Sept. 24, 2013 - Italian U23 vs. K-State Post-Match Quotes

Sept. 24, 2013

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Italian U23 National Team vs. K-State

Post-Match Quotes


Head Coach Suzie Fritz
On strengths and weaknesses going into conference…
“One, I think we feel pretty good about the preseason being productive. When we go into every season, we kind of divide the season into four distinct parts, the preseason, the first half of the league, the second half of the league, and postseason play. We play a double round robin in Big 12, so that means we play everyone home and away. So you have a true champion when everything is said and done. Our focus has literally shifted very quickly away from the preseason. It is now time to look towards the first half of the Big 12, knowing where we have to be and where we have to go. Now we want to add elements into our offense so that we can be less predictable. We still need to be a more terminal sideout team. I think that is something that we have grown a lot in the last three weeks of preseason that we are working in more productive ways. I think our setter continues to get better, and put our hitters in better situations as well.”

On Italy’s slower pace offense
“It is a totally different system that we faced two weeks ago in California. Everyone was just pushing the envelope. It was all about speed, and when we played the Italians we literally had to slow down our defense and our block. We have to wait a little bit longer. There is a major adjustment with timing your block and attack. It is very similar to a couple of systems that we see in the league. I think it is great experience for us, and that is what we wanted. We got an opportunity to play a different team, basically a team of Italian All-Stars. They all play professionally, they are all under contract, but they are pulled away from their pro teams right now to go play in the world championships in Mexico.”

On any standout players
“They made [Kaitlynn] Pelger do a lot, and she still hit quite well. I thought our middles were pretty good. We probably should have set them a little more. Lilla [Porubek] was playing extremely well. We tried a lot of different stuff. We used a lot of different personnel. We put them in different positions and played them in different systems. Just trying to use our depth for one, and give them as much match experience as we were capable of giving them.“

Junior outside hitter Chelsea Keating

On their mindset coming into the game playing a foreign national team …

“They have never played together, so they were kind of warming up as they went and were getting better.  But we just went out there and try to have fun.  This does not really count for anything so we to improve as we play.”

On coming into Big 12 play…

“We are really excited.  The first part of our season is over, so we start off fresh.  We had a really good preseason but now we are just ready to start the Big 12.”

Redshirt freshman setter Katie Brand

On getting the final few kinks out before Big 12 play…

“We went out here and we wanted to have fun but also use a lot of our depth.  We threw a lot of players out there in a lot of different positions and we worked as hard as we could.  Obviously the goal was to win, but I think overall we just wanted to have fun and play hard.”

On the height of the Italian team…

“We talked about not so much the height of their team, but about how their set tempo is a lot slower and we really have to delay our block.  In California everything was very fast and we were running back and forth from pin-to-pin and tonight we really had to slow down.  Big teams like that are going to try and hit over us and just use their power and I think we did a good job at the beginning.  I think it took us some time to get into it and really find that feeling of when to go, but I think we found it.”