Volleyball media availability quotes (Sept. 18)
Sept. 18, 2008
Head coach Jerritt Elliott
On Nebraska’s ability to dominate at home: They have a great program, they have a great fan base and over the years they have been able to put some great teams out on the floor. That is what makes it a challenge for us, and it is also what makes it exciting for us.
What makes playing Nebraska different than other games: They don’t have as big of a student section, but instead they have an even larger fan base. Their fans not only love the sport, but are very knowledgeable of the game and have been around the school for years. Anytime you have a crowd like that, it makes a big difference.
On what it means to open up the conference season at Nebraska: It’s a tough start. As I tell the team, the road to the Big 12 Championship is going to go through Nebraska, Texas and Kansas State as well. This time they have the home court advantage and that is going to make it an even greater challenge for our team.
On what he wants to see from the Longhorns this weekend: I’m looking forward to seeing how we respond to the environment. This is the premier match-up in college volleyball. You aren’t going to find the No. 2 against the No. 3 ranked team the rest of the regular season. This is the top match-up in the regular season, and I think it is going to be very exciting.
On his family ties to Nebraska: My family grew up in Omaha and so a lot of my aunts and uncles are going to be there this weekend. My grandmother, who is 98 years old, will even be there. It will be really nice to see family.
On playing Nebraska in her first conference match last year: I had been told by a lot of people to be prepared for a loud gym with a great fan base. That was a little intimidating as a freshman, but I kind of took the mentality to just play and do what I know how to do. Even though we lost last year, I think it was the game that forced me to come out of my shell and really step it up. Overall I would say it was really good for me.
On what she learned from last year’s match that she would like to bring to this year’s competition: We need to be confident. A lot of teams go into the match a little intimidated and I think that it affects their game greatly. We need to go up there with a confident mindset.
On what has been done in preparation: Playing in Omaha at the AVCA Showcase gave us a great opportunity to play in front of their great fan base. That experience, combined with watching video and practicing should have us prepared for this weekend.
Senior middle blocker Lauren Paolini
On what playing at Nebraska is like: They have very dedicated fans which provide an atmosphere that is a lot of fun to play in. At the same time, they play lights out. Their best matches are won at home, so we have to be ready to bring our best game
On the difference between last year and this year: We have gained a lot of experience since then and I think it has improved our overall game. We have learned to maintain a strong mentality when we fall behind and we have learned that we need to keep our composure to come back.
Junior opposite hitter Ashley Engle
On starting Big 12 play: Our non-conference schedule went great and we are definitely ready to move on to the rest of our season. You never really know what is going to happen, but I think we are ready.
On what has been learned from previous experiences with Nebraska: I think we need to be prepared for their “A” game. Any team with home court advantage is going to play their best.