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Dec. 6, 2008
Head Coach Russ Rose
"I thought we played with a little better energy today. The serving was much better, Nicole (Fawcett) went on a real good run and Roberta had five aces. I thought we served well and there was certainly a better effort than we had yesterday."
Can you talk about how when you served well like you did tonight, how that brings a higher level of play all around?
"It also certain exposes us to being in trouble when we don't serve well. Today we served well and it allowed the block to get position well. There weren't a lot of digs to be had today but I thought our defense was okay. After kind of a shaky start at the beginning we found ourselves in a good rhythm and we were in control."
What do you tell the team going into next weekend to keep the energy?
"I tell them the same thing I tell them at the beginning of the season: that they have a great opportunity but they need to play well and work hard and they need to play together. Whether it's the early part of the season where you've scheduled some competitive matches or the way your conference schedule works, once you get into the NCAA tournament, the stakes are higher, the pressure is higher and everyone has the same record as you advance on. Whoever we play next weekend will be 2-0 in the NCAA tournament and we're going to have to play at a higher level, and I think they understand that, they've heard it from me numerous times and I trust they'll be ready to play."
Can you talk about Yale's play tonight?
"Well I saw Yale play last night and I thought they played significantly better than when we saw them earlier in the year. It's an understatement to say they are a bright collection of volleyball players. A lot of those kids are coming from competitive programs and they positioned themselves yesterday to win an important match against the MAC champions. I thought we were tentative early and at one point we had given them half of their points, but you have to recognize that there are some disadvantages that exist when the Ivy League schools are playing scholarship schools. That win last night for Yale, I thought was great on a personal note because (head coach) Erin (Appleman) was a part of our staff here so I'm more excited for her. I don't take any pleasure in playing them but it was certainly a great win and they earned it last night."
Megan Hodge, Junior Outside Hitter
It seemed like a lot of the swings you took, even though there were a lot of blockers in front of you, it seemed like you went over the top was there a reason for that?
"No, not really. The block was there for a purpose but it wasn't intentional hitting over. I usually was just trying to hit line because they were taking a lot of the crosscourt."
Alisha Glass, Junior Setter
As a team, were you trying to do more tonight and work together and get more intensity than last night?
"Yes, I think it's important to have fun out there because it's something that we love doing and without that, it's not exciting for people to see and we don't have energy. So yes, that is something we tried to work on tonight."
Head coach Erin Appleman
"I thought it was a terrific season based on where we came from and what we did. Our goal all along has been to improve from day one to the end of the year, and I definitely think we did that. Obviously you're never happy with a loss, but if you're going to lose, at least you lose to the number one seed."
On Penn State's serving:
"I think their serving is what really helps them. Obviously they're offensive, but there are a lot of offensive teams out there. The way they attack the ball from the end line really gets people on their heels right away, and their block becomes much bigger and their defense much quicker. Their serves are very, very tough. I think that's one of the reasons they are where they're at."
On the difference between the last time they played Penn State:
"Probably night and day, especially in that first game. I'm thrilled we were able to come in September and play them, because then I think the crowd got the better of us. We're not used to playing in front of such a large crowd. The way they dominated the net affected us more then. This time we just went out and did our thing and let it go wherever it went, but we were much more confident in what we could do and what we could bring. I didn't notice that the crowd affected our players this time."
Ally Mendenhall, Senior Setter
On the first game:
"We had a lot of energy coming into this match. I think the match yesterday gave us a lot of confidence. So we went into it thinking we were going to play point-by-point, we're not going to let their big swings upset us, and we're going really celebrate the points that we get. So it was confidence going in from last night's match, and it was an exciting feeling and it was definitely great to go out knowing that we played with them. Especially that first game."
Cat Dailey, Junior Outside Hitter
On the first game:
"I think we really proved something to ourselves especially after the first time we played them. This time we really went in with no fear and nothing to lose with a great attitude I thought in the pre-game rituals and the warm-up. I think we proved ourselves that we can compete at a really high level, and the fact that we could hang with these guys for a while was really exciting."
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