Kentucky-Oregon Postgame Quotes

Dec. 5, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach Craig Skinner

Opening statement ...

"One of the themes that we've had and is written on our board all year is good teams never stop getting better. I think that's been evident the last week and it's hard to do once you get toward the end of the season. But, the nice thing was our blocking has been OK this year and it really turned out tonight, and that is critical in the NCAA Tournament. I'm very proud of these guys. We were very focused tonight and it's a great win. These guys deserve to go to a regional and it's going to start next week."

On what going to the regional means to this program ...

"It's very difficult to get to a regional. It's not just the matches you speak in building a program, it's getting to the point where your players in the program believe that you can do that. It's a lot of hard work. They put the energy into it and we don't want to go participate. It's about going to the next step. It's a six match season and we've got two down and the third one comes up on Friday."

On Kentucky's play...

"I thought we set up really well. We were very assertive and aggressive. Typically when you don't block well, you reach your hands all over the place. We were very structured and disciplined in what we did and we had a great game plan, which the team followed it extremely well. They (Oregon) are a very good offensive and they go very fast. When you go fast you hit a lot of balls toward the middle of the court. We needed to give up some line shots a little bit. They did get some kills down the line, but we did not want to let them pound the ball in the middle of the court and I thought we did a great job making that happen."

On stopping Sonja Newcombe ...

"Well she's an All-American and she's a phenomenal player. Part of it was where we set up our block and we had a nice matchup of having Becky Pavan, Lauren Rapp on her. Those are very good blockers. They did a great job of setting up and forcing her to hit some shots that maybe she wasn't comfortable with. She responded and still was able to come up with a lot kills and that's what great players do. But, it was important to slow down her and Heather Meyers. They typically get the most sets on their team and we did a great job of that."

On Kentucky's defense...

"We work on defense every single day in practice and it was bound to come through. I think that we're continuing to get better. Everyone recognizes that anytime in the match the ball can come to you. We were very alert tonight and made a lot of plays. I thought we would be an exceptional blocking team coming in, but offensively we've done a lot of good things. Our block didn't get involved, but fortunately it has the last couple of matches and we need that to continue the next couple of weeks.

On getting the team excited to go to Minneapolis...

"You have to give a lot of credit to them for responding the way they did. It's tough to lose the last two matches and they came together and realized they didn't want the season to end. It's an exciting time, this team has never been satisfied and I don't anticipate that anytime soon."

Kentucky Players

# 7 Sarah Rumely, S

On what it means to get to the regional...

We're so excited, it's something that we stepped into our third season like we talked about. It's competing everyday and I think we competed hard tonight. It's fun. We had a great time tonight. I think all of us together, all fourteen of us on the team tonight, is what's taking us to the next level. And all of us are just really excited to go out there and compete again.

On difference between last night's win and tonight's win..

We played free and I think that we were super focused going out, and everyone took care of their individual job. When you step together and play as a team it just makes everything go that much smoother. When you're having fun out there it makes things so much easier. I think a lot of us thrive under the pressure and so we love it and that makes it more fun to go out on the court and compete.

On advancing to the Sweet Sixteen and narrowly missing the SEC Championship ...

It's a great feeling to be where we are at. We didn't accomplish that goal, but another one of our goals is to go deep into the tournament. The SEC season is over and this is our new tournament time right here. It's do or die. Every match you go out there and leave it all on the floor and you compete as hard as you can every point just to play the next one and play for tomorrow. I think that's what we are trying to do right now.

#3 Sarah Mendoza, OH

On gaining more confidence with each set...

I think that after those two losses, practice was different. The mentality was totally different and we had to forget about those games. It's a long season and it takes its toll on the body and you're always around the same people, but I think we all came refocused. We are all really hungry for these matches. Each match we are hungry for. We beat each of these teams in three (sets). I'm just really excited for these next games coming up.

#6 Lauren Rapp, RS

On success of the block...

It was mainly the people setting up. I tried to get as close to them as much as I could and they did a great job. They really communicated with me and let me know where the hitters were going, which made it easy for me

On going on a role...

It just gives you so much momentum. I think it's the biggest momentum builder getting a block on a team. And then we went on a run and got three blocks back-to-back. It's just a lot of fun and it gives you so much energy.

On defense showing itself...

I think it's something we worked on and its one of those things that is late to bloom but we saved it for the right time.

Oregon Head Coach Jim Moore

Opening Statement ...

"It is disappointing. It has been an Achilles heel all year. We didn't play as good a defense as we had hoped. We gave them 21 points on our errors. That had nothing to do with the 17 blocks that they had. That is on them, they did a great job of blocking. But you can't give a team 21 points. You can get blocked 17 times if you are not giving up 21 points and be did both. When you do, bad things are going to happen and bad things happened."

On Kentucky posting the most blocks that they have had all season ...

"Again, I think that you have to give it to them. That is on them and you have to give it to them. But we have to hit the ball and you have to hit it around the block too. We got blocked one-on-one and with two blockers. We just got blocked too often. Kentucky did a very good job but we did not do a very good job hitting the ball."

On the pace of the game and if it was better than last night ...

"I think that it was better in terms of having a faster rhythm. That was better."

On how tough this lost was tonight ...

"We definitely didn't find a rhythm. It is really tough. This is as difficult of a loss that I have ever had. There are a lot of things that make it difficult. The obvious thing is that I absolutely adore this class. Outside of my family, they are my family. All the seniors have done an unbelievable job of turning this program around. We went from being horrific to being where we are. I am incredibly proud and thrilled that I have had the chance to work with them the past four years. It is not just the seniors, Heather Meyers played absolutely phenomenal tonight. I hate to say it is expectations but I wanted it for them."

Oregon Player Quotes

#6 Sonja Newcombe, Position

On how did you deal with Kentucky trying to neutralize you...

"I have had that especially second have of the season. It was not something too different, I just struggled tonight offensively. "

On was there something with Kentucky 's blocking that you hadn't seen before...

"No, I don't think so. They are very solid all the time and I don't know if that is because we didn't pass very well or we are predictable. They did a really good job blocking. We didn't hit the ball down the line and we needed to avoid it (the block) and not hit into it."

# 10 Heather Meyers, OH

On did you feel Kentucky played like you have not seen...

"I think it was our side of the court. I think they played well on their side. It was our side that we needed to finish out plays. We came in with a game plan and I don't know if we finished with what we came in saying. I just struggled in the back row a little bit hitting today.

On being down 0-2 did you think this was still a shot to come back...

"Yeah, we never stopped believing. We knew we have done it before and defiantly could have done it again. We still came in there fighting. We don't quit. We harped on it the whole season. It's the past, move on. Two games is nothing, there could be three more to go.