Alana Beard of the Washington Mystics, checked in to answer some questions from her WNBA.com Playoffs Mailbox. Here's what she had to say prior to the Storm's first round series against the Connecticut Sun.

Beard and the Mystics will play the Sun on Saturday.
Mitchell Layton/NBAE/Getty Images
Your only win against Connecticut this season was a one point victory, what do you feel the Mystics have to do to for a more convincing win.
-Lynn (San Diego, CA)

Beard: "I think what we have to do is take something away from them. In order to beat a team you have to keep them from doing something that they do well. With them, it’s their transition scoring and limiting their rebounds. They’re a great rebounding team and they move the ball."


Thanks for playing so well for the Mystics team and fans. I know you and the team are focused on the conference semi-finals right now, but what team do you and your teammates want to meet from the Western Conference for the Championship?
-Mike (Providence, RI)

Beard: "I don’t think it matters which team we meet from the Western Conference. We have no control over that and we have along way to go just to get there. Hopefully we do, but we’re completely focused on Connecticut right now. They’re a great team."


Alana do you feel pressured at all at the beginning of each game?
-Ashantye (Macon, GA)

Beard: "I don’t feel pressure at the beginning of any game. I’m just ready to play. Nobody can put pressure on me except me, and I live up to my own expectations: not anyone else’s."


Even though you had a slow start I never lost faith in your ability to be the same Alana I have been following since your freshman year at Duke. Now that the season is winding down and your team has made the playoffs, is there any added pressure to go even further? Keep playing the ball you know how to play. You're awesome."
-Brenda (Chicago IL)

Beard: "Thank you very much, Brenda. There’s no pressure. We can go all the way because we have nothing to lose. Nobody expected us to be here. Nobody thought we’d be where we are now, so as a team we can go out there pressure free."


Alana, I followed you through your college career and became a big fan of yours. I love your tenacity, energy and knowledge of the game of basketball. What will be your game plan as a new leader for the organization going into the playoffs?
-Nina (Coral Springs, FL)

Beard: "Thank you. I don’t think the game plan is going to change. We are going to do the same things that got us here, and we did that as a team. Most importantly, we have to come out with defensive intensity."


Alana, awesome run you guys have put together as a TEAM. Great job!! My question is: how does a "team" that loses it's most dominant player become a better TEAM?
-Gris (Texhoma, OK)

Beard: "In order to become great, you have to get over the bumps in the road. The fact that we lost our best player was our bump in the road. We faced adversity and we’ve overcome it."


Hey Alana, Congrats on the playoffs. I'm curious as to who you're most looking forward to playing against and who you're least looking forward to playing against this postseason?
-Olga (Bronx, NY)

Beard: "Thanks, but it really doesn’t matter who we play. Each team is fighting for the same thing. There is never going to be an easier match-up."

"I just want to thank everyone for following us and continuing to support us through the hard times, and we want you to be there with us now for the good times."