Aug. 31, 2004
Talllahassee, Fla. –
With just four days until the start of 2004 Florida State volleyball season — Friday, September 3rd at 12:30 at Tully Gym against Sam Houston State — Seminole head coach Todd Kress sat down to talk about the improvement his team has made this season and his early expecations for year three in Tallahassee.
Q: Can you assess the team goes into the first weekend?
Todd Kress: I think they’re doing really well. They’re healthy, knock on wood. We’ve got depth at some positions that we haven’t had since I’ve been here. This is the first year that we have legitimate depth at every position. They’re competing, they’re competitive in practices, they’re eager to learn and they’re working hard so I’m looking for good things this first weekend. It’s going to be a good weekend for us to get some different people in and seem them in different spots.
Q: What do you look for out of the team in the first couple of matches?
TK: It’s going to be the first time that we’ve actually come out and run the offense in a game-like situation so that that will be completely new. We’ve done some major revamping of the offense this year. I completely revamped it and made it quicker and then (associate head coach) Rita (Buck-Crockett) revamped the defense so what I look for the first match is some great things and I look for where we’ll make some mistakes that we wont’ make in our second or third week.
Q: With a split squad, why is it, or why isn’t it tough to evaluate the team during a scrimmage?
TK: It’s tough because they’re playing each other and they know what we’re running. They know the offense and what to expect. The other side knows what we’re running so it’s tough to see how other teams are going to react when they haven’t seen our offense yet.
Q: What has been the biggest improvement so far this season?
TK: They’re a lot of improvement. I think that our outsides are much more consistent. I think that our ball control is better. We’re comfortable in that we’ve got three or four people that can pass the ball at any one time. Defensively we’re better. What Rita has done defensively has really helped us a lot. Our weakness right now is our serving, we’re not consistent; we’re not aggressive serving wise and overall consistency, which will come with rest and time.
Q: There is a saying that the best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores. How have the five sophomores on your team gotten better?
TK: Total difference. Night and day between these kids between this year and last year. Last year they came in completely green, had no idea what to expect, and this year a good number of them have set the standard in practice for what we’re trying to accomplish and they’re mentally tougher. It’s been a complete difference in all areas; they’ve done a nice turnaround.
Q: What do you expect out of your captains (seniors Aisha Carr, Renee Hill and Amanda Santos) on the court and off the court?
TK: Obviously leadership, you look to your captains for leadership. My favorite quote about a leader is: “A leader is someone that gets the group to do something they don’t want to do and then still enjoy it.” I think that’s a great quote and it really sums up what a great leader is and that’s what I look for our leaders to do; at times in practice when you’re busting your butt and you don’t want to be there, they find a way to make the team enjoy it, get something out of it. They’ve done that to a degree, they’re still working on that aspect of it. They’ve done a great job of leading by example, but they’ve done a great job of being more vocal this season and they’re a lot more confident.
Q: What role do you expect the newcomers to play?
TK: Summer (Weissing) has come in and hit the ground running. She’s passing well, playing defense, she’s our leaderships in the back row. Danielle (McDonald) is very versatile. She’s able to help us middle and opposite. Now she’s trying to win out some playing time. Our junior college transfers, Lauren Scott and Andreza (Santos), Lauren is really trying to acclimate herself in a much quicker system with her offense and when she catches on to that she’ll really contribute. When Andreza is back at 100 percent with her knee, she has the opportunity to be our top outside when she gets back.