Dec. 20, 2008

 

2008 NCAA Volleyball Championship Quote Sheet
Dec. 20, 2008 - National Final
Stanford Cardinal Quotes | Video
Head Coach John Dunning, Foluke Akinradewo, Cynthia Barboza, Alix Klineman


Head Coach John Dunning

Opening Statement


"I'd like to congratulate Penn State.  Obviously they are a great team and have made history.  They have great talent. They have a great coach.  They are really really good, I think we gave them a battle tonight.  If you take a look back at a match like this, and there are a few plays that are different, a few plays can make a difference in the match.  For us, it's been an interesting journey. We're a very different team than we were last year.  We were [in Omaha] for our first match this year, and we were pretty ugly.  If we compare where we've come from since that time, I think our team will say that they put the hard work to get here and that they are proud of their effort ...  that they love their teammates, that they will remember the experience their whole life and what more can you ask for."

Head Coach John Dunning

On Penn State's place in volleyball history


"I guess time will tell.  Right now, I would say they have a record that continues.  It's an amazing season that they just finished.  I don't like to compare teams, personally, as I don't like to compare players because I don't think it is right or fair"

Foluke Akinradewo

On Penn State's defense and how that took Stanford out of system

"Penn State is a great team. They have a really big block and great defense behind it, so it is hard to get kills on them.  But, I think our team did an amazing job on them.  We kept fighting and never gave up.  It's tough losing, but at the same time I am so proud of my teammates."

Alix Klineman

On the defense of Penn State took Stanford out of system

"I think everyone knows Penn State is really physical, and they put up a huge block against us.  That was probably the hardest part of that match, just getting kills past their block.  Like Foluke [Akinradewo] said, I am just really proud of our team for hanging in there and fighting no matter what."

Cynthia Barboza

On the play of Megan Hodge and the Penn State attack

 "I think that is the nature of their offense. When they are in system, they are really hard to beat.  They have five great hitters and a great setter, so when the pass is right on the net, it is hard to commit to Megan Hodge and leaves Christa Harmotto and Blair Brown open.  That is why our game plan was serve and pass.  You've gotta come in serving tough, you've gotta get them out of system.  When they were in system, they were really good and that helped Megan Hodge out a lot."

Head Coach John Dunning

On the frustration of losing the second game, despite out hitting, out blocking and out digging Penn State

"That you're down 2-0 does a lot to it.  I think the difference in that game, if I remember after looking at it, was serving.  They had some aces, and we had a couple of errors.  It's a two point difference, 26-24 ...  It's frustrating that you can look back and think of ways to fix it, but you can't do it now."

Head Coach John Dunning

On if watching Nebraska influenced the game plan against Penn State

"I thought they did a lot of committing on their quick attackers, that helped get some key blocks at key times.  We knew that we were going to go one-on-one on the outside.  If they were in system, we couldn't let the other hitters go crazy.   I thought we did a pretty good job on a couple of them tonight.  

I thought that the thing that Nebraska does the best, besides that they had a great attitude about themselves and they really competed, is that right from the first match of the year they were the best serving team. So they were able to take Penn State out of what they were doing a little bit more than us.  I thought we tried to serve tough, just at times it was hard.  They passed a lot of great passes tonight."

Foluke Akinradewo

On appearing in three consecutive National Finals and falling to three great teams.

"I think we have accomplished a lot.  I don't know how many people can say they've been in the National Championship match three years in a row.  Yeah we've played tough teams and we've come up short, but I'm so proud of my teammates. I'm upset that we lost, but the thing I am most upset about is that I just going to miss them all.  We fought a lot.  Definitely, this year more than any other year.  Definitely like John was saying the team that we were when we first started in Nebraska is completely different than the team we are, the team that came tonight to play.  I think we have accomplished a lot and I am very proud."

Cynthia Barboza

On appearing in three consecutive National Finals and falling to three great teams.

"I like this team is incredible and this has been my favorite year at Stanford by far.  For me, this moment parallels something that happened earlier this year  ... when we found out that the U.S. National Team won the silver medal ... I texted something like, I'm so sorry you guys were so close I feel so bad.  I got a text back from Heather Bown that said, this is the happiest I've ever felt.  That is kind of how I am walking away from this match, because this season has been unbelievable for me in terms of what I have learned about myself, what it means to be a team and what I've learned about what is means to fight. I can't cry about the outcome of that match, but you can hear me choking up starting to talk about my teammates.  It is not about that outcome; it's about the entire process.  This year was absolutely incredible for so many reasons."

Head Coach John Dunning

On appearing in three consecutive National Finals and falling to three great teams.

"Our seniors have been asked a lot of questions, last year about what does it feel like to lose twice in a row ... If indeed Nebraska's team three years ago was one of the best ever and Penn State is one of the best teams if not the best team ever, I think that this group should walk away with the feeling that they are also one of the best teams ever.  They need to not just be proud of the things they've accomplished this year, but the body of work that they've accomplished in this senior class during their time at Stanford ... I'm just very proud of what they've done."

