Oct. 13, 1997

Quoting Head Volleyball Coach Jeff Nelson

Opening Comments
"First of all, we played Kansas on Friday. We played a real solid match and got good performances out of four or five players- which is something we haven't been doing consistently. Brande Brown was exceptional and we played a great match. Kansas is an improved team and we were concerned about not taking them too seriously. We took care of business there and it was a good match. Kansas State came out and played a really great volleyball match. They came after us in the first game with a lot more than any of us expected or we'd seen in any of their tapes that we had reviewed during the week. Once we settled down, it was a pretty good match, it was a tight match. We didn't get our best performances out of some of our outside hitters and some different things in positions. We didn't serve the ball tough enought. Kansas State had an outside hitter named Kim Zchou who really hurt us badly. We had been able to control outside hitters in most of our matches this year and she did a lot of damage with around 25 kills. But they played the better match- they were definitely the better team on Saturday night. We've got to do some things today and tomorrow to get ready for our next match on Wednesday against Baylor. When you play good teams, they expose what you need to work on to make us better so that's the way you look at that match."

On the upcoming week of action (at Baylor, Oct. 15/Oklahoma, Oct. 18)
"We play Baylor on Wednesday night. Baylor is another team that has improved a lot. It's always tough to go down there and get a win. We need to get a win. We can't afford to go down there and lose right now. They have one player in particular - Elisha Polk- she's leading the conference in hitting and kills per game so she's really doing a good job. We'll prepare for that and try and get that done. We return Saturday night against Oklahoma at Coronado High School. That match is 7:00 p.m. We had a mixup in our Big 12 schedule. We were originally scheduled for a Friday night match at home and it turned out that we were supposed to play a Saturday night match. Of course, the Civic Center and Coliseum were already booked so we're over at Coronado. I think that will be a good thing. It will be great to promote volleyball and our thing since we arrived here was to be out in the community. This time, we'll be out there playing."

On the NCAA Tournament and the Big 12 Conference as of now:
"We're 16-4. Our conference is really flexing its muscle right now. Nebraska came in this weekend and was ranked No. 4 in one poll and No. 5 and lost 2-3 to Colorado and 0-3 to Oklahoma. The top eight teams in the conference will beat each other up and we need to make sure that we're in the top half and I think our chances will be great. Our record is strong enough but we've got to beat a couple of teams in that group. We've still got Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma twice and then Texas and Texas A&M again so if we could pull a couple wins in that group, we'll be in great shape."

On the Red Raiders' slow starts on their losses:
"It think that's part of being young, part of being immature and inexperienced. If we haven't gone out and won that first game, we haven't won the match. If we get out to a fast start, we bury them. Fourteen of our sixteen matches, we've won 3-0. If we don't do that, we seem to be struggling. We need to do some things in practice with scoring repititions to try to get them to work through that and to move past it because we can't seem to get past the slow starts. We play well and nobody's blanked us or anything but we don't seem to get back on track or get in a good rhythm."

On Brande Brown's play:
"Brande has a good weekend just about every weekend. She played real well over both matches. She had 17 kills in both matches and led the team both matches. When the ball's above the net and she gets a good approach, they don't stop her. That's how it was this weekend but against Kansas State, our passing broke down a bit. She's a middle attacker and if the pass isn't on the net, she can't get the ball. That's what happened in the first two games at Kansas State. After we settled down, she started getting the ball again. After that, it was a great match. Kansas State's a tough place to play. They had 3,000 people and they had their band. The atmospheres in the conference have been picking up quite a bit. We haven't gone anywhere this year where there hasn't been a big crowd or a band. It's really picked up, it's exciting to see and hopefully, we'll follow that trend."

On the fact that Tech will play at Coronado High School:
"I think it's good to be out and do things other places. It'll be fine. It's a good opportunity and we're excited to be playing over there. Coronado's been one of our biggest supporters in terms of our camps and different things. It's a good opportunity to give back to the community and go over there and play."


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