Weekly Coach Jordan Interview

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/ on line 33. Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/25/11 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. 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 >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/20/11 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 >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/10/11 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. 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 >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/06/11 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. 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 >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 08/31/11 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 >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/27/10 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. 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 >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/20/10 You've gotten some good play out of your three freshmen, particularly this past weekend in your three wins.
Mike Jordan: They're getting better. I think they're getting more comfortable and they're improving. They're missing fewer assignments and making more plays. That's all you can ask. As long as they keep competing and giving it their best then we're going to continue to see better and better results. They've got a long way to go but they're making progress. What differences have you seen in the play of Rocio Gutierrez from the beginning of the year to this past weekend where she had a couple of big matches in the wins over Idaho and Nevada?
MJ: Confidence is a big deal for her. She's got a much better idea when she's going out there and she's starting to make more plays. I think of all the freshmen she's the most confident but I think she should be too. She played a higher level club ball than most so she's a little bit more prepared to play at this level and she's doing a good job. She's pretty versatile.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/13/10 This is a big weekend for your team with three matches in four nights and a chance to separate yourselves from the rest of the WAC and keep pace with Hawai'i.
Mike Jordan: It's going to be a big challenge, three matches in four days. We agreed to play Nevada on Sunday. As coaches we try to take care of each other. The scheduling creates a lot of issues for our teams. We try to do what's best for the student athletes. Nevada, that match was scheduled for Monday here but they'd have to fly here Sunday, play Monday night, travel home Tuesday and then they'd play again later in the week and they'd miss a ton of school. I agreed to pay it on Sunday and hopefully we'll be rested enough and play at a high level but we have two matches before that.

Boise State is obviously a very good team coming off a win at home against Utah State in five and they're playing better than they were a year ago, they've got a little more experience, a couple of good middles that can do some things and it's not going to be an easy victory. None of them are at this point. We've got to work hard and play well to win.

Idaho always has a good blocking team. They're athletic. We've had some good matches with them in the past. We know we're going to have to play well to win each match.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/06/10 Your thoughts on the match last week against Hawai'i?
Mike Jordan: Hawai'i was difficult. They're a fantastic team. I think it's the best floor defense team I've seen ever. I thought maybe last year's was the best and they're better this year. They're a better blocking team than they were a year ago. Getting kills was pretty difficult and we're a team that can hit the ball pretty well.

It was frustrating because we didn't block anything, we didn't hit anything and they hit for way too high a percentage. Also frustrating in that we were battling for a while, it was 16-18, they get a little bit of a run and we kind of hang our head. This team is a team that needs to learn to battle back and play from behind. Hopefully we'll figure that out pretty soon. But Hawai'i is in a different level right now. They're definitely as good as last year I think and a legitimate Final Four caliber team. On Sunday you took on Arizona and one of the big differences between the match against Hawai'i and the match against Arizona is that you had 10 total team blocks against Arizona after zero blocks against Hawai'i. What changed from Wednesday night to Sunday night?
MJ: Well, we're making incremental changes. There was definitely a need, and we recognized that, to make some improvements and some adjustments there. We started to do that. I think we'll get better at as the season progresses. We played better floor defense too and extended some rallies which was good. Arizona's got a lot of weapons, they're tough to handle at times but we were right there. If it weren't for one or two breaks going our way, we could have gone up 2-0 in that match. I thought it was a huge improvement from our performance on Wednesday against Hawai'i.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 09/27/10 Your thoughts on Kayleigh Giddens' play last weekend.
Mike Jordan: Kayleigh played well obviously. She's really attacking the ball well at a high level and overmatched Louisiana Tech physically. We're happy she's playing so well and hopefully she'll continue to put up those kind of numbers against everybody. Your thoughts on the match against Hawai'i on Wednesday night?
MJ: They're a tremendous team and they're ranked 5th for a reason. They've got a lot of weapons and ball control is probably their strength as it always is. Year in and year out they're one of the best digging teams in the country if not the best and they can frustrate you. We'll go bomb a ball and it'll come back and we'll go bomb another ball and it'll come back and we try and do too much and make an attack error. That's kind of been the M.O. for our matches with them. When we've beaten them we've been a very good blocking team that's frustrated them. We've blocked enough balls to kind of get in their head and force them into taking more risks and making them make some attack errors.

It's going to be one of those matches where we're going to have to win some long rallies and right now digging is not the strong suit of our team but we've got the offensive weapons to compete for sure and hopefully the home crowd will be worth a couple of points.  Continue Reading This Post >>