Alix Klineman

On the legacy left by the departing seniors

"There is no doubt the impact our seniors have had on our team, they are a huge part of our team.  But I think our team learned something about ourselves this season, that was just that we all had to be on the same page, we all had to do it together.  Without one person, it wasn't going to work ... so I think for next year we've all learned what it takes how to come together through the tough moments."  

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Penn State Quotes | Video

Head Coach Russ Rose

Opening Statement


"First I want to congratulate Stanford on the great season they had.  Thank you to the city of Omaha for supporting the event.  I don't think it was the prettiest match to determine the national championship, but it was a match that was played very hard by both teams.  I thought we hung in there defensively and gave ourselves opportunities for a chance for Megan to take big swings at the end.  I thought it was a group effort in a lot of areas.  It certainly wasn't a match that had the same energy from the match a couple of nights ago.  That one had the significance to get us here.  Tonight's has special significance, especially for the seniors."

Head Coach Russ Rose

About floor defense not getting the credit it deserved


"Certainly in comparing our statistics to other teams, it's always been a challenge.  For the year we're hitting close to .400.  I think over the course of the season, maybe out of the 38 matches we were outdug once the entire season.   I think our defense was good, but certainly our bread and butter has been the offense and the net play and Alisha's ability to get a variety of hitters involved at the net.  I think that has always been the strength of this team."

Head Coach Russ Rose

About the expectations on this year's team

"I think for people who coach they know that seasons end at a certain time, and you hope that your season ends on the last dig of the season with someone making a great play.  There was certainly pressure placed on this team because of the number of people returning from last year's championship team, and the competitive level of volleyball we play in the Big Ten Conference was challenging.  Last weekend playing against a great Cal team in regionals was challenging.  Certainly the match Thursday night against Nebraska was an incredible match to participate in.  From that standpoint there was relief.  In this case there is a lot of happiness and excitement because they could look back.  I told them all along all season long keep working hard.  There will be a time to look back on it.  Hopefully they'll look back and say that they didn't leave anything left in the tank. Certainly on Thursday night, there wasn't much left at the end."

Blair Brown

About her role in tonight's game

"It's exciting, but I want to do my part for the team.  If the team needs me to have a bigger role, I want to step up and do my part."

Nicole Fawcett

About what was going through her head after she hit the ball on the last point

"Going through my head was they better call the touch.  At that point it did seem like an eternity, but Megan was already celebrating, so I thought we must have gotten the point.  It was good to see everyone rushing to the floor."

Alisha Glass

About special strategies or tactics used tonight

"I think that Stanford has some great players.  Foluke (Akinradewo) is an amazing athlete, as well as Cynthia (Barboza) and Alix (Klineman.)  They definitely had some players we needed to focus on that we needed to stop or try to slow down.  That was some of the team goals.  Then playing our own game and trying to win the serve and pass game.  There are a lot of things we focused on, but I think we tried to do those things especially."

Megan Hodge

About the third game and whether she was determined not to have a relapse of Thursday's match


"As a team Thursday night and even last year we let off a little in the third game.  It turned into a more competitive match going into five.  We got it in our heads we had to get out there and play hard."

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2008 NCAA Volleyball Championship Quote Sheet
Dec. 19, 2008 - Stanford Cardinal Press Conference - Video
Head Coach John Dunning
Foluke Akinradewo, Gabi Ailes, Cynthia Barboza, Alix Klineman

Head Coach John Dunning
Opening Statement
"Yesterday I think was a pretty amazing day for our program.  As it was for the other three teams that are here.  More than that, from all that I heard from all the people that we watching our sport across the country, it might have been one of the biggest days in the history of our sport.  It was an amazing crowd last night, the people of Nebraska once again stepped up to show us where the state of volleyball is at.  I know the television coverage was amazing, so many people said they watched.  It was one of the highest, if not the highest in history in terms of people watching.  So it was just a great day for our sport and we are happy to have been part of it and certainly happy to be still playing tomorrow.  We are looking forward to it."

Head Coach John Dunning
On topping last night in the Championship Final

"I sure hope so, that was amazingly exciting.  The Penn State / Nebraska match was fun to watch, not just from the point of view of trying to figure out what we are going to do tomorrow, but it's just great for volleyball.  Topping it?  Yeah, I think tomorrow is the championship match, so it will top it."

Head Coach John Dunning
On how important passing well and staying in system is against Penn State

"That's kind of the key for every match.  Volleyball is a serve and pass game, we know we have to come to the court ready to do that tomorrow.  We have to be aggressive, they are aggressive.  Our passers can handle it, I know we are going to come ready to deal with what they have to throw at us.  It's going to be fun, we are looking forward to it.  But there is no question, that is every volleyball game, so it will be the game tomorrow."

Cynthia Barboza
On how important passing well and staying in system is against Penn State

"I ran into Jordan Larson at breakfast this morning and I went up to her and congratulated her on how well she played and how well she led her team to fight against Penn State.  The only thing she said back was serve tough, get Penn State out of system.  It is all about serve and pass."

Gabi Ailes
On watching the Nebraska match last night and its effect on her

"I came here knowing that there were a lot of people out there supporting us.  It was really exciting to have that many people there behind us.  It's exciting to play here in front of my home crowd and I hope we can go all the way."

