Head Coach Denise St. Pierre and Giulia Carando Take Part in Spring Media Day
Feb. 12, 2009
Q: For both of you, just overall expectations in the preseason, what are you expecting from the team? What are you expecting individually?
St. Pierre: Well, this is really the mid-point of our season. It's hard when sometimes people think we're just a spring sport but we start our season in the fall and then we have a break. So this is kind of mid-point. We had some good things happen in the fall but we also had some things that we certainly wanted to improve on and I think that one of the things we've been focusing really hard on this winter is going through our practice routines, being very diligent with that and working hard in the weight room, trying to get the players stronger and ready for the spring. Right now it's a lot of just mentally getting ourselves ready for the spring because other than yesterday and today being such phenomenal weather, most of the time we're practicing indoors at this point. This spring is exciting. We're looking forward to having Katherine Murphy back in our line-up. She was out in the fall, injured from a surgery last spring. She is really my most experienced player on my team, as far as traveling and competing on the road, being a junior. I think with her back on the road with us and that may help bring more experience to things. I don't know if Giulia has some comments.
Carando: Well, as Coach says, sometimes people misunderstand and think we're just a spring sport but we're both. Its kind of hard for us to get back into it during spring because we don't get the chance to play on real golf courses as other teams do. We're just trying to work hard every day, improve and get some stuff to work on. It was actually really nice yesterday so we played on the golf course and we actually got the chance to see how the game is going for each of us so we'll know what we have to practice on. We're just trying to live day after day and try to improve every day a little bit, and each individual knows at this point what she needs to do.
Q: You both sort of touched on it, but how difficult is it to transition from the fall season to the spring season when you can't really get outside?
St. Pierre: It's as difficult as we want to make it. I'm not going to pretend that it wouldn't be great to be outside every day right now. But fortunately people on the team, such as Giulia, have made an effort over the break, during the holiday break, to go places that they're able to play. So I've had a few of my players down in Florida. Giulia went back to Italy, but to the southern coast where it was a little warmer and played a little bit of golf. The players themselves are making some extra efforts to get out, maybe on a weekend and make a little trip down to Virginia or some other place where they're able to play. I think that is helping us and like I said earlier, a lot of it is getting our mindset focused and getting ourselves prepared mentally again to play competitive golf. There's always a few hiccups along the way but I think the way our season is spread out during the spring, we get to play our first event over spring break. We get a whole week down there beyond the tournament and we're going to have a chance to practice. Then the hope is always that we come back from spring break and we're outside, practicing. Then we have a number of tournaments that build up to the Big Ten Championship, which is sort of our biggest event this spring, and prepare us for that opportunity. So hopefully we'll have enough opportunity to really make it worthwhile.
Q: Giulia, what type of goals has the team set for the spring season?
Carando: Well we haven't really talked about our main goals but I would say improving the score average. Big Ten's are definitely going to be our main goal, to try and beat some other teams which would bring us up in the national rankings. Right now, it's a little early to say what the main goal is going to be because we still have a month to practice and see what level we're going to be playing at. Once we're closer to the beginning of the spring season, we'll come up with some better, more detailed goals.
Q: How do you see the Big Ten shaping up this spring?
St. Pierre: Well, we were able to see all the Big Ten schools at the fall preview, which is the Lady Northern. As usual, from top to bottom, they are very competitive. The tournament is being hosted by Purdue this year and as of right now, they're the highest ranked team in the Big Ten. They've done very well nationally the last couple years. We all know it's going to be competitive. The good thing is that we've all been there before so we can rehearse playing that golf course and get prepared mentally. I think we can make huge strides of improvement from our finish in the fall. I think the players are better than they were in the fall. I think they've worked hard on a few things. Our real sincere goal is to finish in the top half of the conference.