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2013 Volleyball Media Day Quotes


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

Aug 14, 2013

Photo Gallery

Interviews:
Katie Brand I Dakota Kaufman I Tristan McCarty I Katie Reininger

K-State Athletics

Head Coach Suzie Fritz

On the World University Games experience transferring to the season...

"Time will tell to be honest. I would like to be a more optimistic. There were primarily pros but there are some cons to it as well. The burnout factor is one that you have to be careful. It is a long season and it adds to fatigue to some degree, so you have to be a little bit more careful in the preseason. We have had to adjust some of the things that we would normally do. We are not practicing as long or as much. We missed out on an opportunity for physical strength and conditioning. Usually we build them up and they come in flying high by the time we get them back. Danny Cavendar is our strength and conditioning guy, and he does a tremendous job with them. There are a few things that have limited what we have been able to do. At the same time, six matches in seven days against elite level, professional competition is something that you cannot simulate here. The experience of being able to train for a period of time leading up to that was invaluable. The hope is that we are further along. After the first four days we are certainly not talking about as many things. I think we were able to work out a lot of kinks in June that we are normally working out in September."

On the impact the World University Games had on Katie Brand...

"It was huge. When you talk about working out the kinks, she was a significant part of that. About 80 percent of that was Katie Brand working out the kinks. She is going to have to play with a lot of seniors. She is playing with a lot of experience around her which I think will help her. I feel pretty strongly that she is ready to go. She is going to have some freshman moments, but you will not find a harder worker. You will not find anybody who wants to serve her team more than Katie Brand. She has redeeming qualities that I think will make her really good at that position."

On what she likes about her team...

"There are so many things, that the list is long. I like the way they work, their humility, their chemistry and their work ethic. I like who they are. They are really fun to be around. They are great students and human beings. They are a pretty easy group to coach honestly. They do what they are supposed to do a majority of the time, and that is all that you can ask. They are buying in to the things that we are doing. The list is pretty long about what we like about them."

On the senior class...

"There are six of them. They are really a dynamic and diverse group. We actually had a senior meeting today and talked about what their roles are, what they wanted from their senior year, what are their expectations and how can we help them manage those expectations. One of the conversations we had today was the difference between a 22 year-old senior and an 18 year-old freshman and how they can help our freshmen come along in that capacity. They are different people. They are not the same and they understand the expectations just like an upperclassman would, which is good and bad. Their ability to manage those expectations, they want to have a good time and enjoy their last season, but they want to win a lot of matches and finding the balance between those two things will be essential for them."

 

Redshirt Freshman Setter Katie Brand
On the team's expectations for the upcoming season...
"We have our expectations very high, as always. I think that this team is very different that the teams of the last couple years, but we still want to compete really hard in the Big 12, with the ultimate goal being a Big 12 Championship. Our day-to-day goal is just to keep improving and we really just want to grow as a team. We want to have a major impact from where we start to where we end."

On learning from former Wildcat Caitlyn Donahue...
"I watched Caitlyn Donahue all throughout last year and that helped me in terms of learning more of the systems of the game, how other teams play and how the Big 12 ran. For me coming in now, I feel a lot more comfortable than I would have last year. Having the experience of watching a great setter like her will really help me this year."

On the leadership of the team ...
"Each of the six seniors plays very different leadership roles with this group and I think together, all six of them bring the total package. We have leadership that really gets on people and leadership that really builds people up. All together, I think that really impacts the team really nicely."

On being named  Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year ...
"Obviously, I am very grateful for that honor, but I have not played a game yet, so that really does not mean that much to me. I think that more of it needs to be earned towards the end of the season because I think what happens at the end of the year is what really counts."

 

Senior Defensive Specialist/Libero Tristan McCarty
On the progress of the team to this point...
"We are in the midst of our two-a-days right now. We have been practicing for a week and we have our first scrimmage tonight to see how everything is setting up. We are still trying to put all of the pieces together. Right now, we are in that very short phase of figuring out what we need to put on the court to get the most out of our team. We have a lot of options because we have so much depth, which is incredible.  We have a lot of new faces but we have a lot of returners, so it is really exciting to see we have integrated with each other."

On the impact of the newcomers...
"We got four new players this summer who were able to train with us through the month of June and a little bit of July. Two of them were actually able to go with us on our trip to Russia, which was an incredible experience for them and for us to have them come as well because when two-a-days came, they already had a month of training ahead of everybody else. This will be Katie Brand's first year in competition and we have high expectations for here as well as our back-up setter, Bailey Shurbet, who just came in at semester. So we have two new setters who have been working really, really hard and competing with each other every single day."

On the team's expectations for the upcoming season...
"We have high expectations for ourselves but the biggest thing would be for us to take it one game at a time. We do not want to get ahead of ourselves. We do not want to look into the past, either. We just want to be in the present. If a loss comes, we move on. If a win comes, we move on because that is all that we can do."


Senior Outside Hitter Dakota Kauffman
On her current outlook on the team...
"I think it helped us being able to practice with the coaches this summer. I feel like we are in a really good position right now. I think we are confident in the way that we are playing and we are all playing really well together. We have really great chemistry right now and we are very excited for the season to start."

On the team's expectations for the upcoming season...
"I think the expectations for us seniors are first to have fun. We want to have a great year and just be able to put it out there and being able to put what we know to use. We have been here for four years now. It is going to be an awesome year, regardless, but our main expectation is to win as many games as we can and to make it as far as we can in the NCAA Tournament."

On her personal goals for the upcoming season...
"I want to be the best leader that I can possible be and for the younger girls to be able to look up to me and see me as a role model. I want to be able to encourage them as much as possible. I also want to perform as well as I can on the court, because that is what I am here for."

 

Sophomore Middle Blocker Katie Reininger
On the team's expectations for the upcoming season...
"Everyone is so excited, especially the new kids who are coming in. We are ready to be in a really game soon instead of summer play and practicing, so that is exciting. I know we are all really looking forward to that."

On K-State's trip to Russia this summer...
"Russia was a great experience. Not only was it a blessing to go overseas and represent our country, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But it was awesome to play against teams that do some different things that none of us had ever seen before, so we have a lot to take with us into this season, which is helpful."

On playing in Ahearn Field House... 
"I played here in a tournament last year when I played for St. Mary's and this was one of the most packed gyms that I had ever seen. There was purple confetti, people in face paint, and I am just so excited to actually be on the court playing with these girls and seeing the wonderful support of everyone. I am expecting a lot, and I am excited to see what that looks like."