bleedCrimson.net: 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.
bc.net: You talked a little bit about some of the inconsistencies that your team has shown and you've talked a lot about the defense. What are some other things you'd like to see them become a little more consistent with or a lot more consistent with?
MJ: I think we could serve tougher consistently. I think this is one of the better serving teams we've had. We've got a few kids that serve it pretty tough, we locate it well but we've gotta go back there with that aggressive mentality all the time and we've backed off a few times when I think we should have stayed aggressive. I'd like to see us do better at that. The blocking is kind of a work in progress. We've been really good at times and then there are times when we're a little bit late for no reason. We need to be on time as blockers and working a little bit harder at it.
bc.net: Looking at this week it's obviously a big week on the road you take on Utah State on Thursday and then on Saturday you take on San Jose State who continues to improve and had a bit of a surprising sweep of Idaho a couple weekends ago.
MJ: Utah State is obviously a very good team and it's always a tough match up there. Last year I thought we got the short end of the stick on a couple calls in game five, some non-calls. Obviously Utah State played well and pulled out a win up there. I'd like to get that one back if we could. I think we've got similar size teams. We both have teams that have go-to players and it should be a really good match.
San Jose State, they are improving. They've got some veteran players, they've got some good arms, they're very balanced and they've been very good at home so far. Where they've struggled a little is on the road which is typical and certainly the same goes for us I think. It's going to be a good match at their place, no question.
bc.net: As far as both teams, what are some things that they do well that concern you a little bit
MJ: Utah State's got some pretty good pin hitters on the left and the right but they're just big enough and physical enough to score in the middle as well. It's just the balance that they have is pretty good. I'd say the same for San Jose State. Any time you're in a situation where you don't know who they're going to set it just makes it tougher on you blocking and defensively. They've got good arms, both those teams have a lot of good arms and they can score.
bc.net: The first road trip of conference season you went to Seattle and Idaho. You had a little bit of a sluggish start against Seattle and then let Idaho get back into match. What are some lessons that you kids can learn from that first weekend that you can take into this road trip.
MJ: Well, you're going to hope that you're going to put a full match together, that you're going to keep your foot on the gas all the time. We haven't been very good at that. We've gotten off to bad starts, we've had bad finishes, we just don't seem to be consistently playing hard and well for 25 points. We've got to do a better job of that. At times we look great. There are times when I'm really impressed with what I see and we're going the right direction and then we back off the gas and make a few silly mistakes or miss some assignments and the next thing you know we're down five points. It's very important that this team understand that everybody on the floor needs to be making plays.