aggies?
MJ: It's nice to get a lot of practices back to back. You don't get that in conference play with us playing Thursday and Saturdays typically. We get very few practice opportunities like we got last week and so it was good for us to rest a little bit. We took a couple days off early in the week and then went hard for four days in a row and that was beneficial. We were able to get in a scrimmage here and there for competitiveness. Nothing's quite like playing a game and in a new venue it's always interesting. I was really happy with the way we played.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/01/11

bleedCrimson.net: You had a bit of a rough road trip last week losing 3-2 to Utah State and 3-1 to Idaho. When we talked at the midway point the number of road matches in the second half was a bit of a concern for you. What were some of the issues you had in the two matches last week?
Mike Jordan: Well you have to credit Utah State and Idaho for playing well. I think they do things that give a lot of teams problems-- they block well, they serve well, they played very hard and they played well at home. I was disappointed in our performance. The games we dropped at Utah State were disappointing because the number of errors we made. We were Jekyll and Hyde and you can't be, especially in a fifth set, and expect to win. We made nine attack errors in the third and the fifth sets. They got some help by a couple non-calls that were terrible and they won. Give them credit for playing well but I'm looking at us and saying, "Why are we so inconsistent?" Sometimes that happens on the road but at this stage of the season, we've got to rectify that.

Real tough travel, four hotels in four nights and there were some issues with the practice facility at Idaho, we didn't get much of a workout in. But we still should have been very very ready to play. I didn't feel like we competed at all. We won set one, didn't play that well, they didn't play that well either. Then set two when they started to pick it up a little bit we didn't have much of a response and we had some upperclassmen that didn't make plays in crunch time in set two and it cost us. Sets three and four I kind of felt it was the same thing and I didn't like what I was seeing and decided to start subbing and give people a chance. If you work hard, you deserve a chance. We gave a few people some opportunities. It didn't work out for us, Idaho played very well, it was their senior night, they played with a lot of emotion and started to build some confidence and it was pretty disappointed in that performance for sure.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/25/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the match this past Saturday at Louisiana Tech?
Mike Jordan: I think we did some good things. I thought we were pretty efficient attacking in stretches but ball control broke down a bit at times. As a coach you can be picky when you win. I think now that it's getting later in the season I expect better performances from a consistency standpoint. I think we do a lot of good things, we just need to do it for longer stretches. I think the team understands that too. We did what we needed to do to win and we had some good performances from some people but we want to be a little bit more consistent from beginning to end.

bc.net: This week you head out on the road to take on Utah State and Idaho, a difficult road trip for sure and this year maybe even a little more difficult as you'll be in four different hotels in four nights on this trip.
MJ: It's not the easiest trip, it's not my favorite trip or sure but we're playing two very good opponents. Utah State from what I understand will be getting Josselyn White back. She's an all-conference outside hitter that they've been missing for quite a few weeks now. She's a big difference maker. She's a good player and obviously they're playing at home and I'm sure it'll be a very good match.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/20/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the two matches last week against Hawai'i and San Jose State?
Mike Jordan: Hawai'i is a great team obviously and you have to play consistently well in order to have a chance at beating them and I thought we put up a good effort, we competed well. We were probably just too error prone in game five and made a lot of what I would deem uncharacteristic mistakes that gave them a lot of points. I think we had our chances to win the second set and the third set. Those games were close for long stretches until later in the set and Hawai'i just executed a little bit better. I like the way we competed. There's really no moral victories at this point. It's about winning and we didn't do that. We're a little frustrated but we can take away some positives from it.

As far as San Jose, they didn't pass all that well, we did and we were able to stay in system quite a bit. We're a more physical team in most spots and they really couldn't stop us when we were handling the ball well. I was a little bit worried about an emotional letdown and San Jose State's got enough weapons to beat you so I was a little nervous about it. I was pretty happy with the way we played in general.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/10/11

bleedCrimson.net: You picked up win number 300 this past weekend, a milestone win, it shows the longevity and the success that you've had in your career.
Mike Jordan: It's nice, I don't think it's really that big a deal myself but it does make me reflect a little bit on all the players that have played here and especially the first few years when we were rebuilding. That first team, we only won seven matches the first year. We weren't very good but those guys worked so hard at getting better and making the program better. It just makes you reflect a little bit. The other thing it does is it makes you reflect on all those coaches who have been in it for so long, like [Dave] Shoji for instance. He's got over 1,000 wins and has been coaching for 30-some years. It's so impressive to have that kind of longevity.

