Oct. 5, 2005
Washington faces California and Stanford on the road this weekend. All three teams sit atop the conference standings and Saturday's match vs. the Cardinal will be a rematch of last season's national semifinal. GoHuskies.com was able to catch up with senior All-American libero Candace Lee and talk about the challenges waiting for the Huskies in the Bay Area.
GoHuskies.com: Washington is undefeated and has won all 12 of its matches in straight 3-0 games. Your 36 straight game victories is a school record, surpassing last season's 21 consecutive game wins. Is the game win streak something the team has talked about or is a win a win, whether its in three games or five?
CL:"I didn't know we has set a record. What I think is most important is that we meet our standards and whether we do that in three game or five does not matter. We believe if we meet our standards, that we should win. The games streak isn't important to us."
GH: You recently moved into the No. 3 spot on the Pac-10 all-time digs list? How does it feel to be among the best three defensive players in Pac-10 history?
CL:"I think its awesome that my blockers get so many balls and I can just dig around them. I play in the center of the court and a lot of balls go there so that helps. It's neat to be on that list but it's because of the block and touches. I get a lot of digs off touches so our systems work well."
GH: The team is preparing to play Cal and Stanford this weekend. Is there extra pressure on the you because those teams are also undefeated in conference play?
CL:"I actually didn't even know their records but really with every team we play against we just look to meet our standards. We don't care what they do. We do get fired up to play certain teams but at the same time, when you step onto the court we don't think about what they are doing, you just focus on yourself."
GH: Saturday's match vs. Stanford is going to be a rematch of last season's national semifinal. Would a win against the Cardinal be extra sweet because they knocked you out of the tournament last year?
CL:"It would be awesome but also just being able to take care of business at their place would be even more rewarding because we haven't won there yet."
GH: Last season you became Washington's first ever All-American in a defensive position? What does that mean to you?
CL:"It's an honor but I just want to continue to improve."
GH: What areas of your game have you been working on this season? Where do you feel you most need to improve?
CL:"I've been working on passing, like always, and having good eye work. I've been working on my responsibilities too with passing and am trying to be more aggressive. I'm also working on my serving. I like that the liberos get to serve now because you get to be in the game for that extra play and get to put pressure on the other team."
GH: Do you think this team has what it will take to play in the national championship game this year? What adjustments has the team made since last year, how is it more prepared?
CL: "Definitely. We are trying to convert a lot more (turning digs into kills). Our standards are really high so we are trying to meet those standards. This team has a lot of experience and a lot of veterans and that's going to help us."
GH: Classes started last week. How has that been so far?
CL: "Classes have been great. My teachers are working with my schedule and have been very cooperative."
GH: What class are you most looking forward too this quarter?
CL: "Italian. Right now we are reading a mystery novel and it's fun. Its really difficult though and I'm having to look up every word in the dictionary but it's really fun just to try and speak and read and write in another language."
GH: Is it hard to balance volleyball and school work?
CL: "You just have to manage your time. Basically, after practice I do my homework. You just need to set your priorities. I go to school, go to practice, go do my home work. It's a routine you get used to."