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Penn State-Nebraska Women's Volleyball NCAA Semifinal Post-Match Quotes

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Dec. 18, 2008

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2008 NCAA Women's Volleyball NCAA National Semifinal Quotes - Penn State & Nebraska

Penn State Quotes
Head Coach Russ Rose

Opening Statement
"I thought it was a match that had a couple different paths in it. The first couple of games we were controlling the ball well and hitting. 400. The subsequent games we had difficulty passing. I thought our outside hitters got tired. But we found a way to win. At the end of the match we had a server who found a seam. I thought we competed hard. I was pleased. It's a good opponent with an incredibly tough venue to play in with 17,000 people. We feel very fortunate to have had the ability to come back and play well and win the match."

Head Coach Russ Rose
About calling the timeout down 10-8 in fifth set - strategy or emotion
"We were in trouble before 10-8. I thought the crowd made such an energy boost to Nebraska. They were always going to be in the match. We needed to seize control and really put them away. We did that in the first couple of games. It's a long game in a sequence like that. We needed to get a side out and get a point and we were able to do that."

Head Coach Russ Rose
About playing Stanford
"It means we won the match tonight. We didn't really care about losing games. The goal is to win the match. Stanford showed a lot of fight after being down 2-0 to Texas. We're familiar with their roster as they're familiar with ours. I think it will be a less taxing match unless the entire crowd is for Stanford in the next match."

Senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett
About what was going through her mind when PSU was down 10-9 and she stepped back to serve
"I think that the biggest thing that was going through my mind was getting points. At the end we were really focused. Just keep it going and keep the momentum going our way was real important."

Junior setter Alisha Glass
About losing a set for the first time this season
"You have to take it one set at a time. We always talk, even when we're down a set in a game. Coach always says if you lose this one it's going to be OK. I know you're going to come out swinging with the next one. The ultimate goal is to win the match."

Senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto
About losing a set for the first time this season.
"I think Nebraska came out strong in that third game. They were pushing some points on us. Then they put the pressure on. I thought we fought hard. Nebraska is a great opponent. In those situations that's what playing in these types of environment is all about. I thought we came together as a team. We're excited to play for the national championship."

Junior outside hitter Megan Hodge
About whether or not she was tired
"I felt OK. You have so much adrenaline. You have 17,000 people out there so you're going to play hard just because of the situation."

Nebraska Quotes
Head Coach John Cook

Opening Statement
"I want to thank our fans. I got a chance to catch the five o'clock news and I know there was a storm coming in and ice. I saw people ready to camp out if they had to, to be at this match tonight. I know it's a hard night's travel and we broke an attendance record. It's just an awesome statement for the state of Nebraska and how they support our team.

"I thought it was a great match tonight, we had our chances to finish it at the end, but Penn State is a great team. I don't think anybody thought at the beginning of the year that we would be in the (NCAA Semifinal) and of the three teams besides Nebraska here, we beat two of them and had a shot to beat the third. But there is a reason they are defending champions and they showed it at the end of game five."

"The other thing I told the team was that I think next week, I'm not sure anyone is going to remember if we won or lost this match. All they're going to remember is that these three seniors and this team wore the Nebraska uniform. That is what they are going to remember. I have never had so much fun coaching a match as we had tonight."

Head Coach John Cook
On the effect of the five-set rally by Stanford in the earlier match
"I don't think it had any bearing on our match, I was worried after the first two games against Penn State and we were in trouble. I told the team at the beginning of game three that I just told the whole country on national TV that we were going make a come back and win this so let's go. I think they gave a great effort. You saw us play last week, this team competes every point and they never quit."

Head Coach John Cook
On the hustle plays
"We won our share of them, but that is what impressed me the most about Penn State, they are a huge physical team, but they really do a great job of bettering the ball. In those long rallies they're getting great swings out of chaos plays. But our team was very good at that as well tonight. We did a great job and that allowed us to stay in that match and have a shot to win it. I think the symbolic point in the match was when Lindsey Licht one handed that thing back over, I hope that thing makes ESPN's Top Ten."

Jordan Larson
On the lasting impression of this season
"I think everything that started back in January. We had a lot of stuff going on, we found a way to be great and we never gave up. There were times in this game that we could have gave up, very easily. This team has heart, we weren't done and I think we left it all out there. We should be proud and hold our heads high."

Head Coach John Cook
On the importance of the camouflage jacket
"After we lost at Colorado, we decided that we had to fight a lot harder when teams came at us and that was really our first punch in the gut, the match that we had. So the next day at practice, to use as a metaphor, we brought in the camo. It was in every practice and actually traveled with us for the rest of the year. Kori [Cooper] just happened to bring it on the bench and wear it against Washington and so it stayed. But it's been with us since the Colorado match to remind us how hard we have to fight as a team and it is a great metaphor for us."

Head Coach John Cook
On losing the momentum when leading at 10-8 in set five
"Penn State forces you to play at such a high level, and I told our team that they are going to dare us to be great. If you just give them an inch they make you pay. It was the difference in putting the ball right to Sydney [Anderson] and pulling her off a little bit. That was the defining moment of the match right there, that little run. When you get to the end of game five, you can't give up a little run, that cost us."

Tara Mueller
On her diving dig that preceded Lindsey Licht's
"Everyone was just not going to let that ball drop, no matter where it was. That is the kind of effort that we try to play with all the time. It definitely sums up this team and how bad we fight and how bad we play for each other, we'll get anything up."

Head Coach John Cook
On mentioning this was the most fun he had coaching in one match
"We have a saying in coaching, when the sum of a team is better than its parts, that is the greatest joy, in my opinion, in coaching. That is what I talk about in coaching clinics and to young coaches. If you can get a team to do that, it is a true measure of a great coaching job and this team did it. You just can't help but fall in love with this team. This whole night tonight, realizing we were in front of a huge crowd, we're playing maybe the greatest team ever, we'll find out Saturday night. A team that hadn't lost a set and we're just battling every point. I tell them to have fun and enjoy it, soak in every minute and it was just so much fun. Penn State is such a great team and they force you to play at such a high level, and I saw our team rise to that challenge tonight."

Jordan Larson
On summing up her career
"It's been an exciting journey these last four years. I'm glad to end my career in the Qwest, in Nebraska. This is where I started and this is where I ended. I was just a small town girl that was happy to be at the University, it's been a big deal."

Amanda Gates
On summing up her career
"This experience has definitely been such a blessing. This journey and this team meant so much to me and having a national championship in 2006. [This team] led up to so many expectations that nobody had. Believing in ourselves is what got us here. I'm just so proud of our team, and I don't want it to end. Like Jordan (Larson) said, we started here and we ended here so we couldn't ask for anything more."




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