Quote the Horns: Nov. 30
Nov. 30, 2010
Head coach Jerritt Elliott
On if there has been a defining moment of the season: We struggled in the preseason after having so many injuries, trying to get a lineup together, trying to get some continuity, it was a problem. We were not worried because we knew we had the pieces to make it good. I think after losing to A&M, in the first Big 12 match, we had to get back to what made Texas special. In our daily workouts in the gym, and we performed every day in the gym, and we were able to translate it to matches.
On Juliann Faucette: Juliann’s played really well in the last few months here. She’s got a great rhythm and her confidence is at the highest it’s ever been since she’s been in this program, and she’s been carrying a big load for us, so that’s important.
On how far he thinks the team can go during the NCAA tournament: We’re one of the teams that can compete for the final four. I’ve said all day long, it’s going to be tough from the second round on. We’ve got to take care of UTSA in the first round. They are a good opponent, we need to get our rhythm going and play well. We need our fans to come out. It’s critical. There’s a potential of playing UCLA in the second round, they’re ranked ninth, we’re ranked sixth, and that’s a really tough match up in the NCAA Tournament, so we encourage everyone to come out and be a part of it.
Junior setter Michelle Kocher
On how she established rhythm with the team coming in as a setter in mid-season: I think the setter position is kind of funny in that way because Hannah [Allison] and I both run the same system, but we have different tempos, setting styles, so it is a little bit of an adjustment, but what’s great about Jerritt [Elliott] and practice is that he always implements everyone into practice, so it wasn’t a whole new thing because every practice he gave me opportunities to play on both sides of the court, setting all the hitters. It wasn’t too drastic, just a little bit of adjustment for everyone.
On if the championship game from last year still hovers over the team: It’s still in the back of our heads. Even when we watched the selection show, there’s a little blurb about Penn State’s last point that beat us. Everyone just kind of moaned and groaned, like, “Oh, do we have to watch this again?” It’s such a hard thing to think about and to watch, just how close we were to winning a national championship. It just makes it that much more motivational to come to practice everyday and work hard everyday because it’s those one or two points that makes a difference between a title and second place. We’re definitely motivated.
On if there was a turning point for the team this season: I think the Nebraska match was definitely a turning point because we had won a few games before that, but that solidified that we were a great team with great players, and we just need to put it together and go from there. It was the perfect example that we were all on the same page. We had confidence in what we could do, and that trust and confidence has only built since then.
Senior outside hitter Juliann Faucette
On if the team has forgotten what it feels like to lose since they’ve been on a winning streak: Definitely not. Even losing to Penn State last year, I have that in the back of my mind. Losing to A&M at the beginning of the season and then Nebraska, we obviously didn’t win the Big 12, so that’s also been a feeling of more motivation for us to go into this tournament.
On if the Penn State loss is still driving this team: Absolutely. I think there’s a few of us who were on that team last year, so I think we still feel like we have some unfinished business. It’s going to be a tough road, tougher than I’ve ever had since I’ve been here, but it’ll be fun.
Senior middle blocker Jennifer Doris
On how Juliann Faucette has helped the team: Juliann stepped up huge, just knowing that Amber [Roberson] was out, and she was our go-to player. Lo (Lauren Dickson) has been doing a great job, but Juliann definitely has the guns for her to be able to take the team on her back and put the balls away during crunch time. It means a lot to us. It gives her confidence, it gives the team confidence because we’ve done really well during the crunch time.
On the major difference between the team this year and the team last year: I think we embrace the adversity, we love to get into situations where our backs are against the wall and people count us out. That’s when we get fired up and know that we can come through. How we come back during close situations, like with Baylor, we were down 19 to 10, that put a huge amount of confidence in our team and we know that when we go down in a certain game, we always reference back to, “We were able to do it then. Let’s pull together, circle the wagons and do it again.”