Dec. 8, 2012
Final Stats |
2012 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship
Austin Regional | Hosted by University of Texas
Post-match Press Conference | Gregory Gym
** Transcription courtesy of Texas Athletic Media Relations **
USC HEAD COACH MICK HALEY
"I’d like to say how proud I am of my team. I thought we were going to have to rebuild this team this year, but we were actually able to reload. We gave our very best effort tonight. I think you really have to pat the home team on the shoulder from the serving to the defense, which hasn’t always been their greatest trait. Their two offensive weapons were very good. We’ve done well against that all year, so I think you really have to give Texas a high mark here, and if they continue to play like this, I think they have a chance to win. We were pleased to be able to play to a crowd like this for two nights. We had to go to Hawaii last year and play in front of 9,000 each night and that was really fun – much more fun because we won – but still fun tonight. We didn’t win tonight, but I think we enjoyed the opportunity to play in this environment and I hope that we will absolutely get better because we had that opportunity. We’re going to use every bit of this to help us get better. Since we’re hosting the regional next year, I’m sure they’ll send Texas to Los Angeles, so I’m sure we’ll see them again."
On not having an answer against Texas
"In the first set, we didn’t have an answer because they did to us what we normally do to most of the people the last 16 or 17 matches to the opponent, which is driving them off and backing them up with our service. A really important thing to say about Texas is that their serve-receive was exceptionally good tonight and when they weren’t good, they were good at hitting out of system. In other words the high set and off the net, and they were still able to get their kills. I’m still not quite sure why we had so much trouble defending. I’ll have to watch it on the video, but it’s something we need to practice, because the style they played we haven’t been able to practice against so we will probably need to do that now. When I coached the Olympic team the Russians played like this and as a coach I know how to play against it, but as a player it’s a little bit harder. I thought our kids battled really well. We didn’t have an answer when we couldn’t run the middle. In the third set, we couldn’t run the middle as well as we wanted to set up our outsides and we weren’t as patient as we needed to be. You’ve got all those people yelling and you’re down 2-0, but I think it’s something we can grow from."
On the difference between Texas against Florida and Texas tonight
"They flipped the middle for the third game last night against Florida and they came back with that tonight. That helped [Khat] Bell get out of the middle and get to the outside, but they put Molly [McCage] next to the setter and that was something different. They had a definite mismatch with [Haley] Eckerman over our setter, but we probably could have accommodated that. [Bailey] Webster hurt us the most and I really felt we had our best block on Webster so we lost both ways. We didn’t stop Webster or slow her down and Eckerman still got 10 kills. That should not have in itself have hurt, but the fact that we gave them 18 kills, and they’re averaging about 14 kills, so they not only got those four points, but they hurt us with the serve. If you take the errors that we made and the good plays they made, they made a serious increase in their production over the last three of four weeks. Their numbers tonight are significantly better than the last few games, so their coaching staff has to be very pleased with the improvement over the last three weeks in performance."
KATIE FULLER, Sr. OPP
On defending Texas’ outside hitters
"Hitting against the left side blockers is always a challenge, but they’re big and that’s pretty much the only difference between them and the other outside hitters I’ve faced."
On Texas compared to other teams they’ve faced
"I think they’re tied with the best teams we’ve played this season. They are definitely hot at the right moment."