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Post-Match Quotes - Match No. 3- (1) Kentucky vs. (2) Clemson




May 10, 2014

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Kentucky Head Coach Cedric Kauffmann

On how often teams lose doubles and on courts one and two and win …
“I don’t know. I’m going to have to look at the stats since I’ve been here the last seven, eight years. But I’m sure it’s in the one or two percentile. Just the way it happened, I think we lost some air. We saw Tom (Jomby) kind of get hurt a little bit, go back in the curtain, came back to the chair and he said, ‘Listen, I felt something snap.’ So I don’t know. We’re going to see what happened. It’s going to take a day or two to, I guess, x-ray, do all that stuff. But you lose one of your leaders and then (Alejandro) Gomez on two loses so we’re down. I think Beck (Pennington) was kind of finishing around the same time so we’ll say we’re down 3-1 with some courts to go with one of our leaders being hurt, that kind of was really, really tough. We knew as a coaching staff we had to win Kevin (Lai) or Gomez since they were two points. We trust Grant (Roberts) with our lives at six, so we knew we had to get it done there. I just thank my coaching staff. I think they did a tremendous job today.”

On Lai’s performance …
“He always can play. He doubts himself maybe sometimes just like a lot of athletes (do). It’s pretty tough. I think he was down on himself a little bit after the first set and he doesn’t want to let his whole team down and we’re a family. So I think he takes it maybe a little harder than if it’s just him. But we told him, ‘Settle down. Let’s have this game plan. Let’s keep it going. No matter what the score is, you’re going to do this, do that.’ I thought he did a good job. At times he gave us some heart attacks because he didn’t listen, but overall I think he did a great job.”

Clemson Head Coach Chuck McCuen

On coming out slow in doubles …
“At this level it’s never over until the last ball is hit. It wasn’t over until the last point on that last court even though Brent Lett was down 5-0 in the second. That’s what makes this game so great is there’s no clock. It never stops as long as you have heart and as long as you’re willing to compete at your highest level then you always have a chance.”

On Kentucky’s home-court advantage…
“It was a blast. We play for that. I love the Kentucky crowd, I love their intensity, I love their passion for their players and for their school. I hope we can emulate that same kind of environment in the future. It was just an awesome experience for me as a coach, and for a bunch of young players who really did a good job today.”

On Clemson’s youth …
“There’s never an excuse. Not in my book. It wasn’t about youth or anything. They just came out on top. They’re a great team. I wish them much success in Athens. I know they will do well.”

Kevin Lai, UK player

On what he was thinking when he took the court after Jomby’s injury …
“I was surprised because the whole team knows what’s going on. I didn’t expect that this would happen. I was just thinking that I have one-and-a-half hours to take my time and (get) ready to play my singles. But everything just happened too quickly. I was just like, it happened already so play the way I played.”

On how big the deficit was …
“I was really nervous. After he took the first set and I saw Gomez, our second singles, lost, I was just thinking—I know our number six is going to play faster than me so I know I have no choice. I have to win. That’s what I was thinking because if I lose that means the whole team loses. I tried to step up for the team.”


 

 

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