bleedCrimson.net: 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.
bc.net: A couple players that had really good matches against UTSA were Nathalie Castellanos and Gwen Murphy and for Murphy that might have been the best match I've seen her play.
MJ: Yeah, she made some key plays for us. She's a physical player. She's just got to get more confident, a little more skilled and she's going to do even better things for us. It was good to see her contribute a little bit for us finally offensively. She's been doing a decent job blocking but we definitely need more offense out of her.
Nathalie has had a good freshman year for us. She's given us some big swings, she plays really hard, she's a playmaker and a really good competitor so the more we can use her in different ways the better.
bc.net: You've talked a lot about Nathalie's athleticism and competitive drive but it also seems like she makes a lot of smart, heady plays as well.
MJ: Yeah she does. She's a competitive person and she's got a lot of court savvy. She grew up playing sports, a lot of different sports from a very young age. A lot like Krystal Torres. When you've got that kind of experience typically you're a good decision maker on the floor and you've got some savvy, some volleyball IQ. She's made some good plays for us. She's only 5'10" but she jumps well and has got a good arm and plays hard all the time for us which is great.
bc.net: This week you've got a road trip out to UT Arlington and Louisiana Tech starting the second swing through conference play.
MJ: I'm so concerned about our lineup as much as anything. I think our lineup is a little bit in flux right now. I was hoping we'd grow into it a little bit better than we have. We've got a couple players who really aren't producing much and we may need to make some changes. So we're experimenting with some alternative lineups right now, a lot of it based on hopefully stabilizing the passing and maybe subbing a little bit less and getting us a little more continuity. So we may see some new lineups this weekend.
Arlington, I think just got a win in their last match, played really well. LA Tech gave us some issues here because of how good they were defensively. Going on the road is no easy feat in this conference so hopefully we'll get a couple "W's".
bc.net: You mentioned Louisiana Tech and their really strong defensive play, UTSA was another team with just gaudy dig numbers and I thought your team handled that really well as far as being patient and not getting frustrated with all the balls that were getting dug. Is that something you can carry forward into that LA Tech match?
MJ: Well I hope so. I think we're learning that teams that extend rallies, you do need to be patient. Just keep taking good swings and making good decisions, not trying to do too much. Our setters have a tendency, because they're young and inexperienced, they have a tendency to over-think so we definitely need to keep it simple in certain situations and I think we'll be alright.
bc.net: Maggi Jo has been getting a lot more playing time lately. Is that a situation where she's starting to become more comfortable with the offense and gaining your trust a little more?
MJ: Yeah she has gained our trust more. Of the three, she's the headiest of the three setters. She follows directions really well, she understand the system a little bit better, makes better decisions on the floor. She's improving as a floor leader, she's not there yet, she hasn't quite found her voice but it's coming. And she's earned her playing time. You do two things, you either play your way in or out of a lineup. Some of our players are teetering on playing themselves out of a lineup, Maggi Jo is one that's found a way to play her way in and we're happy for her for that.