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Green & White Review: Q&A with volleyball coach Deane Webb

Volleyball coach Deane Webb was this week’s guest on the Green and White Review. Here are some highlights from his interview.

Ohio volleyball coach Deane Webb joined the Green and White Review this week as a guest and talked about the upcoming season. Here’s a brief Q&A from our interview, which airs at 7 p.m. on WOUB AM 1340 Thursday.

GWR: Can you talk about your preparation for this weekend?

DW: They are very, very different teams. There are teams that are very similar on Friday and Saturday, those are a little easier to prepare for. This weekend there’s one team that really loves to run their middles a lot. They like to go behind the setter and run the slide a ton. This team has two great outsides. They have one middle that attacks in front of the setter really, really well and they have a one footed right side that is really good off one foot and all their players are right handed. You go to Western Michigan and they are very different, they have a lefty out there they’re flying out there. It’s such a different look from team to team and so it was a little harder this week. I’ve talked quite often about finding commonalities between the two teams so, that when we prepare for one we’re preparing for both. We didn't have as much of that opportunity this week. They defend differently, they attack differently. One thing they are very good at is offense; they are now one and two in the conference in offense as far as hitting percentage, we’re three. That’s a common theme, and they need their offense to be really good and so far it has been. They’re great teams, and we’re expecting to have to play really well in order to win.

GWR: With success already in MAC play, the MAC tournament is going to be here. How important is that for you, and how excited are you that that will take place here in Athens?

DW: Well, we love playing at home. It’s a great environment, great fans and obviously the band which is just incredible. So, it’s a big factor, and it’s something that we owe a big thanks to the 2013 team and the coaching staff that were a part of that and earned that win to earn the right to host this year. That’s something that we are playing for this year and not just a regular season title this year, but to host again next year. So, it’s a great reward, and I’m glad we have that, and it’s going to be a huge opportunity for our fans to be there and support us and a big opportunity for us as a team to play in a great environment.

GWR: With possibly the two biggest matches of the conference season coming up, can you talk about how key that is to be playing these matches at home instead of on the road?

DW: I’m really really glad that we are at home. They are two very good teams, and you want every advantage that you can get. I’ve never been in Western Michigan’s gym, but I’ve been in NIU’s gym and that’s a tough place to play. They’re a good team at home and on the road, but when they are at home, it just seems like an entirely different level that they can play at which is true of a lot of teams. So, we are very thankful it’s at home this year.

GWR:There are a number of players on the roster that are from the area near Northern Illinois. So you think this will get them even more amped up for the game?

DW: It doesn’t hurt. When we went up to Northwestern the kids were very fired up to play, and now I would say playing a MAC team that’s from that area I think that that will continue. Whatever it takes for our kids to get a little extra motivation we won’t turn it down. Surely, they know a number of players on that team from the midwest that they played club against back in high school. Regardless, it’s going to be a good opponent and they are very well coached. I’ve known their head coach for a long time and their assistant coach since I coached her in club when she was 16 years old. It’s great to play against a good team that’s well coached, so it’s going to make for a great match.

GWR: Talking about this team down the line in this season and the postseason. This team made the NCAA Tournament last year after winning the MAC Tournament. What’s the ceiling for this team if there is one?

DW: I would hesitate to put a ceiling on this team. The ceiling is their hard work, and if we work as hard as we all want to work as coaches and as players, I think we have a chance to be special. Not good, not great but special, and I really believe that. It takes hard work, and it takes not being satisfied in late October. We have to be a much better team four weeks from now, and as long as we keep doing that then we have a chance to be a great team and win the conference tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament.

GWR: What has to happen for Ohio to sweep this weekend?

DW: We need to be focused and we need to take one match at a time. We need to serve aggressively and have good first ball contact both serving and passing. If we do that and keep a balanced offense we have a good chance to defend them and make them more one dimensionally by serving aggressively then we have a good opportunity this weekend.


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