The Collegian talked with K-State volleyball head coach Suzie Fritz about the current state of her team, why it is that way and what to expect in the future.
What are some of the reasons for your team’s slump right now?
I think it’s a combination of youth. I think it’s a combination of being kind of in the gauntlet of the schedule. There’s a lot of things that we can say. We’re probably not where we want to be at this point in the season, but I don’t think that that means that we can’t get there. I don’t know if I think of it as a slump. It’s certainly been an increasingly frustrating time for us as a team in trying to figure out what and how and when and where and all those kind of things to try to turn it around.
Do you have ideas of how to do that?
Sure, sure. They’re all very specific in terms of training types of things. But there’s no question offensively we have to be better and hit for higher efficiency, period. If we can do that, I think we can play with people. Defensively, we’re better than we are offensively. I don’t think that’s any secret, not to anybody we play.
How much is age a factor?
This league doesn’t really allow you to be young — it doesn’t allow you to be inexperienced, I should say. And we have some of that; we’ve got players that are doing it for the first time. It’s a day-by-day experiment, if you will, because we lack experience, but we haven’t used that as an excuse. We have really just set the bar and said, “Here’s our expectations,” and we’re either going to meet them or we’re not. I don’t think we’re going to change that. We’re still going to have high expectations for where we want to be.
Do you stay the course or change your overall plan?
I think I have the same expectations, but that doesn’t mean that I change my game plan day to day. We’re always evolving. You’re always trying to figure out what your team needs next. If you’re not, then you’re not paying any attention; you’re not being who they need you to be; you’re not working hard enough to identify what they need. I think you have to evolve, you have to change, you have to make adjustments. You can’t just keep doing the same things and not having success. That’s what your job is as a coach. So I don’t think there’s any question we’re changing.
Will you improve in the next few years?
I hope. That’s the plan, is that a lot of these young players, with some experience and training and all the things that will go into the next three or four years for them, the hope is that they’ll be able to achieve some extraordinary things two years, three years down the road. The problem is we don’t have that kind of time; we need to be able to do it right now. So I’m not concerned about three years from now, though I think that they have an extraordinary amount of potential to do some special things that I’m concerned about today.