Feller: 'We have to prove it on the court'

Sept. 11, 2003

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Coach Rich Feller leads his Cal women's volleyball team against New Hampshire at 7 p.m. tonight in the first day of the Golden Bear Invitational at Haas Pavilion. He recently discussed his team's play and national ranking with CalBears.com.

What's your reaction to the team's AVCA ranking, No. 16, which is the third highest in the program's history?

'It's very flattering. I would expect that now we will have to earn that every time we're on the court to prove that the voters in the poll are justified in ranking us where they ranked us.'

Do you put much stock in polls?

'I am on the poll committee, so I should say, 'Yes.' I put stock in it to the point that it shows the voters are educated and understand all the nuances in ranking a team, but in reality it matters what you do on the court. Polls are nice publicity. We have to prove it on the court.'

Is your team better than it was last year?

'We're a little bit ahead of where were last year. We have so many returning players, and the new players picked things up quickly.'

How strong is the field in the Golden Bear Invitational?

'It's a high-caliber tournament. Every team [Nevada, Cal Poly and New Hampshire] has weapons. Each team had a tremendous winning record last year and made it to the NCAA tournament. Anybody that gets to the postseason is a formidable foe.'

Pac-10 Player of the Week Mia Jerkov is off to another great start. But how are some of your other players, such as freshman setter Samantha Carter, second in the Pac-10 in assists per game (12.53), doing?

'Samantha's definitely showing she can set at the college level. She's improving a little bit each game. She's directing the team very nicely. She's still a freshman, and she's still learning a lot about how to make things happen out there. She's doing quite well considering we?ve thrown her in there and have asked a lot of her.'

Jenna Brown was your freshman star last year, when she was voted to the All-Pac-10 Freshman Team. How is her sophomore season, in which she's ninth in the Pac-10 with 2.94 digs per game, going?

'Jenna's doing well. We're playing her in a new position this year, on the right instead of the left side. She's holding that up very well.

'She's progressing the way she should. It took her a while last year to get going in her freshman year. The expectations are higher this year. She's probably playing at a level above last year, and we're expecting more from her.'

And Camille Leffall, who's second in the Pac-10 in blocks (1.88 bpg)?

'Camille is hitting higher and harder than she has ever. She's connecting with setters quite often. It's going to be another banner year for her. We 're expecting more attempts and more attacks for Camille this season.'

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