What were your thoughts about the team when you came in last April?
I wasn’t really able to know my team until we started training in the fall. So I had no idea, no expectations. Let’s just see where we are. I knew we had a lot of seniors and I knew we had the two Brazilians and a few other seniors that were talented. And it was kind of more just trying to get a feel for who are they personally and how we can infuse a team out of the pieces that we have. How was it all going to fit together? That's been really the challenge of this year. We've got some guys that are really talented and just finding how those dynamics can fit in a way that we can be successful on the court. So it's been a fun year but it's been challenging in a different way than I've experienced as a coach before.
What is the personality of this year’s team?
We have a pretty dynamic group of everything. We've got some jokesters that have fun and they’re really goofy. We have a couple of guys that are really serious and intense. I think we try to keep it light but we try to keep it serious at the same time. There's a time to joke and there is a time to be serious. I always tell recruits that we take our volleyball seriously but at the end of the day we know it's just a game and there’s bigger things to get out of this game than just worrying about whether or not we won or lost. It's a bigger picture for us and it's kind of one of those things that, you know if somebody gets hit in the face, were going to laugh. That's funny stuff. But we’re going to laugh for a brief second and then we’re going to get back to playing volleyball seriously because that ball might be up in the air and somebody needs to get that ball.
Is the team excited about the top ten ranking?
We talked about it for all of maybe less than a minute and then it was just ‘alright that’s cool.’ We know at any point that we are just one loss away from dropping out. Since we can't play in the post-season, I think is harder for us to move up but it's really easy for them to drop us out if we have any bad matches. So we've really got to just stabilize and know that those kind of things are not anything we can control. They’re out of our hands and ultimately in the scheme of everything it really doesn't do anything for us. I joke with the guys all the time that even if we’re number one in the nation it doesn't even get you a cup of coffee anywhere. So who cares? You don’t get anything for it. It is like, now what? I guess we just keep training and play volleyball because that's all you can control. So it's been nice to see that other teams and other coaches recognize what we're doing, but like I said in the scope of everything we don't get to play for anything but our pride. And to try and pull off some upsets on some other teams that are going to have an extra loss if we beat them. I don't think anyone's overlooking us anymore. Anyone in the MPSF has got the potential to pull off some good upsets, but when we started taking down some good teams I think they started worrying about us a little more.