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Tennessee-Virginia Postgame Quotes



Nov. 22, 2009

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Virginia Head Coach Debbie Ryan

On the turning point in the game:
"In the second half, we cut it to three or four and it was a pressure point in the game and Tennessee took advantage of it and we didn't. We came up empty on a few possessions and we were playing behind the rest of the way."

On the play of younger players:
"We got a lot of good things from really young players today. Other than Monica Wright, we have five freshmen and four sophomores. They'll take this experience and build on it. This is a game that is early in the year and win or lose, it helps you."

On playing hard:
"Today we played with great enthusiasm and toughness. I think that's the hardest we've played all year. It was a physical game and I was glad to see us stand up to it."

On the record-breaking crowd:
"The environment was absolutely fantastic. I can't say enough about it. Our town stepped up for us, Charlottesville, as well as the surrounding area. They were cheering the entire game. It just goes to show we can attract a good crowd and our team is ready to step up and perform at a really high level every night. This is a really great group of kids."

On preparing for this game:
"We have a great scout team but they don't play as hard as Tennessee does. For a game in November, to be like this, it does nothing but help you."

On the team's upcoming games at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas:
"We have a tough stretch coming up. Indiana, and then Charlotte or South Dakota State, and then home to play Purdue. We have a ways to go."

Virginia Guard Monica Wright
On Tennessee's improvement since last season:
"I would definitely say they were much more physical than they were last year. That one year of experience does a lot for a first-year class of All-Americans so they did look better. They were a lot more in sync and physical. They just had more experience."

On closing the gap to four points:
"At those points we definitely need to take advantage of that momentum and make a run. We need to understand that that is when we need to buckle down and make stops - at those points. With that said, anything can happen."

On the team's feelings after such a tough loss:
"I think we definitely want to learn from the mistakes that happened in the game, but at the same time, we don't want to dwell on it. Once this game is wrapped up, it's over and we need to move on to the next game. We need to try not to make the same mistakes twice and move on from there. We definitely have a tough game coming in Indiana with a much more physical opponent. We can't let Tennessee beat us twice so we definitely have to move on."

On Tennessee's program:
"Games like this is what we come to Virginia for. Tennessee is a prestigious program and they have a tradition of excellence - national championship after national championship. It is just amazing playing against teams like that."

Virginia Center Simone Egwu

On what adjustments she made going up against Kelley Cain:
"We all were aware that she was so big. We practiced for two days preparing to go up against somebody like that - how to get around her, how to use our quickness against her."

On starting the Cavaliers' first three games:
"It was pretty unnerving at first to be a first-year and get so much playing time but I have a really supportive team that helps me get through it and overcome the jitters. I feel pretty confident at this point and I really have faith in my team that they'll understand when I make those freshman mistakes."

Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt

Opening Statement:
"First of all, [it was a] great environment for a women's game and this game between Tennessee and Virginia. I thought both teams left it all on the court. It was intense; it was hard fought. I obviously think that Glory Johnson was huge for us in the paint as well as Kelley Cain but [I was] pleased that we got a lot of help from a lot of different people and answered their runs. They're tough and their guard play was a big challenge for us, but I thought we really stepped up and did a good job of defending overall. I am really pleased with Glory and Kelley Cain and her presence and what it means to us when you have someone who can anchor down the paint. Overall, we got a lot of good play from a lot of good players and I'm just glad we could hang on and also have the toughness we had down the stretch."

On the need to prove something after falling to Virginia in Knoxville last season:
"We have grown a lot and last year was a little painful because it was hard to know who was going to show up and play with the inconsistency. We weren't as competitive; we didn't have that toughness and that edge to us. I think this team put in some great summer workouts and that made a big difference because they went in and worked with strength coach Heather Mason. In her seven years, she said it's the most workouts a team has invested, so that's huge because we have had a lot of great players and we have had a lot of people very invested. As a team collectively, they were the best."

On defensive strategy:
"We went primarily with our match up in the first half and the second half, we went to our switching man and I thought that kept us in front of them in most possessions, but they are so quick and do a great job of getting by. Their guard play is really strong. Monica Wright is just a special player."

On national recognition for Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan:
"I think Debbie is very well respected and obviously she has had a lot of great teams, had a lot of success. Her players graduate. She continues to be able to recruit at a high level and she does it the right way and that's how we want to see it done."

Tennessee Forward Glory Johnson

On head coach Pat Summitt's expectations coming into the game:
"She said she wanted us to win a significant game the right way. She did not want us to start out slow, or finish by just hanging with the team. She wanted us to play to our ability and show her the talent we have."

On using the zone defense:
"When we first started practicing it we were hesitant, but we trusted our coaches to know what they were doing. We trust the system and listen to everything they tell us. It has worked well so far."

On defending Virginia's Monica Wright:
"She scored 35 points against us last year, so we wanted to make sure that never happened again. Today she was hitting her shots, and creating her own shots all game. We slowed her down by putting our hands in her face, but is an all-around good player."

Tennessee Guard Angie Bjorklund

On using screens more this season:
"Coach [Summitt] has really emphasized setting and using screens this year, and we take that very seriously. My teammates do a great job of setting screens. Plus if they roll off of the screen they are open, so using screens works to everyone's advantage."

On having a shooter's mentality:
"You just have to focus on the rim. Don't worry about the defense, just think about shooting your shot."

 

 

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