Q&A with Liz LaPlante
Heading into Saturday’s West Regional match against Cal Poly
Q—Does your routine as a coach change as the regular season ends and the postseason starts up?
LAPLANTE—The routine doesn’t really change. Just want to make sure everyone stays healthy. A few players have injuries so we just have to make sure they are not overdoing it, but still doing enough to be ready
Q—What attitude does this year’s team have heading into the NCAA Division II West Regional?
LAPLANTE—With so many freshmen, they are excited and I hope they realize the importance and significance of their accomplishment. They have been working hard and I’m trying to keep them focused. We know we have to beat
Q—You have beaten Cal Poly
LAPLANTE—I make sure they know that no team can be taken lightly since anyone can have a great day or a bad day. CPP has some good players with a lot of potential and since they have nothing to lose, they can come in a little more relaxed
Q—With Saturday’s match being played on the UCSD campus, do you see a noticeable home court advantage in tennis?
LAPLANTE—It’s definitely easier to play at home just because of the fan support and we’re so used to our courts and the environment.
Q— When someone brings up the streak of 48 consecutive league matches won, what is your favorite topic of conversation to switch to?
LAPLANTE—We are proud of that streak, but it’s the NCAA postseason play that has the most significance and where we get to compete against the tougher competition.
Q—What do you feel are the pros and cons of coaching a team of almost half freshmen?
LAPLANTE—I’ve never had a stronger or more talented group of freshmen and it’s been great to see their progress, their improvement, the friendships that have evolved and how close they have become as a team. It was a little challenging in the beginning just getting everyone to bond and get to know one another, but it’s amazing how quickly they all came together and obviously with a small team of 15 it’s a lot easier for this to happen.
Q— In all of the road trips you’ve taken to compete in tennis matches, what has been your favorite destination?
Q—Over your 29 years as UCSD head coach, what is your favorite way to celebrate a big victory? Also, how do you free your mind of a frustrating defeat?
LAPLANTE—I celebrate by seeing how happy the team is and hoping that I’ve played a part in making it happen. On the other hand I take the losses personally wondering what I could have done better to get the team prepared
LAPLANTE—It has been so great to have them on the team all four years. They have played a significant part in our success and I will really miss them. Both of them are so competitive and have worked extremely hard, and been great examples to this year’s team. Justine was team captain and made it her mission to make sure the freshmen understood the importance of team unity for our success and it all wouldn’t have come together without her.
Previous Q&A ArticlesSydney Gstettenbauer (Women's Water Polo) April 22, 2008 Eric Rubens (Men's Tennis) February 27, 2008