Dec. 1, 2011
Well, the worst part about that match is someone had to lose. That's a really good volleyball match. Obviously I'm proud of our players for competing. We had our backs against the wall, and really got out and competed out for a while, and they found a way to grind it out get the win. Several people stepped up. The two people sitting right here, Ashley and Lauren with their serving and attacking was a big difference in the match. Our defense was obviously a big difference in the match. Coach Scheffield is one of my best friends, and in coaching it's hard to see a guy lose a match like that, but I'm proud of our players for digging deep and finding a way to win.
On his team's serving, but Dayton getting used to their serving in the second and third games
We knew coming in that we had to be aggressive serving, they're a good attacking team on the left side so we had to put pressure on our serves. We did miss a few for a while, but that's okay, and we stuck to it and it made the difference in the end and it created some easier points for us. I don't think any point was easier in that match, but there were easier than prior to us putting the pressure with the serve.
On losing the longest rally of the match in the final set
That was a real tough point to lose. You saw he energy in the building, A&M fans were clapping and cheering. That's great volleyball. I think that tested the resolve of our players and our toughness, and to fight back after such a momentum changing rally. Again, it's really a testament to them. We didn't change anything different, they just dug in and decided this match was going to be ours tonight.
One of Dayton's strength is their defense and competitiveness. That was the reason why they were making those plays and getting points. It took us a while to get used to know that some of our best swings aren't going to go down, so we have to compete for longer periods of time. And luckily we found a way to do that.
Are you glad you played the first match after a 5 set match like that
Maybe a little bit. But the next team that wins has to exert energy too. I'm not worried about that, we're in great physical condition. Our strength and conditioning coaches do a great job. It was along match, and a lot of adrenaline comes into play win the NCAA tournament. We'll be ready, just have to put our feet up, drink lots of water and get ready to play.
On serving without fear
Whenever I go back to serve, I just think no fear. That's what you have to do with the pressure on the line. You just have to act like it's any other point and just go for it. And that's what I thought every time serving in this match. There was so much on the line but I didn't' think about it. That's all you have to do.
What do you take away from this match?
I feel like it was just another learning experience, we know what we're made of now. We will be able to do it every game. We were down, and all the momentum was with Dayton, and we fought back and really fought hard to bring back the game and win it. I think can we go into other games knowing that we believe and we can win every game.
On the long point in the fifth set
It was definitely a long point, but I think both sides were fighting to get that point. I think we both fought hard in that point because we wanted it. But it was definitely very tiring.
On Kentucky's serving
The coaches just stress it, even thought we did miss a couple serves in the third and fourth game. Our coaches still stressed to be aggressive and not let up on your serve and just lollipop it in. Because if we would've given them a lollipop, they probably would've terminated it with their outside.
On having a mindset when you're attacking that some of those balls aren't going to go down
I guess so, yeah. I'm just always in the mindset that I'm going up to kill the ball and see the block and hit around it. If it comes back, then that's my job to be prepared to do it again. I think game was a really a game of momentum, and when they were winning, they had all the momentum. And when we were winning, we had all the momentum. I think it's just the process of getting it back on our sideline.
Dayton Head Coach Kelly Sheffield
I think it was two teams that were fighting for their lives out there. Just battling, trying to keep balls off the floor. I didn't think either team, when it got right down to it, batted an eye. Both teams were trying to go after something. I think a lot of times in those moments, teams get a little tight. But I don't think either team did. Both teams were making a lot of plays, the defense especially was getting as good as it gets.
It's obviously disappointing to lose a match like that, you have an over pass for the match and kind of expect to put those away. And not only do you not put it away, you get called for a lift. That call would've been tough either way. We train our kids to throw those balls down, and it got called and that ties it up and the match continues. I think it was a great match.
On winning the long point in the fifth set
My goodness. That was a heck of a rally. A lot of times you get those long rallies and it's a lot of fluff stuff, but both teams had some big swings and some great placement. I think that was a microcosm of what kind of heart both teams had. Not only for us to win that rally, but the heart of Kentucky coming back on that rally. A lot of people will lay down and say it was over, but neither team and not a single player. Coach Skinner is a really close friend of mine, he does a great job there. I'm really proud of our team and how we battled. This is a team I've really enjoyed coaching, I love this group. And that's what I think one of the frustrating things is you want this season to continue so you can be around them. But that was a heck of a rally.
On the serving of both teams
I think both teams serve the ball really really well. In all 6 rotations, the teams are under stress form the deep ball and you can't take a rotation off. Frazier didn't' go off on us, and she's very capable of that. She had some errors, which helped, but when she didn't we passed most of those balls. We had trouble with O'Connor, she gave us some tough hits. And Klefot, we had some tough times in that second part of the match with her. They put a lot of pace on the ball and some speed and they throw some off balance short balls. But we were doing the same thing. I think both teams were being aggressive and going after it with their serves. It's a match where you never really felt comfortable at any time. Defense was great on both sides and both teams brought a lot of heat on their serves.
Were surprised that they were being aggressive with their serves when they were down?
Either team if you're not aggressive with your serve, you're going to get a beat down in a hurry. That was something we were preaching the entire night- be aggressive and go after them. Let's work the different planes of them passing instead of putting the ball on their lap and try to keep the ball in.
Junior Outside Hitter Rachel Krabacher
On attacking against Kentucky's defense
We were looking at them, there's a lot of different shots we had been working on, and that it's really not the blockers block that we had talked about and worked on in practice. But it was working and it's something we're going to keep going with it.
Senior Outside Hitter Yvonne Campbell
On making a run against Kentucky during the game
I think our team brings a lot of energy. I think a lot of people out there wanted that game. I think that was the difference makers, we were making some plays and Kentucky was making theirs too and that helped us even more. I think both teams just battled and in that little stint, we really battled.