Q&A with Senior Andressa Lyra

All-American talks about expectations and senior year

July 25, 2006 · MT Media Relations

Anticipation for the upcoming season:

"I am ready for the season to start. We had a great season last year, finishing second in the Sun Belt Tournament, and I am ready to start the season because we basically have the same team back from last year. I am excited to see what happens."

How important was the success the team achieved in your spring tournaments?

"It was very important. It was the first spring we actually got to play. I have been here for three years and the other two years we just kind of practiced and being able to play helped us see where we were as a team and where we needed to go. One of the key matches for us in the spring was the win over the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. It was huge for us and it got a lot of people talking about our team."

The pressure on the team to succeed this season:

"Dealing with the pressure is going to be our big thing this year. There is no doubt there is pressure. We have to work on dealing with the pressure and not getting wrapped up in what everyone expects of us. We have to take it a step at a time and realize we have a lot of work to do if we want to make it back to the Sun Belt Championships."

Thoughts on the increased difficulty of the schedule:

"We are playing against the runner-up in the NCAA Tournament, Nebraska, in the second week of the season. Wow, that is huge for our team and our program. We have a tougher schedule this year but I don't think it is bad for us because it is going to prepare us for when we enter conference play.

Would you give up the 28 wins in 2005 if you could have the Sun Belt Tournament title?

"Yes. Definitely. Of course we always want to win but what is most important is winning the Sun Belt. Yes all of those matches before conference start are important but more important is the conference matches."

Do you always remember not getting into the NCAA in 2005 and knowing you have to win the Sun Belt Tournament to be guaranteed a berth into the NCAA?

"It is win, we know that. We knew it would be hard getting an at-large bid last year even though we had 28 wins. This year I don't want to go somewhere and hope our name will be called, we want to go to a restaurant expecting to hear our name called and just wait to see where we are going. Win the Tournament and know we are going."

How important was having the whole team here this summer including, the newcomers?

"It is great for the freshmen and for the returning players. The freshmen are working out with us already and it won't be so hard on them when preseason starts. We have also been able to have open gym and we have been able to already play together some and that is great for the newcomers and great for the team."

What kind of leader do you hope to be?

"The same kind I have been all along. There is always the pressure of being a senior and what people expect from you. But as for being a leader, I have been a captain since my sophomore year. The best thing I can do to lead this team is to help any way I can. I always tell them if they have any questions or problems they can always come to me."

Do you think your team should be favored to win the Sun Belt this year?

"I think everyone in the conference sees us as the team to beat. We have all of our core players back and five really good freshmen so, yeah, I think we have a target on our back. But as long as we go out night after night and play our matches the way I know we can, I think we will be successful."

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