Women's Volleyball
    NCAA First Round: USC-Fairfield Post-Match Quotes

    Nov. 29, 2012

    USC HEAD COACH Mick Haley

    Opening statement
    "I was really pleased with the team's performance, tonight, because they were focused. We had to create a lot of our own energy in the way of directing the ball where we wanted it to go. Our serving and passing were each very good. I thought we caught the other team off guard with our serving. They have two or three very good players who had been successful, all year, and we were able to do a good job of not allowing them to get a lot of balls. They gave good effort in games two and three when they got over their nervousness. We need to be ready for a good team, tomorrow." 

    On junior outside hitter Sara Shaw
    "She's always right on the spot. She always passes really well. You can count on her to handle the toughest server from the other team, every night. She's a player. She's just a player. She just wants to play. She will be tougher than nails and she's been like that for three years. When the dust clears, it's always Sara out there." 

    On the team's individual leader on the court
    "This is a team that's really done that by committee. [Katie] Fuller has done a good job. [Erin] Yoder has been an assistant captain. The person that brings the energy to the gym and really dictates our gym culture is Natalie Hagglund. She does it with her exceptional play. When she takes the best shot and best serve, you'll her body flying and she's all over the floor. She is so selfless. She is the person who is the energy of the team. We're not a one-person team. We're a real team."   

    Katie Fuller, Sr. OPP

    On the victory
    "It's always good to start out the NCAA tournament with a 3-0 win. It's not going to be like that, tomorrow, and it only gets harder form here on out. We're just going to take it one game at a time and play our best." 

    On setting the team's sights on the NCAA championship
    "The whole process from last year... to get to the final four is a great experience, but we have new team, this year. We all get along really well and have great chemistry, so I think our focus is to take it one game at a time. If you get ahead of yourself, a team can come in here and take you out, from behind." 

    On feeling the pressure as a senior to lead the team to a return to the NCAA semifinals
    "I think the only real pressure that I'm under is trying to make everyone else feel comfortable. The freshmen and everyone in between have done a great job, all year, which has made my job as a captain really easy." 

    Samantha Bricio, Fr. OH

    On the victory
    "I think we played really well, today. We did our best. We're just ready for the next one." 

    FAIRFIELD HEAD COACH ALIJA PITTENGER

    Opening statement
    "USC is a good team and they have a lot of amazing players. It was great to be a part of the tourney. It was a tough loss, but we're definitely happy to have made it here." 

    On the state of the Fairfield program
    "I think the great thing about our program--with us on the rise--is that we've got great academics and athletics [at Fairfield], so you're going to have a great experience, both ways. I think this team is really tough, so it's a great combination of both of those aspects of college." 

    KARA REIS, Sr. LIB

    On coming out to California for the first round
    "The trip was fun. It was long. Traveling is always was rough, but I'm from California and my whole family got to see me play. I couldn't have asked for a better place to end my career. Our team chemistry is so great and I love the girls I get to play with. Everyone was a little nervous, but I don't think we let the nerves get to us. The whole experience was amazing."

    On the future of the Fairfield volleyball program
    "I think our appearance in the NCAA tournament holds high standards for the school in general. We were ranked No. 1 at the beginning of the season and right away, we had a target on our backs. We peaked at the perfect time. We peaked right before MAAC's and then we won. I think the program is in store for great things."

    RACHEL ROMANSKY, Jr. S

    On the NCAA appearance
    "I think it was a huge accomplishment for us. When I got here as a freshman, I thought we were going to the NCAA each year. Each year, it's been a struggle and we've had to battle. We finally got here. When we played Siena in the final match of the MAAC championship, that's the best I've ever seen us play. For us to play as hard as we did--it sucks to lose--but I love these girls. I think it's a huge accomplishment for such a small school."