Nov. 6, 2008
On Friday's opponent, the SMU Mustangs
"We had a good showing against them last time, but we fully expect a tough match in Fogelman tomorrow night. They are a quality team and they have had some good wins in the conference lately. When you play a team the second time around, you need to elevate your level of play because beating a team twice is always much harder than just once. We expect them to make changes based on what they did well against us last time, and we have been focusing on improving our performance in the second half of conference play. I think that if we can stay focus on continual improvement from match to match, we will fare well."
On the opportunity to win the first conference title in Tulane volleyball history
"The possibility of a conference championship is in our minds, but it is not in the forefront because we are focusing on SMU and then Tulsa. That has been a key to our success - staying focused on the match that is right in front of us. We know that there is a good chance for this team to make some more history in the volleyball books. It is something that I think would be well-earned. We are going to take care of our business and we realize that we cannot control what happens with the other teams. It is an exciting time for this program and it is an exciting time for these players. We realize that we are coming to the end of the season. They have control of their own destiny in their hands and I think they will respond well to that."
On the overall health of the team at this point
"We were able to give them some extra time off over the weekend before we went to Southern Miss. Granted, we have three matches this week, so this will be a tough challenge for us physically. But I think we have prepared well for it. They have done a good job of managing their own recovery and making sure that we are doing plenty of injury prevention, keeping ourselves as fresh as possible and staying in the proper training cycle to ensure that we play our best ball at the most important time of the season."
On the biggest overall improvement of the team as the season has gone on
"I think one of the biggest things is this team realizing that there are so many other facets of the game that they can excel at other than our offense. The offense has always been a strength but that is because of the system we run. When they understand the importance of staying in system, we have an automatic advantage built it. Having that advantage is one thing, but being able to take the other team out of system and really improving on defense is actually going to be the key to winning championships and going farther and farther into the tournament. That is the point of emphasis that we had earlier in the season and the team has responded. That is where they have improved the most - serving tougher, learning to play proper defense and taking pride in stopping the other team from scoring at a high pace."
On the importance of having a big crowd on hand for the final three home matches
"The impact of having a big crowd at home is immeasurable. I think we are looking forward to finishing out strong. These seniors only have three home matches left in the conference season and they are looking for a lot of support. So far, our students and our fans have been great. They are an important part of what we do and our success, and I hope they feel that way. We would love for them to come out and continue to cheer us on to some more success, and hopefully, our first conference championship."