In his own words: Jerritt Elliott reflects on a championship
Dec. 19, 2012
Winning this championship gives a lot of credibility to our program and the ones who came before us. To accomplish this is so rewarding, because we feel like we've been doing it the right way. To break through the door has been so important to us.
A championship is something you're always chasing. I have a friend who is a builder, and when would come up short in previous seasons, he'd always say to me that we had such an amazing season. And that's true, but I would always tell him that ending short of the championship is like building a house and it falling down before it's finished. You never get to see it, even though you put so much work into it, you never get to a point where you accomplish what you set out to achieve.
I've promised myself that I'm going to enjoy this for a month. I can't wait for Austin to experience this, and our alumni as well.
I had a good feeling going into the match. I had even been a little emotional in my hotel room before. When the last ball drops, it becomes surreal and you feel like you're floating. You want to watch the players and celebrate with them. For me, it was about seeing the girls' eyes and watching some of them get emotional. That's what it's all about.
There's been something unique about this group. I've said that all year long. They've worked hard and been really diligent, but in the crunch time they're always able to make plays and make things happen. Against Michigan, we knew that's the hardest match to win, that semifinal match, and we thought it was an advantage going five sets. We had such an emotional advantage getting into the championship match against Oregon. We had been there before, and the team was very businesslike with its approach going into it.
We always go back and evaluate the season, and I'm sure one of the cornerstones to this one will be that we showed up every day and practiced and trained really hard. We were consistent, and the team really bought in. We'll miss (senior) Sha'Dare (McNeal). She's been a quiet leader and emotionally stable. Losing her is a big piece, we won't be able to replace her.