Dec. 1, 2006
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Rob Patrick:
"I'm really proud of the way we fought today. Every single player that went in there played their hearts out. We did not play as well as we wanted to, but that had a little bit had to do with how Duke played. I think the difference in this match was the unforced errors that we had while hitting. Even with all those unforced errors, we put ourselves in a position to be successful. We just fell a little bit short.
On what he said to the team before Game 2:
"We were making too many errors. We were passing and controlling the ball fairly well, but we would make a net error at the wrong time. We made a lot of hitting errors when we did not need to make hitting errors and put no pressure on Duke to play the game. I thought that if we put some pressure on them to play, we would come out on top. Our passing, digging and serving was pretty good."
On the performance of the freshmen:
"The freshmen did a great job. A lot of our freshmen, Chloe (Goldman), Kylie (Marshall), and Jaye (Loyd), were passing. But who was passing there with them all the time? It was Annie (Sadowski). Annie was the rock, but the freshmen did a real nice job of supporting her. In terms of her hitting, they defended Kylie really well. She did not really hit for us until the end of the year, so she was very comfortable playing that position. She had nine digs, passed the ball very well and was, for the most part, putting the block in the right place. I could not be happier for the future of our team, with them getting that type of experience, and then having great role models to follow in Sarah (Blum) and Annie."
On seniors Sadowski and Blum:
"The thing that I am most proud of, is that these two came to the University of Tennessee before Tennessee had a name. They made a commitment to this program to make a name. It was not easy to come to Tennessee because we were not ranked and had never been to the finals of the SEC Tournament. We had won some matches, but that is about it. They made a commitment to come here and take us to uncharted territory. I will always be thankful to them for that."
"They are a very scrappy team. They took advantage of their opportunities when they got a ball up. It might not have been a perfect set, but they still took a great swing and were more aggressive than us at the end of the game."
On playing at home:
"It is always nice playing in front of your home crowd, but Duke was a great team and we knew that they were not going to just hand it to us. Like Rob said, we had some unforced errors that, if we had cut down on them, it might have made the game swing in a different direction. I think we are leaving our underclassmen with something to look forward to next season."
On her career at UT:
"One of the things that I was looking at coming into college was a team that would challenge me to play better. My experience at Tennessee was that, every single year we got better as a team, with team chemistry, on and off the court. It was an amazing experience. Hopefully the people who are still going to be playing here will take advantage of every minute, because it does go by really fast. I remember my visit prior to my freshman year, and it seems like yesterday. I'm taking away a Final Four ring, SEC Championship ring, and that is something that my friends and other volleyball peers can not say. I feel really proud that I have been on such a great team the last four years."
It seemed like Duke was getting more swings. When a ball came over, they were capitalizing and taking swings whereas we probably just tipped the ball over. They were a little more aggressive toward the end. We played kind of passive."
On her career at Tennessee:
"Playing volleyball in college was a great experience, you never know what it is going to be like. Coming in our freshman year, it was tough. Being with the team every day, you make the best friends in the world. There is nothing better than being in the same group of people every day. That is just an experience that I will never forget. I am so happy I came to this school and made all these friends, and it's something I'll never forget for the rest of my life."
DUKE HEAD COACH JOLENE NAGEL:
"I think it was a really hard-fought match tonight. It was very difficult to get any runs going. Tennessee passed really, really well. We couldn't serve them to take them out of their offense. And our team was passing very well, too. But I think both teams did a great job of going at each other, back and forth, all night long. I'm so proud of our team, the way we didn't get frustrated. Not that we ever do, but it would have been easy to get down in that situation because you have to fight for ever single point. I think we played well. There's some things we would have like to have done better so we could get some runs going, but I think our team did a great job of fighting and hanging in there."
On overcoming unforced errors:
"We did have a lot of errors, but we try to forget about those errors so that we don't let them bring us down too much mentally. I think the great thing was that we did a lot of positive things, and we did them at crucial times. I think we did a great job of touching a lot of balls on the block, which allowed us to play some defense, and putting those away for kills. I think we did some things to overcome it, but timing was on our side. That match could have gone either way. Our team made some things happen in game four, and I'm really proud of that."
On defending UT's players:
"I thought their setter (Chelsea Noble) did a great job. She played great defense, and moved the ball around well. I think they did a great job as a team. Each sideout was critical, for us and for them. There were no breaks. Every single time, we had to be thinking ahead or we weren't going to be able to score that point. That's why we play volleyball, and that's what makes it so much fun. Their middles did a very good job for them tonight."
On being the first to beat UT in a home NCAA game:
"Our coach never told us they had never lost; we were told that after the game. We didn't have that on our backs. We knew we had to play strong, they were going to come at us. We had to be aggressive and have high intensity."
On defending UT's players:
"Number 15 (Kelsey Fautsch) played really well, I thought she had more kills than she really had, she aimed high and our block couldn't get it."
On her performance:
"I think I was able to have a lot of success with my attack. They were focusing so much on blocking our hitters that they would forget about me, that I could go up and attack. I felt like I could set anybody, and they would put the ball down for me. We distributed the ball very well. I knew that was the key to our success."