Softball Media Day Quotes From Coach Teresa Wilson
Feb. 7, 2001
SEATTLE - Washington Softball Media Day
Tuesday, February 6, 2001
Head Coach Teresa Wilson's Comments
On the incoming freshmen class: 'We do have a huge incoming freshmen class. They have developed very, very nicely. I think you're going to see some exciting players, some great athletes, and the future of Husky softball. They're going to need some seasoning - a few games under their belts at this level. Then I think they'll fit right in and carry out the tradition of Husky softball.'
On the expectations for season: 'We're very improved. Our focus is a little bit different this year. Last year, you know from day one what the expectations were. You lived with those all year-long. This year, we are taking a different approach to it. We do not expect to be where we want to be in just day one. This is a process. For that reason, we're going to take some lumps early, get some experience early and our goal is to be where we need to be in May to give ourselves an opportunity to succeed. I compare this to 1997, when we lost eight players from the 1996 team. I don't think anybody expected us to be back in the (College World) Series. We took our losses - we had 20 some losses - but kids progressed and peaked at the right time in May. We'll see if we can do it again.'
On the being ranked fourth in the preseason poll: 'Let's just say that I got down to where we were ranked and had to put the paper down. There's no way we should be ranked fourth. I appreciate the respect that other coaches around the country have given us. It is a bit premature and we haven't proven anything yet. We do have a great young team with great talent. But it is still young and it needs experience. Depending on how they handle the pressures and the rigors of playing at this level will tell where will we be at in May. '
On recruiting: 'Recruiting has definitely been very easy. We signed five great athletes during the fall signing period. Those young ladies were committed to us very early in the process. The reputation of the program, the draw of the beautiful city that we have here in Seattle, the wonderful facilities, the quality of the education the kids get here, the staff that we've assembled and the teams that we've had gives every kids a reason to at least take a look at Washington. We're not in the same weather category as some of the Arizona and California schools, but in many ways, we have a lot to offer that many of those schools don't. It is much easier to recruit now then it was in the first few years. We feel like we have a shot at anybody in the country now.'
On losing All-Americans Jennifer Spediacci and Jamie Graves: 'I don't know if you can make up for losing them immediately. People tend to remember the most recent experiences on their mind and so you have both Jennifer and Jamie with two All-American honors between them. People tend to forget where they were when they were freshman. Jennifer had a lot of ups and downs when she was a freshman. Sometimes she was a little leery and sometimes she couldn't find the strike zone. Those kids had the opportunity to develop. I think these kids need that same opportunity and they'll probably start slowly as well. If they can get in there and start a rhythm and get into their game then they'll be just fine.'
On the 2001 schedule: 'We believe in a tough schedule overall. There is no room in the World Series for a soft team. You don't get tough by playing a soft schedule. In the RPI rankings the last two years, Washington has had the toughest schedule in the country. That's by design. We want it to be tough because when you get to the Series there is nothing easy about it. If you haven't dealt with the pressure prior to the Series, that's not a time to deal with it. So these freshmen will succeed or they will fail based on the schedule that we're going to see through the Pac-10 and through the post season. If they acclimate to that, they will be just fine and if not, then they've still learned a lot so that they can use it towards the