Oct. 20, 1997

Quoting Texas Tech Head Volleyball Coach Jeff Nelson

Monday Weekly Press Conference

Opening Comments:
"We had two matches this week, Wednesday at Baylor and Saturday against Oklahoma. I thought we played really well down at Baylor. Courtney Putnam shined this week in both matches- she was great in the Baylor match and is really starting to come on for us like we expected her to. She led the team in kills in every match when we went to Italy and she's now just starting to get back to where she's doing that consistently. That's a good sign.

On the Baylor match:
"We played a good match down there and I was happy to get out of there with a win. Baylor's improved significantly but that's the best we've played down there in three years that I've been here. It wasn't fantastic but it was a lot better than we played previously. One of the things I was nervous about was that we wouldn't take them seriously. We went in there and got it done and took care of business."

On the match Saturday at Coronado against Oklahoma:
"The match on Saturday night against Oklahoma was a great volleyball match. It was really exciting for the fans that came out. It was what you wanted to see. We had some kids who were really banging out there- Cris Martin and Courtney Putnam. Oklahoma had some on the other side. There was some great defense- close to 100 digs. It was everything you wanted to see. Unfortunately, when we had the chance to put it away, we didn't do it again. That's unfortunate because we won the first game easily then served in the second time seven or eight times and couldn't put it away, missed a couple serves and they came back and won 16-14. Then we won the third game controlling the game as well. In the fourth game, they played well and beat us and the fifth game was a dogfight to the end. Overall, I was happy with our performance. It was just a few points in game two that prevented us from taking Oklahoma 3-0 and they've been a hot team. They beat Nebraska 3-0 last week and I think they're a team that will do really well. We had a chance to win 3-0 and I think our players were really frustrated right now. We're winning one out of two lately and that's just not going to be enough.

On the rest of the season:
"We're at the point where we've just got to step it up. We play seven of our next 10 matches at home and we've got to step it up. After this weekend, we're in the second half of the season and we have to get it going. With the return of Courtney Putnam and her play at a higher level, I think we can win seven or eight of these last 10 matches at home and if we can do that, then we've got a shot to get back into the tournament. If we don't do that and keep playing .500, I seriously question that. That's where we're at right now.

On the coming weekend at Colorado and Nebraska:
"We play Colorado and Nebraska on the road this weekend. Colorado is tied for second with A&M in the conference and Nebraska's in fourth place and that's a new place for them than they've ever been before. We played a lot better this week so hopefully, we'll be able to sneak a win or two on the road here before we go into the last half of the season."

On the upcoming USA National Team match:
"We have the USA team a week from today, 7:00 p.m. at Monday night at home in the Coliseum (Oct. 27). They'll be coming in that morning and they'll have an open practice that day. We'll announce the time later on, where people can go in and watch and get autographs or just watch them workout. I think it's going to be an exciting time. It's $5.00 for everyone to get in, general seating and I think it's a great opportunity for the community to see some awesome volleyball talent and what's coming for the future in the Olympics. After all, they are our Olympic team. We just feel very fortunate and priveledged that they've chosen us as one of the teams they will play on their collegiate tour. I think it's a good sign as far as the type of players we have and the level of respect they have for our program as well."


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