Dec. 1, 2007
USC Women of Troy
Head Coach Mick Haley
"Well wow, heck of a match. Long Beach played great. They were 6-1 in 5 game matches this year and we were 6-0. So when we got to that fifth game it was really special because there was 12-1 with both teams. I thought we did an exceptionally good job of running our system and passing. They really brought the heat on the serves there at the end. We were able to accommodate that and that was a big improvement for our team so I am really happy. I thought both teams really competed. If you were a spectator at this match you really could not help the intensity of both teams. We are really proud to be able to represent this area to go to the regionals. Either team would do a good job for sure because both teams really play their hearts out and they are fun to watch. I am just proud to be the coach of this team and have a chance to go on to the regionals."
On Taylor Carico:
"Carico is getting better and better. You can just see her maturing. For three games she was almost flawless. I think she almost played the best three games she has played all year. The fourth game she drained a little bit. That happens when she is so physical and jumps so much. I thought she came back in the fifth game and she really put an exclamation point on that fifteenth point. That was kind of nice and she has not forced it. Only in the fourth game did she force hitting that second ball. I think it was just that she got a bit tired and could not move her legs for a short time. I really was impressed not only with the way she competed tonight but with the way she executed. I think we have not nearly seen the best of Taylor yet. I think she is going to get a lot better with her setting as well as her offensive contribution."
On being down early in game 1:
On Carico's quick hits:
"I think when we got in the timeout it was 13-3. I kind of look at everybody first to see where we are and nobody seemed to be anything but a little frustrated. That was a good thing because that just met that they were going to pull themselves out of it. We went back out and it did not happen right away but we started to get those little runs, 2 and 3 points at a time. We got back in it and had a chance to win. That was really what we needed. We needed to get back in the match and have momentum. It would have been nice to win the game but I think that was the turning point when we fought back in the first game. Last night Long Beach came out like that against UNLV and just did a great job of dominating at the net the first 10 points or so. We warned our kids that they were going to be jacked up for this thing so be patient. They were pretty good to start with."
"That is strictly a see and respond kind of thing. A lot of times you do not know what the left front blocker is doing. When that blocker comes in on Taylor she knows she has something behind. If she disappears on her and the middle is watching the middle hitter that really gives her a seam. She did that really well against Stanford. That is the wonderful thing about Taylor's ability to do this. If she sees it then she knows that she has got the option. It is not always good for her to take it because then the ball does not go in the hitters hands enough and they do not get in a groove, so she was real good about not even using it before three games before she started taking advantage of it. So a lot of the time it is about putting it in your back pocket and waiting until you need it and use it when you got it."
On the team's schedule for the week:
"Probably two days of practice, travel day, three time zones, it usually takes one day per time zone to adjust. We are going to go three time zones and are going to only have one game to recover. We will need to hydrate, we will need to get everything out of our systems that we can on Thursday, and really focus in on Friday to play the match. Going East is much harder than going West. If you have ever gone from the East Coast to Europe you feel as if your body just does not work for about two days and it is difficult when you compete. Usually you need a day per time zone, and the rules do not let us go any earlier than we are going and neither do the finals so we need to take advantage of what we have. So Monday and Tuesday will mostly be tactical and get ready. Asia probably will not swing because she had another 82 swings tonight and we have to be very careful. The body is not made to do these superwoman things she is doing tonight. We need to take good care of he r. Diane Copenhagen hit 50 or 60 times today and she has an injury that we need to take care of. We have a lot of people to take care of and still stay focused on our opponents."
On Asia Kaczor:
"We certainly needed every single one of her kills tonight. We certainly appreciate her effort. She really gave us great leadership tonight. If you watched her in the huddle and on the court you saw her fighting spirit. However she was calm and really focused and that is when she plays the best. She had fun tonight. She had a good time with this and as long as she is having fun she is really going to play well. I have never seen a performance like her 44 and I have done this a long, long time. Every night I get to watch all of these kids play I think is pretty special because they are all doing things that are pretty close to the maximum that they can do and the others are getting better. It is all good for me."
