Dec. 7, 2012
Final Stats |
2012 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament
NCAA Austin Regional Post-Match Quotes
Semifinal 2 - Texas vs. Florida
Just really proud about my team and how they played. Before I go on, I want to say congratulations to Florida. They had a really great season. I know they didn't--they came a long way and really improved throughout the season when they lost a lot of key players. So my hat goes off to them for developing those players and getting them into being in the Sweet 16. But for our match it was a battle. Our team had a lot of resolve, we stayed steady throughout the match, and we made some big plays obviously in set two. We swept that one out and made some minor adjustments in game three. Our team just played with a lot better focus on the defensive side of the ball. I think we had six tough blocks, we out-dug them by the end of the game, and just had some better touches. So our transition game was a lot better.
On thoughts about game two comeback:
It was huge. We told the team, we can do this. Our team has always been good in the crunch this year. They have just a nice calm demeanor and they believe in it. They can make plays. We obviously got a good side out and Sarah Palmer made an amazing dig for a big swing that we were able to transition and kind of run with from there. This team has had the ability all year long to go on good runs. They saved best for last obviously in game two and took it--more importantly came out of a high break and played at a high level.
On what is the difference between Texas and Florida:
Our serve and pass game was a little bit different tonight. We did a good job in game one and won that battle for there. When you have two top caliber teams that are going to advance in this tournament, you got to be able to make plays and we were obviously up two great left sides but we were able to attack in various ways and get Sha'Dare a lot of more involved than we have in the past. We made a switch in switching Khat Bell with Molly McCage from the M1 to 2. We were able to get kind of some difference from there. Our team is just a little bit more steady, maybe a little bit more experienced in some positions, but it could've gone either way. First time we played and tonight we did a nice job.
On what were minor adjustments into set three:
We had to do a better job versus Chloe Mann. We did a good job jumping at a different angle and she was scoring at a high clip. I am looking at the stats and she was hitting .667 in game two and dropped down to .500. So we did some good things in that game to be able to contain that a little bit more. We did a better job with our blocking. I mean we had six stuff blocks. We took away some of their tendencies. I thought Bailey did a nice job taking away cross-court. Sha'Dare and Hannah Allison got a better feel in terms of the blocking on the right side. It has kind of been a tendency with the team as the match has gone on that we get more comfortable with the rhythm of the attackers that they are playing and had done a good job. For the most part we just switched from Khat to Molly, which we have done a lot. Depending on who is hot and we have that ability. It is a great thing about our team. I liked the way Molly stayed consistent, played great, and made some good block moves. We don't always have to play great. Players continue to fight in battles and it is important in our team. That is what Molly showed tonight and that is regardless of what the stat sheet sys.
On expectations with USC:
They are the second placed team in the Pac-12, they are very experienced, and they have got a great libero. They have a very good right side player and are very experienced on the left. They have a freshman Samantha Bricio. When she is on, she is one of the best outside hitters in the country. So we obviously have to play a lot of respect to her and they have good blocking team and all around defensively. So it should be a good battle, we got a lot of things we can do in terms of what we can do against their sets and so it is going to be a slugfest tomorrow night.
On importance of regional final played at home:
On thoughts of how defense stepped up:
I like it. I am happy that it is here. Our fans have been great and they were really loud tonight in key moments and we will encourage them to continue to stand up even when we are serving. But to have home court advantage where we are comfortable in playing and understanding our surroundings can get them prepared. It is obviously an advantage for us as it would be if USC was playing at home.
I feel like up at the block we had a lot of chemistry and talks about it before the play happened and we talked about it during. We were all on the same page and I feel like we really executed the during the play.
On how team is playing in playoffs:
I think that our team is playing really well. And I think that we as a team are working well together and we have really good chemistry right now. So when everybody is doing their job and being responsible with their job, it is easier to find things that are open, swing and do the right things because the rest of the team is behind your back and doing a good job.
On thoughts when down in second set with team `refusing to lose':
On feelings about atmosphere in second set:
I love that about our team. We just fought through adversity and I didn't have any doubt in us the whole time. We have been in this situation before and we always work on things like this during practice. When we were down by one, I wasn't thinking about the score, I was just thinking lets side out, play our game, and that's what we did.
Well the atmosphere was really chaotic with the fans and everything. But we really pulled together and that block basically made us feel like we could pull out the win.
