Dec. 3, 2004
2004 NCAA VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
FIRST ROUND MATCH: Eastern Kentucky vs. Tennessee
Dec. 3 * Stokely Athletics Center * Knoxville, Tenn.
Tennessee Coach Rob Patrick
"I was very pleased with our play. We had a game plan we went into the match with, and the team did a really fine job of taking that game plan and applying it to the match, so I was really happy with that. We were very motivated for this match. You're always looking for motivation in matches, and this team deserves a tremendous amount of respect for what it's done this year. We felt that with the type of schedule we played in our preseason and our SEC schedule that we deserve a lot of respect.
"Well, they're a hard team to play. They're a very good defensive team, and we knew that. One of the things we had to do was be patient. They're a little bit smaller than we are and don't hit the ball as hard, but we took what they gave us, and I thought the team did a great job of doing that. We played even with them in digs, and they're about third or fourth in the country in digs per game. I really thought the areas we were going to be successful in were getting more kills than them and making their hitters have more errors than us. Although I would have liked to see more blocks, we did force them into more errors, which really helped us win the match fairly comfortably."
Tennessee Middle Blocker Sarah Blum
"When you're going up against a squad, you don't know if they're going to swing or tip the ball. They started tipping after we blocked them, so they became a little unpredictable there. We knew they were going to tip us some, so we had to get ready for that."
Tennessee Outside Hitter Amy Morris
"It's always good to get the first win out of the way. I think we always come in feeling a little nervous and not sure how we're going to play, and you could see in the first game we were a little nervous and not doing what we usually do. After getting past that first game, we started to get strong, and I think that's going to help us tomorrow."
Eastern Kentucky Coach Lori Duncan
"We're a little disappointed in the result. Certainly, we wish it had been different. I felt like, and this has happened before, that we came out in game one and gave it away.
"Then, it was 16-30 in game two and, again, that's very uncharacteristic of us. I have a feeling it has a lot to do with not being tournament-tested. Once you get here and have been here before, you know what to expect. Not to take anything away from Tennessee, a fabulous volleyball team, but I don't get to work with them every day like I work with this one. I still think this is a very special year, and the individuals who collectively make up this team are very special.
"Again, it all comes down to dealing with pressure, being in these situations. Had we been in these situations in the past, I think we might have had a different result.
"That wasn't our best performance tonight. That probably wouldn't even rank in the top 15 performances we've had this year, and that's hard. Is that because Tennessee created that or because we just weren't able to perform? It was probably a combination of both."
Eastern Kentucky Outside Hitter Lesley Aldridge
"I agree with coach. We didn't play half as well as we could have. That's basically it."