On what was said after the 4th game to motivate them to win:
"It was our last home game here so give it your all. We are not going to be here again. We wanted to go to Florida."
On what the team will take from this game into the next round:
"We need to come out the first game more prepared."
On breaking the record for most kills in a season:
"I don't know I did not think about it so it did not really matter. As long as we keep playing and go on our road to Sacramento it does not really matter. It is just a game."
On her first experience in the NCAA Championships:
"Against Pepperdine it was different. The match felt different. I wanted to come out against Long Beach much stronger so my confidence could be higher tonight."
Long Beach State 49ers
Head Coach Brian Gimmillaro
"It was a hard fought game. Momentum turned back and forth several times throughout the match. It turned in their favor about halfway through the fifth game and they were able to hold on to that. I thought both teams fought hard."
On having such a hard regional matchup:
"There are guidelines for the seeding of the tournament. The guidelines are to seed the top sixteen. Sometimes it gets a little more spread out and sometimes it doesn't. I think the only rational I have been able to come up with over the years is that it is a cost-saving travel for women's volleyball. Sometimes, however, it has been spread out more. I would not have been happy if I was fifth in the nation, like USC, and to draw the people that were at this tournament. Many teams that were not ranked as well as USC got sent to easier places. Maybe at home is a positive, but to bring in such strong teams. We have faced many different things throughout the course of the year, but I knew that we would have one of our normally good teams. I did not think that this was going to be down, in fact I thought it was going to be up. You look at the stats Talaya [Whitfield] had 32 digs. That is in a field of pretty good volleyball players. I knew that even with Talaya's injur ies we had one of the best, if not the best libero. I thought we had the best middle blocker in Alexis [Crimes], and I have worked with many of the best middle blockers ever to play volleyball as young people and as students. I thought Michaela was one of the finest and most versatile players in the country that I have ever coached. So just those three alone, once I could get them healthy and practicing, I knew that this could be one of our very good teams. We faced more than what we wanted to face along the course of the year, but I knew traditionally that if we could get healthy we would be pretty darn good at the end of the year, and I think we were. It is a little tough to be in the second round with a five seed. The third or fourth round is different. It is tough because emotions and things like discipline and physical fitness and toughness come into measure later in the pool. It is very difficult to face a team that good on their home court in the second round. USC proved to be better. I am not sure there are a lot of teams in the country that are better."
On having many Long Beach fans in the stands:
"We appreciate our school. I think all big time schools like Long Beach State travel their band and cheerleaders to important NCAA events. I think when you work for a top university that type of thing is expected. When the fans come with them it is even better. I do not think it was a great drive today for the Long Beach fans, or any other fans. It is a statement to the quality of the individuals that play on our team and to the quality and support of the people who attend our university."
On playing five games tonight after playing five last night against UNLV:
"I do not think it was hard for me. We play a lot of five game matches so I do not think it was anything different then we have done before."
On having momentum going into game five:
"I definitely thought we had the momentum in game four. I never thought there was a time when we were slipping. I think we played our hearts out point for point. I never personally thought we were slipping at any time."
On arguing some calls in game five:
"I did not think they were correct. I knew that they were not correct and I felt that I needed to say what I had to say. I do not think that was the overall. I think the whole culmination of the game. I think it was a part of it but not the ending factor to it."
On playing her last game at Long Beach:
"I honestly have not thought about it. I am still in this moment, the moment of being Long Beach State. When the time comes to think about it I will, but right now I am still with Long Beach. This is my team. I will think about that stuff later on but right now I have not really thought about it. Right now it is just Long Beach State.
On having many Long Beach State fans in the stands:
"I think it provided us with a lot of energy. I think to come here the USC, with this not being our home court and to have a huge fan base was great. I think they did give us some energy. I think they were great all five games, cheering and it was wonderful having them here. I was proud to represent them. They were amazing and they really helped a lot."