On thoughts about staying alive in this tournament:
It's really exciting to just being here again and going on to Elite Eight. I am just really excited to be here.
Florida Head coach Mary Wise
Hats off to Texas for as well as they played once again. This is similar to what they did earlier in the season where they were able to make plays at the end of each set, especially in set two. We did not serve particularly well and they served very well. Offensively, we were right there. Chloe Mann showed at least the Texas fans that this is First Team All-American and Taylor Brauneis' has the ability to get the ball to Chloe. If we could figure out a way to keep Chloe in the front row with six rotations, but I guess that's not how the rules work. We felt really good about our ability to get kills in the middle. It was disappointing that we didn't win the second set. I thought Zîva [Recek] made a great serve. It looked like we had almost an ace there. Texas was able to hold off set point. I don't think Zîva [Recek] has made a back row attack hitting error over the line all season. We just didn't make the breaks. Hats off to Texas because they did make the breaks and we wish them very well and luck going on.
On the adjustments Texas made with the triple-block for the third set:
I thought the triple-block that we did was very effective. I'll have to look at the numbers, but we held [Haley] Eckerman to under double-digit kills and to hit only .185. Bailey Webster had 15 kills and hit .414. I think we really didn't do much to hold her. We had no defensive answer when she gets over the block. A couple of them, if you don't have to play against it, were pretty entertaining and that's elite how high she contacts the ball. I thought we did such a good job defensively and we knew that for us to have a chance we couldn't have both of their outside hitters go off and Bailey [Webster] was phenomenal, but I think the heart and soul of that team, from what it appears on the outside, is [Sha'Dare] McNeil and she was pretty special today.
On the difference between sets two and three:
It was our inability to pass. Teams have triple-blocked Chloe [Mann] and she's gotten kills, so I think they could have easily commit-blocked with all three and had we passed better, we would have at least point-sided out in those three rotations where Chloe is in front. I think we proved that she's pretty tough to defend if we get a quality pass. Credit Texas because the difference was how well they served in the third set.
On the three seniors:
That is the hardest part when you lose, especially when those three have been so special for this program and probably have provided as good of leadership or better in all our years at Florida. In different ways, they have made us a better volleyball team and they've made us better people. Their legacy will be long remembered as those younger players will try to emulate their leadership skills down the road.
On the previous match with Texas affecting preparation:
That was one of the pieces we talked to the team about. If you haven't played Texas, and how physical they are, the contact points at which Bailey Webster hits at, how physical McNeil is on the slide, most teams can't simulate that in practice settings. You almost have to see it live to believe it. I don't think our team was shell-shocked at all. We battled right there from the very beginning. On defense we had some really good things happen. If you told me at the end of the match that we could have held [Haley] Eckerman to .185, with the season she's had, I'd say I'd like our chances. I think having played them earlier was very helpful.
On what it takes to win at this level:
The room for error is very small, so weaknesses begin to be exposed. What you see at the highest level from the teams that make the furthest runs, there is one thing they have in common and they all have a national player of the year candidate on the floor and who's the player that everyone knows she's going to get the ball can deliver.
On how Texas looked tonight in comparison to earlier in the season:
As you would expect three months later as the season evolves their passing game was much better than the first time we played them. They played behind the end line better. They're playing pretty high level right now and in that environment, you are getting them at their best.
Junior outside hitter Chloe Mann
On the end of the second set:
It was definitely unfortunate, but we regrouped when we went to the locker room and we knew what we needed to do. We just needed to clean up some small things and I thought we came back in the third set fighting until the very end.
On Texas' adjustments against her:
I noticed a little more committing by the left fronts, but I was just focused on finding open shots.
On the season:
We surpassed expectations. We came into the season and we've had a lot of funky things happen to us throughout the season. Just being able to rise above and stick to our motto of the season, which was `No excuses,' and just continue to fight and ride out teams. We continued to play our ball in the way that we play it and stay steady and play as a team.
Junior setter Taylor Brauneis
On Texas' play at the end of the second set:
It came down to the little things. We needed to step up and make plays, but in the end we just couldn't, so it just came down to who wanted it more.
Freshman outside hitter Zîva Recek
On being one of six freshmen on the team:
It was a great experience playing against a great team like Texas. I think for us freshmen, we got some more experiences from great opponents and we just learned a lot from every game.