The Daily Cardinal bumps, sets and spikes with volleyball Head Coach Pete Waite.
The big change this year is the switch to rally scoring. How did the change come about and how has the change affected your strategy?
The change came about because internationally they've been doing [rally scoring] for a couple of years. They felt it would be more fan friendly. Everybody that walked into the gym could understand that when you served someone, it is going to get a point. As far as us and our strategies, it takes a little more focus to play to 30 points because it's twice as long as you're used to. In reality though it's just about the same.
Is there more of an emphasis on serving with the new rules?
Because the serve can now hit the net and stay in play, I'm not sure the emphasis is more on serving. There are more fluke plays that happen where you're scrambling to touch the ball when it hits the net and rolls over. We'll see if that [rule] will stay in the game or not.
Speaking of changes, you lost Claudia Rodriguez to injury and she was influential in your run to the championship last year. Many Badger fans don't know the reasons behind her departure.
Claudia went through two years of major surgeries. Her first year in her first match as a Badger, she injured her left knee and had a major knee surgery. In her second year, she went through the whole year and then got hurt right before the Kansas State match in the NCAA tournament in the second round. She couldn't picture herself on the court and maintaining everything her entire career. It's bad enough when players go through one major surgery and try and recover from it, but two is a little too much.
Are you surprised to have such a balanced attack with Lori Rittenhouse, Lisa Zukowski, Erin Byrd all contributing along with Sherisa Livingston?
With the loss of Jenny Maastricht and Rodriguez we lost two-thirds of our offense from last year, so now new people have to step up and these new people are a little smaller but they're a little bit more quick with their moves and swings.
You're ranked second in the Big Ten, with Penn State taking first. Does that serve as a motivational tool?
I don't feel bad about that and I don't mind chasing someone else and somebody else having the target on their back. It's definitely motivation to come out and beat Penn State.
Where do you see yourself at the end of the season?
Our goal is to get another Big Ten Championship. No other Badger team has done that back-to-back years. That would be a great accomplishment. Past that, if we have done that we will have positioned ourselves well for the NCAA tournament.