Quote the Horns: Aug. 23
Aug. 22, 2011
Head coach Jerritt Elliott
On the mindset and expectations of this year’s team: It’s definitely a new team. We have high expectations and obviously the Final Four is in San Antonio this year. We have a team that potentially has the talent, but we have to find out what their character and team personality is like and we won’t know that until we start playing some matches. Ultimately, we have some really good pieces. If they learn how to work together and improve on a daily basis, that’s going to be the key for us.
On the goal of making a fourth-straight Final Four appearance: It’s been a great accomplishment to be at three straight Final Fours. It’s not easy, especially what we went through last year. We kind of overachieved. Our players are kind of getting tired of the Final Four, and if that sounds bad, it’s that they want to get to the top. They’ve been working hard. They’ve been here all summer and got up at 6 a.m. and worked out for that goal. We have great team chemistry and I like what we’re seeing, but at the end of the day our leadership is going to have to get us there. We’re going to have to be able to execute and do it when it’s crunch time.
Senior S Michelle Kocher
On making a Final Four appearance last year despite injuries: Last year was kind of a freak season with all the injuries, but it didn’t really change our goal. Our mindset is always to get to the national championship and to win it, so as much as we weren’t supposed to get as far as we did, we were expecting to go even further. It’s the same [goal] this year, to go all the way.
On having a full and healthy team going into the season: It’s crazy. At the first workout, we had 13 girls and we’re not used to that. It was kind of like, “Wow, we have so many people here.” What’s crazy is that everyone is so talented and that everyone has an opportunity to be on the court. So not only do we have quantity, but we have quality. It’s going to be a crazy season.
Sophomore OPP/OH Bailey Webster
On the mindset of the team heading into the season: I wouldn’t say anyone is nervous. Everyone has that calm confidence like we want to do so well and we know we can do well. We’re just trying to work together as a team to show how good we can actually be.
Freshman OH Haley Eckerman
On excitement going into her freshman season: I’m so excited to play with this group of girls. Practices have been so much fun with the competition. Even our Orange-White game was so much fun to watch everyone celebrate every point. I’m really excited for the season to start.
On the difference in play from high school to college: Back home I was the tallest on the team. They were very short so blocking was kind of easy. Here all of the girls challenge everybody. It’s not just one or two players like in high school. With all the high school teams, there are some teams that are very good and some teams that are decent, but here everyone is good. They challenge you to play to your best potential.
On having the entire team back and healthy for the start of the season: As far as the injured people, I know that we’ve all been working really hard in the offseason to get back to even better than we were before we were injured. There were five people injured [at the end of last season] so it feels like there are eight new players on our team right now. It feels really good.
On making a Final Four appearance last year despite injuries: I think we were all really proud of ourselves for that. We’re a team of fighters and that is kind of the “Texas Toughness” that we’ve been trained to have. Our work ethic is just amazing and it shows every single day in the gym and in the weight room. I think the fact that we can still make it to the Final Four with all those injuries and with a lot of key players out shows that we can really do anything.
Sophomore S Hannah Allison
On the level of competition: Our pre-conference games are going to be really tough. That means we are going to have to be ready at the beginning of the season. You have to be ready from the first game. You have to be prepared and it’s a real test as soon as you step on the court.
Freshman Utility Madelyn Hutson
On the potential to win a National Championship: I think it’s going to be a step-by-step process and continuing to work on our time. It’s an ongoing process. We can’t say we know exactly what we have to do right now.
On coming to UT: I visited UT my freshman year of high school with one of my friends and fell in love with Austin. The volleyball program here is amazing and I love the coaching staff. It’s really a family environment and you really do feel like your team is your family.
Senior MB Rachael Adams
On being healthy and having everyone back: Yes, last year we had a lot of injuries and it was hard to practice. We only had around nine players and now we have 13 competitive girls and all the positions are up to play. There’s a lot of competition in the gym.