jim : after 2 tight games with western, what did you say at break to have your team come out and take control of games 3& 4
Craig Skinner : We just wanted our team to continue to be agressor and apply pressure with the block. If we wanted to be a good team, we needed to respond in tough situations on the road.
Summer H. : How are the freshmen settling in and who is really standing out performance-wise right now?
Craig Skinner : We have a fantastic group of freshmen and to be honest, they're all standing out in their own right. We knew they were good, but they're even better than we thought.
Riley Kirn : Have you been happy with the improvement of the club teams in the state? How large is the gap in talent between our state and others you recruit?
Craig Skinner : Yes. There's no doubt that club programs in Louisville and northern Kentucky continue to get better each year. Here in Lexington, the talent level continues to rise as well.
kate : Good morning Coach Skinner. Who do you think will be the biggest surprise in the SEC this season?
Craig Skinner : I'm not sure there will be any surprises because the SEC has gotten strong over the past couple years, but teams like Ole Miss and Arkansas started off with a bang.
ms : Last year's NCAA championship in Omaha had amazing crowds and a great volleyball atmoshpere. Do you expect the championship to continue to grow as the championship travels to Sacramento in 2007 and Tampa in 2009 or do you think last year's attendance was a result of the success of the Nebraska volleyball program and their fan following?
Craig Skinner : I do think it will be difficult to match the crowds of last year. However, I think it does show the popularity of our sport is growing. Last year's success can only help with future television exposure.
Carter : Are there any pro leagues after a player gets done with college?
Craig Skinner : Yes. There actually is a very good league in Puerto Rico and there are also leagues in Brazil, Japan and several in Europe. In fact, assistant coach Lauren Sauer played professionally in Spain in 2006.
Boyd : Are SEC teams, yours included, catching up with Florida in terms of talent? It seems like they've almost been unbeatable for a long time in SEC play.
Craig Skinner : I guess over the course of the last three years, the number of teams in the NCAA tournament from the SEC has increased each year. So, that would tell me that the talent is getting closer to Florida. I think you'll see very very competitive matches with Florida all season long from teams in our conference.
Schrutespike : Coach how has Lauren Sauer fit into the program and what sort of future do you see for her in collegiate volleyball coaching?
Craig Skinner : She's been fantastic and she's got a bright future in this profession. She's already been a great asset in the short time she's been here.
Jared Strong : When a match goes five games, is there a different coaching strategy in the final game as opposed to the rally-scoring games?
Craig Skinner : It's important where you start and what's been your strongest rotations during the course of the match. The fifth game is half as long and you need to have your best rotations in the front row as much as possible.
Jill : Do you expect this year's team to be as good as last year's?
Craig Skinner : I think each year we try to be better, so hopefully it's better than last year. We have great talent and good chemistry, so I hope we can put it all together and go farther than last year.
Sean : What do you think about the team's home-court environment in Memorial Coliseum? I hear we had the second-most fans in the SEC last year.
Craig Skinner : It's fantastic. We can't wait to start playing in Memorial this weekend. I believe we have a great home court advantage and our fans are as good as any in the SEC.
Kate : Coach, do you have any pre-game rituals? And if so, what are they?
Craig Skinner : After a game day practice, I go for a 30-minute run. Then, I eat pre-game meal, shower, iron my clothes, hop on the bus and borrow our manager Ryan's belt if I forget mine.
Paul : Hello Coach: I enjoyed watching your team last year. They played with intensity. What happened to Edwards and Fisher? I thought they played well last year and would have added good depth this year. Go Blue.
Craig Skinner : Ashlee Fisher is playing closer to home at Marquette and Tess Edwards moved to be closer to her family. They are good kids and I wish them well.
Noblesville : How much do you miss Leigh Marcum?
Craig Skinner : We miss her on a daily basis. Coach Pulliza misses her setter sessions.
UKathletics.com : Thanks to Coach Skinner for taking the time to answer questions this morning.
Craig Skinner : Thanks to the fans for the questions. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you in Memorial Coliseum this season. Go Big Blue!!