March 21, 2009
Head coach Harry Perretta
4 Siobhan O'Connor, 5-6, Sr.
3 Laura Kurz, 6-2, Sr.
Opening Statement: "We're very happy to be here. It's been a long road for us the last couple of years. We were very young two years ago. Last year we started to get it together and then this year, we kind of pulled it together in January and February. We fought ourselves back and then we made ourselves back to the NCAA tournament. We're very excited to be here. Our opponent is a very good team. I know they've won the Mountain West regular season and the tournament championship. They had the player of the year. It will be a daunting task for us, but we're going to try to do the best we can like we always try to do and go out and try to play our game and see where the chips fall."
Moderator: "What kind of problems does Utah pose for you?"
Perretta: "It's funny because everybody says our style of play bothers people. Well, Utah's one of those teams that plays just like us, so our style of play, I think, won't bother them very much. The problem they cause for us is they're extremely mobile. All of their players can shoot, pass and dribble, so there's no one that you really can't guard or leave alone. It will be difficult for us to spread them out because they're as mobile as we are, so I think that's the problem that they cause for us the most."
Moderator: "Is there a team that you've played this year that reminds you of Utah?"
Perretta: "Marquette was probably a similar team to them. They actually played Marquette in the regular season and it was a close game, so I would say Marquette is very much like them because Marquette's very mobile. The good thing about the Big East is because we have 16 teams, you play so many different styles of basketball that you pretty much see all different styles, so anybody that plays a style in the country, we usually see it in the Big East. Also, I would say West Virginia was very much like them because West Virginia was very mobile and we played West Virginia to a 2-point game, just to show you how the teams are very similar."
Reporter: "To the players, what does it mean to be here in the NCAA tournament?"
O'Connor: "It's definitely been a long road. We made the NIT one year, and one year we didn't make any post-season tournament, so to be here, we're really appreciative of the experience and the opportunity. At the same time, we want to leave our mark on the tournament, so we're here to win a game, hopefully one more after Sunday. We're just happy our hard work has paid off and going through the hard times paid off to get here."
Reporter: "For Laura Kurz, how will your previous experience at Duke help your team?"
Kurz: "My role on the team at Duke was very different than my role is here at Villanova. Just having been through the experience, I'll try to be as confident as I can and be as poised as I can on the court."
Reporter: "For the players, what do you know about Utah?"
Kurz: "Like Harry said, I think they're very similar to us. I think everybody on their team can shoot. They're pretty athletic."
O'Connor: "Against New Mexico, I think they were down 16 and ended up coming back to win in the conference tournament, so we know we can't take anything for granted tomorrow. If we're lucky to be up by 10 at any point, we know the game's not over and it's going to be a battle for 40 minutes. They're very tough. They've had some big wins in the regular season and to win their conference tournament is a huge accomplishment for them. We have a lot of respect for them and we know it's going to be a battle tomorrow."
Head coach Elaine Elliott
15 Morgan Warburton, 5-11, Sr.
2 Kalee Whipple, 6-0, Jr.
Opening Statement: "Well obviously we're just pleased to be here. It will be a great tournament, great teams, great host, great facilities, everything's first class and we're excited to be part of it."
Reporter: "How does it feel to come across the country when the other teams are close and Maryland is playing at home?"
Elliott: "Well it's just the unfortunate reality of the women's tournament that we're still in that position, so we've been in this position before. The preference is always to be closer and the expectation is that you can be far away, so you just go play."
Warburton: "I'm just excited to be here again. We don't really think about that, we just worry about who we're going to play. No matter where it is, it's difficult if you're not on your home floor, but for the most part, it's just good to be in the tournament."
Reporter: "How does last year's experience in the tournament help this year's squad?"
Elliott: "It's a new team, and a new scenario and actually I really thought that from the very first opportunity. I thought it was a very good, positive mindset for the kids. Their heads are in the right place, it's different than last year. I think last year, we felt good about the opportunity, but there really wasn't any expectations of being close. So really their heads are in a great place. As much as it can be a non-factor for us, I truly believe it is for us this year."
Reporter: "Describe the experience of going to the Elite Eight in 2006."
Warburton: "I think the leadership that year was amazing with Kim Smith. It's a really exciting feeling to know that you got that far in the tournament. It's one of the best places to be playing in. I got to see that as a freshman, and to be able to tell the team about that, is good for the team."
Reporter: "What are your impressions of Villanova?"
Whipple: "Villanova's a really good team. We've watched a lot of film I think they're really good shooters, I think they mirror New Mexico in our conference. A set-motion offense is what they usually run- just slow their pace down and shoot a lot of threes and try to get to the basket and get open shots. Their half court defense is what we have to focus on."
Elliott: "Yeah of the true-to-their-system, motion teams, Wyoming and New Mexico are the most similar in our league in terms of what it would be like to defend them. Wyoming is going to shoot threes at all five positions and get shots off of screens and motions that they try to create. Probably defensively they're like New Mexico. They're just going to stay between you and the basket. We've seen teams that run the same offensive style, we've not seen teams so interested in the slow pace as they have, but they're very good. Their motion is as good as you'll ever see in the country. It's just really excellent. [Villanova coach] Harry [Perretta] knows what kind of kids he needs to run that. They're just basketball players. They can all shoot, dribble and pass from all five positions they don't have the typical five spot, and that poses a lot of problems for most teams."
Reporter: "Talk about the development of your bench this year."
Elliott: "Well, we only had eight kids that played the entire pre-season. We only had a roster of eight. The three kids that were coming off the bench didn't play in the preseason because of injuries. So we had them back at the start of the conference and obviously they haven't been training because they had been injured so they also weren't in shape so then it was another month to six weeks of giving them a few minutes and actually giving them some training time. So now we have a few more options than we had and they have come through valuably certainly in our conference tournament. We can change our lineups now when we need more scores on the floor, which we had no option to do in all the preseason."