Quotes from NCAA Tournament Press Conference

April 29, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. -

Head Coach Carlos Drada

Opening Statement ...
"First, I want to thank everyone for coming today. We are extremely excited to get to play for the 19th time in the NCAA Tournament. We will be going to Chicago and it is going to be a really big challenge for us but also a good situation for us as a team. We have the potential to play against Northwestern, who is currently ranked number one in the nation."

On the draw in the Tournament ...
"It's a tough draw, but we are used to that kind of competition playing in the SEC. Every time you go out there, you compete and have the possibility to beat anyone. From our schedule, you can see we were able to beat teams who were ranked 14th in the nation (Clemson) and we beat Florida who went as high as fourth in the nation. In our league 10 teams finished in the top 26, and that shows how intense the competition is. It is a great opportunity and I think we will do a great job out there."

On what it means to consistently get into the tournament ...
"For the coaching staff, it's a great feeling to consistently get into the tournament. But, I believe it is structure and the fact that we aren't satisfied that gets us there each year. We want to get back to where we are hosting regularly and we are always working toward that. We recruit kids who do a great job of sticking to the small things every day."

On how much longer he thinks it will take before the program reaches the level he wants it to reach ...
"It's a moving target, because there are so many factors, but we are always very close. I hope within the next two years we can do a much better job."

Christine Johnston , Jr. (Columbus, Ohio) 

On playing against tough competition in the tournament ...
"We have to focus on our first match against Ohio State. Like Coach Drada said, we had a tough match against them earlier in the season. We should all go in there with a lot of confidence, and I think all of us girls will. If we do that, we will get the win against Ohio State and hopefully play Northwestern. I think that it is a great opportunity for us and everyone in the tournament has a chance to be as successful as any other team. I don't think that it will be a intimidating experience but a great opportunity."

On being from Columbus and playing against Ohio State ...
"It is a lot of fun and I know that there is a lot of talk about it in Columbus. It is always great to show people at home how I can go somewhere else and be just as successful. I still have a lot of support from fans from Columbus, but it is still a rivalry."

On what she remembers about playing Ohio State the first time ...
"We got out to a very strong beginning of the season and were all fired up for the match. I kind of got the girls fired up by telling them how much I wanted to win that match. I think that we have to go into this first round match with the same type of mentality we had earlier in the season and we will be fine."

On how her game has developed throughout the season ...
"We have all gotten a lot closer as a team, in terms of having strong relationships with each other. I know that we have been struggling lately and I think that this will be a good time to put those things behind us."

Whitney Spencer, Jr. (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

On what she remembers about playing Ohio State the first time ...
"I think that we started the season very well and came out really strong. That was right at the height of our strong point of the season. I think that a lot of us are going to want to look back at that point in the season and remember what had happened and go out there with the same energy and fight that we did at the beginning of the season."

On how her game has developed throughout the season ...
"I think that at the SEC Tournament we really got ourselves going again. We struggled a little bit towards the end but took a step forward in the SEC Tournament as far as getting back to how we were playing at the beginning of the season."