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Kentucky-Louisville Postgame Quotes




May 14, 2011

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NCAA’s Men’s Tennis Tournament – Lexington, Ky.
Second Round – #10 Kentucky 4, #24 Louisville 3

Louisville head coach Rex Ecarman

On the intensity in the stands …
“I don’t care where you are in this country, you are not going to get a match in the second round that is that intense. I don’t care if it is UCLA against USC. Understand that we don’t play a home-and-away series and this is the first time in six years we have played them. You throw in the NCAA. You throw in Eric (Quigley) and Austen (Childs). You throw Robert Hall in there and then Alejandro Calligari went to IMG Academy with Alberto Gonzalez and Brad Cox. There are so many plots. When you go in the locker room and guys are crying you are proud.”

On Viktor Maksimcuk and if he was hurt in the third set …
“Viktor has put so much time playing singles and doubles for four years and he puts so much energy into when he plays. When you play the guy that he played yesterday in Jonathan Jaklitsch, who makes you hit so many balls, he put more mileage in his legs than anyone on our team did. Then you follow that with someone better than Jaklitsch but with the same type of game and it was tough. He played five amazing sets and we knew the window of opportunity was there. He got up a set and then a break and we thought that was going to be it but I really feel that Musialek saved UK today. If Viktor would have gotten that one hold to go up set at 5-3, I really think it is us climbing all over each other on the court instead of a locker room of crying guys.”

On how proud he was of his team …
“I mean, four years, getting to this level and Kentucky is like a Final Four talent. I asked Austen (Childs) to speak and the guy just cried. Viktor couldn’t speak. I am super proud, not just of the accomplishments, but who they are.”

Kentucky head coach Dennis Emery

Opening statement …
“I couldn’t be any more proud of our team. I think we have a very special group of people. I mean, I know we have a very special group of people. We’ve had a lot of the same players here for two years. They have an uncommonly close bond. They really love each other and I think what came across today is you could see how much they love playing for the University of Kentucky and how much it means to them to put on the uniform.”

On the passion and intensity around the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex …
“Yeah, I mean we could say what we want before the match about, ‘This is going to be a lot of fun and it’s a great opportunity.’ We can say all that stuff. But the truth is there was a lot of pressure on our team today I felt like. We’ve had a tremendous season. We’ve been into the top 10. We were in the top 10 because we won matches like this all year long. You’re hoping that you win one more and certainly we had the two guys on the court at the end that we wanted on the court. We had (Eric) Quigley on the court with (Austen) Childs and we had (Alex) Musialek on the court with (Viktor) Maksimcuk. Musialek clinched our win against Auburn in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. He’s been in this situation many times and he responds very, very well in that situation. Eric also is just a good closer and great clinching point for us most of the time. So it was a great match and I don’t think it could be any better than to have these four guys on the court in the stadium with it packed. It’s just kind of exactly what you would diagram. I think the passion our team plays with comes across when you watch us play. The commitment that Louisville has to its program comes across also.”

On how important the doubles point win was for Kentucky …
“We knew the doubles point would probably decide the match. We felt like, going in, the doubles would decide it. We felt like we were probably favored on three (singles) courts. We felt like the other three courts were probably even to them being slight favorites maybe. Now they didn’t all play out that way – and it never does – but yeah, had we not won the doubles point clearly we would have been in a lot, a lot of trouble.”

On if this match was everything he thought it would be …
“This is more than I’d hope it would be. This is a little too much. But we know how good Louisville is. We didn’t have any illusions that this was going to be a stroll in the park. We knew this was going to be a very, very difficult match. We know they’re a well-coached team. We know they fight their tails off. We’ve seen them play enough and they take a tremendous amount of pride in their program. They’re hard to beat because of that. I think what they ran into today is a team that feels just as strongly about its program as they do.”


 

 

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