Jan. 16, 2014
Head coach Matt Anderson sat down for a question-and-answer series this week as his team puts the final touches on preparation for the 2014 season, which commences Saturday (Jan. 18) against Iona and No. 15 Indiana at the Michigan Kick-Off.
On starting the season at home ... "I like starting the season at home, because it gives the girls a chance to be nervous but not overthink it. They'll have class, they're sleeping in their own beds and all that. I think when you spend time on a bus or a plane, that's time when they, especially the freshmen, can get overly nervous. Being at home allows them to at least eliminate some of that and be a little more comfortable."
On what he wants to see this weekend ... "I'd like to see two wins. Removing that, I want to see how certain combinations play together. I want to see that what we've been going through it sticking. It's one thing to try to do it in practice or believe that you can do it, but now that you're facing someone that probably doesn't know what you're doing, we'll see how well they apply it. The application of what we've been doing and working on is truly what you get out of playing your first couple of games."
On needing the freshmen to step up right away ... "They have to. Between our seniors and juniors, we don't even have enough to field a starting lineup. So, there's no choice. With the additional loss of Bryce Beckwith, the freshmen need to step up even more. I expect good things from them, and I expect the sophomores to have even more of an impact because they already have a year under their belt. Now we'll see if they're ready to take the next step."
On marquee home events this season ... "We have four home events, which is as good as we can ask for. The next one is mid-March. Among several others, Pacific is coming out, and we're always excited to get a West Coast team out here. We play Indiana on March 29 at high noon in a league game. We wrap up the regular season here in mid-April, and we'll face Hartwick. The opportunity to play two of your top conference foes at home is great."
On facing rival Indiana on the first day of the season ... "It's one of those things that just came about. This is the smallest this tournament has been in 12 years. So, we needed to have a chance to play a couple games before heading out west. Iona is the three-time defending MAAC champion, so they are a great test. Then a couple weeks ago, we decided to play two games. Why not play two? So, it'll be good. We're not circling it like a league game. It's important, it's a rivalry game, but we also know that when we play them next, both teams are going to look different."