Quote the Horns (Sept. 17)
Sept. 17, 2009
The second-ranked Texas volleyball team hosts No. 10 Iowa State on Friday, Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Head coach Jerritt Elliott
On being familiar with Iowa State: We have a tremendous amount of respect for Iowa State. They’re very well coached and disciplined and they are a blue-collar team and I think they are the toughest team mentally. They work hard and they play well as a team together, so I know this is a very big match for us and I’m sure they have been thinking about the elite eight match all year long. It’s going to be a fun match for us to be a part of.
On the challenges of playing very good teams every time out: I think it’s exciting. Anybody that comes to Texas is a competitor and I think they enjoy it and that’s part of this process. I mean we could schedule easier preseason matches, but we want to be able to challenge our players and our staff and everyone associated with the program. It’s more about ourselves and our standards that we’re trying to reach to overcome the improvement factor.
On what Iowa State will do better than Baylor: There ball control will be a lot better. They’re going to be one of the best defensive teams in the conference. They’re going to pass well, and be very efficient in terms of their attacking and transition game. You know they do everything very well and they’re a lot more experienced and have played tougher competition to date.
On what the team needs to improve on against Iowa State: We’ve got to be able to pass, set and hit better than we did last night to be successful. It’s a fix that we can do in practice today, but [Iowa State] had Minnesota on the ropes, they just kind of let them go which was surprising to see the scores and where they were at, but again, they were on the road in front of six or seven thousand people and that’s a tough place to play.
Senior setter Ashley Engle
On Iowa State: I know they’re an amazing team and that we met them to go to the final four last year, and we won but it was a really tough match so I can only assume they’ve gotten better and I think it will be a really good test to see where we are at, playing a top-10 opponent in our conference this early is a rare thing, so it will be good for us.
On Iowa State’s Victoria Henson: I don’t know a whole lot, we go over those types of things as a team, but I just know they’re relentless. That is usually the word I choose to describe them, they have really good team chemistry and they don’t give up.
On last year’s game against Iowa State: I remember that it was difficult. They’re a very mentally tough team and that’s a really strong quality to have.
On getting off to a good start against Iowa State: It’s always important for us to get off to a good start. I think finding our rhythm early is key for any opponent, but especially with them because they can be a very dangerous team. I expect them to play their championship match tomorrow night and I expect us to do the same, so it will be a battle for sure.
On what to expect for the Friday-night crowd: I hope it to be a little bit bigger. I guess just Wednesday is the middle of the week, people have homework, people have classes, but Friday is the weekend so there’s not too many excuses and hopefully a lot of fans will come out and support us.
Junior middle blocker Jennifer Doris
On preparing up front against Iowa State: Blocking is definitely something that I need to work on and it is something that we can definitely improve on as a team. Today in practice we’re going to focus on that and do what we can to try to shut them down.
On the block against Baylor: It was pretty much non-existent. We had some blocking schemes that we were trying to execute and when we were able to carry them out, I think we blocked some balls, but blocking can always improve.
On Iowa State last season: All I can remember is they have some really good hitters. They don’t let anything hit the floor, they’re very aggressive and probably one of the most mentally tough teams in the Big 12 so it’s going to be a battle tomorrow night.
On keeping focus: We’re going to have to stay focused every play. We’re not going to be able to take plays off. Sometimes this season we’ve gone up and then we’ve had little breakdowns but we’re going to have to make sure tomorrow night that we play straight through with no letups.
Senior outside hitter Destinee Hooker
On Iowa State: They have a great outside hitter, No. 10, Victoria Henson. She has dominated the past few matches. Their team is not going to lie down. They’re a scrappy team, they’re eager to win and there will be a target on our back, but we’re ready.
On what the team will have to do better against Iowa State: Be in rhythm and be aware of all the misses that can happen if we get down. We are not going to be perfect throughout the match. We have to know that and stay composed no matter what happens.