bc.net: When you took over the program you were rebuilding and that first team won seven matches, the second year you won 15 matches but since then you've won almost 75 percent of your matches. How have you been able to instill a winning mindset and a winning attitude and all of the players that you've been able to bring in have carried that over year after year?
MJ: Yeah, once we started to win more you get that winning edge. I think our players believe they're going to win. Most of the teams we've had since 2002 have been like that and that's great that your players have confidence in their ability. Not every team has had that, last year's team struggled with their confidence a lot, this year's team is getting confident I think. As we speak they're getting more confident. For years we've had players who believed in themselves and believed in their teammates and they had great leadership and they imparted that to the younger players who have carried it on. It's certainly a big part of what we've done in the past.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/06/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on tonight's match with Nevada and Saturday night's match against Fresno State?
Mike Jordan: Nevada has played a lot of good teams and I don't think their record is indicative of what kind of team they have. They have a lot of returners from last year's team. I think they do some things that could give us some problems for sure. They always play well in their gym and we've had a lot of moments when we haven't played well in this gym. We're gearing up for it. I think it's going to be a pretty good match

Fresno obviously hasn't lost in conference play yet. A lot of good talent on that team. I think it's within our reach to go out and get two wins on the road but we're going to have to play well to do it.

bc.net: You mentioned Nevada playing well in their gym, they've only played there twice this season. What kind of challenge will it pose playing a team that will be really fired up to finally be playing at home?
MJ: Yeah, I'm sure they will be. They've been on the road so much, it's just tougher to win. I would expect to get their best effort for sure.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 08/31/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your team went 2-1 on the weekend and as we talked about last week, you wanted your team to compete no matter who they were playing and they certainly did that.
Mike Jordan: Yeah. I thought we came out against Nebraska, I don't think we played great by any stretch but I thought we competed well. It helped that we jumped out to a lead, executed early and built a little confidence. But really we battled. They took a timeout at 5-1 and we were excited to play and that had to have woken them up a little bit. When you get down 5-1 to a team, that wakes you up right away. If there happened to be any, "We're Nebraska, we're going to steamroll anybody we play" kind of thing going on, I'm sure it was gone by 5-1. Two good teams were battling. I was impressed with our competitive spirit as much as anything. We were enjoying playing, we made a lot of plays and while it wasn't great volleyball by any stretch, it's too early for teams to be that good, it was still high level volleyball for this early in the season and we were doing well.

When set three started, basically there were two things that happened. One, Nebraska made an adjustment and started setting higher to their outside hitters and that allowed them a little more freedom to turn the angles that they wanted and then Bradley got hurt. That just took the wind out of our sails. It was a little difficult to swallow her getting hurt. I would have loved to seen the match with her healthy but it happens unfortunately.

The other two matches, we came out and played well. We didn't play great, again there are so many things that are going to be improved on because it's early in the season but we had pretty good competitive spirit. We had to flip the lineup. Not having Brynja [Rodgers] as well was a pain because she gives us the ability to play in the 6-2. So we played with the lineup a little bit and the last couple of matches a lot of people got to play and we stayed pretty competitive. It wasn't always pretty volleyball, there are a lot of things we need to fix and make better but I like the way we competed. That's something we talked about wanting to have happen and it happened and I'm proud of them for that.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/27/10

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the two matches last week?
Mike Jordan: Yeah, Nevada and Utah State both have good teams. Nevada had been playing and they played good 'D'. We started slowly defensively. I think it was 7-2 and we hadn't dug a ball yet in the first set and then finally we got our act together and started playing hard defensively and when we do that we're pretty tough to beat. We've just got to find a way to do that more consistently and stop dropping sets because we're not playing both ends of the floor. I want them to be solid offensively but you've got to play 'D' too and hopefully we're learning that lesson.

Utah State does a lot of good things and they've got a solid team. They're struggling a little bit offensively at times. But to go on the road and get two wins, we're pretty happy with that.

bc.net: Those two wins were real big for your club having come off of the "hell week" playing three matches in four nights and to not give up the separation that you had earned from those three wins was really big.
MJ: Yeah. To get some separation between us and third pace is really good and to keep pace with Hawai'i and gives us a chance to go there and if we can pull off a small miracle and maybe get a share of the regular season title like we did in 2008.  Continue Reading This Post >>