UCLA National Collegiate Championship Quotes
Head Coach Al Scates
I¡¯m very proud of this team. Actually I have to count this as one of the best championships I¡¯ve ever coached because our team was 5-9 in the league and these guys never doubted we could do this. They worked so hard for this all year and believed in each other and that really made a difference. We weren¡¯t going to make the league playoffs if we hadn¡¯t gone on this run. They get down and they just have a lot of fight in them.
On Tony Ker:
When you look at Tony he had a couple errors tonight but he¡¯s taking more court than anyone else in the nation. Most liberos have a range from about a foot outside their stance and Tony¡¯s job is to dive in both seams and get all the balls he can. If another team is going to serve to somebody else he¡¯s still going to get more than half of the balls for us. He does that better than anyone in the country.
After 19 national championships, does anything but the word ¡®dynasty¡¯ come to mind?
I think we have a little dynasty going at UCLA. We¡¯re looking to continue that for a few more years.
How satisfying is this?
It¡¯s very satisfying. This team did not get very much respect. We didn¡¯t even have a first or second team all-league player and of course no All-Americans so it was very satisfying to win this, perhaps the most satisfying win that we¡¯ve had.
Sr., OH, Damien Scott
What caused the spark in game two when UCLA came back?
Jamie Diefenbach came in and got a few blocks and we started getting on a run. It was new energy that came out onto the court and we got fired up. I think that helped a lot. We got a couple aces and a couple hitting errors on their team helped us to come back from the eight point deficit.
What does it mean to go out like this as a senior?
It¡¯s really emotional; one of the best things ever. Everyone who wasn¡¯t a senior made it possible for the five of us to get a championship. It¡¯s been a goal ever since I came here; that¡¯s why I came here. Being a prestigious volleyball and academic school, nothing can get better than that and now having a ring, it¡¯s just great. It¡¯s great to go out like that. I can¡¯t explain it.
So., L Tony Ker
What was it like playing in a hostile arena?
I think it fires up the team even more. When we played in Hawaii two weeks ago we loved the loud crowd. Sometimes we pretend they¡¯re cheering for us and then when we get a good play we just silence the crowd and it makes you feel empowering. It definitely fires some of the players up and I think we thrive off that intensity.
Jr., Opp. Steve Klosterman
What has this weekend been like for you with winning the title and Most Outstanding Player?
It¡¯s unbelievable. We didn¡¯t really have the season I wanted to have last year. We started off slow this year; actually my first match of the season was against Penn State. I think I hit not even .100. I put in more effort and more work and good things happened.
On the team¡¯s confidence:
The whole season, once it got down to the end we just turned it on really hard. Nothing hits the floor, we end up getting big blocks, they end up hitting out and we end up with an ace here and there. It just always seems to work out in our favor. We really seem to turn on when it matters and it¡¯s been like that all season.
Is there a point where you felt you took the crowd out of the match?
It got pretty loud in there a couple times but sometimes it was dead quiet and it was a good feeling. When we started to get ahead and coming down the end of the stretch it got pretty quiet and we got a little adrenaline rush.