Hambly, Davis talk with Illini Drive about Michigan

Editor’s note: The following is a partial transcript from an Illini Drive interview with Illinois volleyball head coach Kevin Hambly and Danielle Davis.

Illini Drive: So far for this freshman year for you, how are you adjusting to things of a college game and how are you feeling so far?

Danielle Davis: It’s a lot faster paced for sure, but I love it.

ID: Do you feel like you got more comfortable as the year has gone on?

DD: For sure. At first it was definitely rough, like going to practice I wasn’t really getting used to all the different things I had to switch with technique and stuff, but now I feel really comfortable.

ID: Kevin, how do you feel she’s adjusted so far?

Kevin Hambly: She’s much better than she was earlier. She was on the struggle bus early on. I mean, all freshmen are. She’s doing a really nice job. The thing that she’s done is she’s been steady passing for us, and that’s been huge. We’ve been struggling with ball control, and she’s done a nice job of that; although, this weekend she played great defense against Iowa, too. And she’s got a fantastic serve. She scores points every match with her serve, so she’s brought a lot to the team. I like her toughness, I like her competitiveness. She’s got a little edge to her, a little attitude, which we need because we’ve got a lot of sweet girls. I wouldn’t say D is sweet. I like her, she’s a great kid, but I’m glad she’s not sweet.

ID: Michigan, you guys played them earlier this season and won that match in Ann Arbor. What do you remember about that match? 

DD: Oh yeah, that was a really tough match, but we won it in five. I remember being in the fifth game, and it was just back and forth with sets. It just got really intense, and I loved it. We definitely pushed at the end and finished, which was great.

ID: Michigan, what’s kind of the break down with them for this week?

KH: I would say they run a lot of double-quick stuff and they are more physical than have been in the past. Essentially the same team that made it to the Final Four last year. Teams have figured out some of their offense a little better, but they’re kind of coming on right now and getting better. They’re big, they’re physical, they run a real fast offense, which always gives us trouble. We put some time in this week, and I think we’re getting better.

ID: For you in the Big Ten play, can you describe how it’s been in this conference?

DD: Every time, I feel like, is a little different when it comes to playing against them, but it’s been a huge change coming from playing in high school or club to playing in a Big Ten atmosphere. I really like the level of play, though, how intense it is all the time.

ID: How do you like the Wednesday and weekend matches?

DD: I actually like that better because we get to focus on the team a lot more. So, like, the two days before we play a Wednesday, we get to focus on that team and not really focus on two at a time. So I really like that, and then we can scout differently also, so it’s not really confusing.

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