Alix Klineman
On the effect of both matches going five

"I think it is pretty much a wash. I think it's safe to say that all four teams are exhausted after last night, I know I am.  I think no one really has an advantage and it will be a dogfight."

Penn State Press Conference - Video
Head Coach Russ Rose, Alyssa D'Errico, Roberta Holehouse

Head Coach Russ Rose
Opening Statement

"Well the morning after I still have a headache from all the yelling and screaming.  It's great to still be playing.  We look forward to hopefully getting rested and prepared to play a match against a great opponent.

Head Coach Russ Rose
About history playing vs. Stanford

"It's always been great challenges.  Don Shaw, the previous coach, and I continue to be good friends as I continue that with John Dunning.  We've played a variety of matches over the years, alternating playing at each other's universities.  Last year, we elected to play at Yale instead of Penn State because I knew they were going to be one of the top teams.  If we had our sights on winning the national championship we were going to have to demonstrate that we could beat Stanford at a neutral site.  We didn't, but in that match we certainly had opportunities to do that."

Head Coach Russ Rose
About adjusting the game plan last night

"I thought we had to make changes early in the match.  We won the first two games I thought relatively handedly.  I thought the kids were running out of gas in between the second and third games.  We threw the jump serving out except for Roberta (Holehouse) and Nummy (Alyssa D'Errico.)  Nebraska is a very fine opponent as is 17,000 fans rooting on their side.  When you combine the two it was a heavy burden the players had.  We were uncharacteristic in a lot of areas, but I think the problems that we had last night were reflective in the strengths that Nebraska had.  The fact that we were able to come back is a good indication that put in that situation the players can do that.  I thought the players were really tired."

Head Coach Russ Rose
About Nicole's float serve that resulted in six points in arrow

"I'm not sure she had a lot left in the tank. Earlier in the match, I thought one of her jump serves was labored.  I didn't feel that after the first couple of games that Nebraska was going to side out as high of a level as they needed.  We didn't need to help them by doing our traditional one-to-three ace-to-error ratio.  It just so happened that in the fifth game, maybe the stress of the night switched to the other side, and all the sudden they had a little trouble ball handling and we had a couple opportunities to convert.  All of the players can serve.  Sometimes we need control.  Sometimes we just need some reckless abandon back there.  Nick's usually the person I just say go for it back there.  I thought she was making a couple mistakes in the front row.  I didn't want her to have the burden of being the leading scorer for the other team as well as being our leading scorer."

Head Coach Russ Rose
About whether it's fair to play Nebraska in Omaha

"Is it fair?  The way I look at things I only look at things I can control.  We all knew the championships were going to be in Nebraska.  There are not a lot of places in the country going to generate the type of fan support.  That's one of the risks.  I don't think we should be here permanently.  It increases the recruiting advantage significantly.  We knew coming in it was going to be tough.  In the past that's why we've come to play at Nebraska, we've gone to play at Hawaii.  There are three or four schools in Big Ten Conference are in the top 10 in the country in attendance.  We're accustomed to playing n front of large crowds.  Last night's crowd was very loud and very influential in assisting Nebraska.  Nebraska had that little extra fight that they needed in putting the pressure on.  I thought that the two (players) that are up here handled their responsibilities very well and that's why there are here.  I thought that I would go short today and brought my two back row players in."
 
Alyssa D'Errico
About how mentally draining last night's match was

"The mental aspect of losing the third and fourth games for the first time all year was a good challenge for us to basically take it on as a team and know that we've gone through it together.  Looking in each other's eyes in the fifth game was a confidence booster and emotionally stabilizing effect.  I think that helped a lot."

Alyssa D'Errico
About whether she expected to play Stanford

"They're great competitor and we had the possibility of meeting them somewhere along the way.  I figured so much that they would get a top seed and be in the final four.  They're a great team.  I wasn't sure when, but I'm glad we get a chance to play them again.  It's going to be a great match."

Alyssa D'Errico
About the historical significance of this season
"We take it one match at a time, one game at a time.  The ultimate goal is to win a national championship.  Whatever happens along the way happens.  Losing a game last night for us was a challenge because it was the first time it happened. It's a good mental confidence boost for us to know that we can come back from that.  The records right now aren't what we're looking for.  What we're looking for is to win our last match of the year."

Roberta Holehouse
About how mentally draining last night's match was

 "It was an emotional rollercoaster for sure.  I think it was a good test if we had the willpower to play after losing the third and fourth set.  It was definitely draining, but I also think it was a good test for us."

Roberta Holehouse
About her jump serve

"When I was 11, I had a beach player work with me on my arm swing.  We actually worked on a jump serve.  I've jumped served ever since then.  Alyssa and I both were hitters in club volleyball.  I hit for six years, so I think that helped a little bit."

Roberta Holehouse
About the historical significance of this season

"It's definitely exciting to set a record.  We as a team had a goal to set a national championship.  I think that is the most important thing to us right now.  It is exciting, but we have a bigger picture to look at."