Illinois volleyball talks with Illini Drive

_Editor’s note: The following is a partial transcript from an Illini Drive interview with Illinois volleyball assistant coach Jen Oldenburg and redshirt freshman outside hitter Jocelynn Birks._

*Illini Drive: What did you takeaway from the “(1-1) weekend?”:*

*Jen Oldenburg:* Well, I think beating Cincinnati was a good step for us. Maybe, not passed as well as we liked to but we take care of them offensively, which is always nice to see. Next night, Louisville, they’re a hot team. They swept Purdue the night before in three. They’re fired up for that win. And on the weekend, they’re going to come out and try to beat both Big Ten teams. … Unfortunately, we had a slow start in a lot of the sets and couldn’t pull it out.

*ID: At this point, is the (nonconference) schedule being overwhelming, or would you not have this any other way?*

*Oldenburg:* We wouldn’t have it any other way. Last year, we were 20-0 in the preconference (schedule), we weren’t happy about any of those wins. If you ask anyone of us, coaching staff or players, looking back we weren’t happy. Not that we were happy with losses this year, but I think scheduling tough is just going to help us in the long run.

*ID: Jocelynn, you had the redshirt (last year), so you were watching everything from the sidelines and watching the seniors. What did you take when you were able to play this year?*

*Jocelynn Birks*: I learned a lot just from watching the game, and I talked to a lot of people, like (Michelle) Bartsch and (Colleen) Ward. Learned a lot from them, and they helped. Just watching was a big deal being able to see everything before I actually had to be involved in it.

_Contact Illini Drive at [email protected] and @IlliniDrive._