Quotes From Volleyball Coach Jeff Nelson

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Sept. 4, 2000

LUBBOCK, Texas - Qoutes from Monday's weekly press conference.

Head Coach Jeff Nelson

"This was a great start for us [4-0]. We did what we wanted to do. We set a goal to win that tournament at South Carolina. We felt like if we played well, we could do that. The teams we played were solid teams. It was a good place to start."

"We opened with Liberty. Our starters played well. We played our starters the first two games, and they won real solid. We went with the freshmen lineup the third game and gave up the first five points real quick. But I refused to let them off the hook. [The freshmen] played the whole game, and they came back and almost pulled it out. They ended up losing. We put the starters back in and the did a great job of closing out the match to get us that first win."

"We played Xavier in the second match, again a real strong team from last year. We went with the starters all three [games] to prepare for the next day. Melissa McGehee hit over .500 in the match, and led the team hitting over .500 for the day, which is outstanding for anyone, let alone a sophomore. We were real excited about that."

"On Saturday we played South Carolina. South Carolina won a big match against Duke on Friday night, beat them pretty handily and looked real solid. I think South Carolina was picked second in the SEC, so we knew it was going to be a real important match already for later in the season."

"Our players came out and really played with probably the most intensity that I've seen them play with in a few years. They played tough. They served the ball outstanding. Heather Hughes had ace after ace and took them out of their system. Our gameplan was to go short-deep on them and make them move, because they were real big and strong. We felt like we were a lot faster than them."

"We really moved the ball around and made them move. It worked real well. We controlled the entire match. There was only one point in the whole match where we didn't have the lead. It was just a great effort by us. Melissa McGehee and Colleen Smith came up big hitting on the outside, and I though Sky Orzen, our junior setter, had a great match as well."

"Finishing out the tournament we played Duke in the evening. It was really tough for our players to get back up after having, what was really the tournament championship, in the afternoon. We came out strong and won the first game pretty easily, then sat back and waited for them to lose it. I hate to see that happen, but we looked a little tired at the end."

"Overall, I was really pleased we could win against Duke, which was a strong team. Their average starter in the lineup was about 6-2. For us to come out and not play our best and still win that match and stay in control was very good. Colleen Smith had a great match, picked up 28 kills in four games. That's really what we're looking for from her this season."

"Ann Romjue throughout the whole tournament continues to be the rock for us. She plays in the L-2 position, passes, serves, blocks, does whatever we ask, digs. She led the team in digs this weekend. I really think she's the player that makes a lot of it happen out there."

"I felt the tournament was important for us, and it was important for the conference. The ACC and SEC are two conferences that are knocking on our door in terms of strength of conference. I think the ACC was fourth last year and the SEC was fifth, and we've got to keep those conferences down. One of the ways we can do that is to keep beating them."

"[Tuesday] we play at TCU. It's an interstate rival. We play them all the time because they're close, so we know a lot about them, know what they do. It's a match we've got to get down there and take care of business."

"I think our players, their attitudes are so fantastic right now. Last year was a hard season for a lot of reasons. We lost two starters before we ever played a match. We played at Coronado High School. It's not what they really came to college to do. I think they saw this season as a breakthough, come back and start again. Their attitudes at South Carolina were just get out there and kick some butt, and that's what they did. I don't think any of them had a thought that they wouldn't win that tournament.

"Tech is doing so many things for the athletes. I think our kids, really now more than ever, feel like they have everything in place to have that success - a great arena, a great home, the efforts in nutrition. The South Carolina strength coordinators came up and said `Your team is in the best shape I've ever seen. What are you guys doing?' So I think that's a great compliment not only to our weight staff but to our nutritionists. The kids have really bought into it. They seem to be healthier, have more energy, and we haven't had any injuries."




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