March 8, 2013
On what having sand-only players and indoor players means to team
"I think that having sand-only players and indoor players gives us a good balance. Most of the sand players are defenders, not blockers, so it lets our big girls play at the net and learn how to play with some defenders that have some good experience. It's going to make the indoor players that are playing as blockers better because they have someone behind them who knows the game really well and can read what they are doing."
On the difference between the indoor and the outdoor game
"Movement-wise, it's a lot more difficult just because it's sand. It's also just two-on-two, so you have to be just an overall good player. The biggest problem that most of the indoor girls have that are our middle blockers and right-side hitters are basically girls who haven't really done a lot of passing or played a lot of defense (in the indoor game). They would usually just come out for a libero in the back row. They have to be able to serve-receive, they have to be able to pass, set, and they have to have ball control. They don't have to learn ball control indoors. They usually are just going after the ball and hitting it. The game changes a lot."
On his goals for upcoming season
"I honestly don't think that winning is the No. 1 goal. As a head coach, I'm very competitive and of course I want to win but I think bottom line is that the girls should have some fun learning what the game is all about. No. 2, they have to get better every day that they practice. Once they start to learn the beach game and get better at it, they will start to play it at a higher level and that will increase our chances of winning. Third, which is probably the biggest goal of them all, is learning to play the game. It's a very different game, especially for our big girls."
On whether he likes sand volleyball better than indoor
"I like the indoor game. I've played it my whole life, but I also grew up on the beach and played the sand game. I was lucky enough growing up in California that I was around the beach game a lot. I've refereed it at a high level and played it at a pretty high level, and then I played indoors at a high level, too. There's more strategy and finesse when you're playing two-on-two and moving in the sand, so I think it's just different. I love both games. I love the indoor game for its fast pace and hitting the ball really hard. The sand game is so much different. There's a lot more finesse required, so it's hard to say which one I love the most just because they are both so different."
On how big of a jump the team can make in its second season
"Right at this moment, there are a lot of teams who have more advantages than we do. Some of the teams are fully funded and have a lot more beach-only players on their team. We have four (sand-only players), but you have to have 10 girls to compete. That means six of our indoor girls have to play the game, and there are a lot of other programs out there that have all their 10 players as beach-only players right now. It's a new start this year. In talking with the girls, they believe that they are way ahead of where they were last year. But until you actually get out and play somebody else, you don't know really know how much you've better gotten over the course of a year of practice."
On his thoughts of the 2013 Tulane sand volleyball team
"I think they are great. They've gone out and practiced well together. They are all very competitive with one another, which is always a good thing. On any given day someone will say, `I think this is our top team' and then maybe our third or fourth ranked team that day will beat them, so I think that's what's good. We have a lot of competition between the teams, and that makes us better."
On what he hopes to see this weekend from the team
"I hope to see them having a fun experience. I think if they have that and are enjoying playing the game, then they are playing their best. I think we can be competitive. I think we can compete with a lot of the teams out there. I don't think there are any expectations out there for us until we see how we play this weekend. We'll get two matches under our belt this weekend, and that will give us a better idea of how we are going to play the rest of the season."
On the Green Wave's 2013 schedule
"This year, the AVCA runs the championships at the end of the year, and they only take six teams to the team championship and 16 individual teams to the individual championship. I would hope that we would have a chance to qualify someone to make it the national championships, and I think we've got good enough players to do that. I think our schedule allows us to play everyone we need to play in our region. I think the indoor players are enjoying the game, and they are getting better at it, plus we've got some pretty good athletes, so we will see."