Dec. 4, 2004
2004 NCAA VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
SECOND ROUND MATCH: Texas A&M vs. Tennessee
Dec. 4 * Stokely Athletics Center * Knoxville, Tenn.
Tennessee Coach Rob Patrick
"We had a game plan that we had to put together pretty quickly, because we didn't really scout Texas A&M very much until after we won our match and scouted them and watched film. I thought the team did a really good job of following our game plan, especially in terms of our blocking. We had 75 digs, which I thought was pretty good, and I think we had an opportunity to dig more balls, but our block had a huge effect on the game. I also thought the hitters did a really nice job against a really big, athletic Texas A&M block. When our passing was on, we were pretty much able to run our offense to whomever we needed. Julie did a tremendous job of setting up the match with the choices she made and putting the ball in the right area. I take my hat off to Texas A&M, because they played a great match."
Tennessee Senior Outside Hitter Michelle Piantadosi
"In the back of our minds, we know that if we take care of our game and do our thing, then everything is going to take care of itself. I think Julie (Knytych) and I clicked really well tonight, and we have been having trouble the last couple of games. I think the defense definitely helped, and they played outstanding tonight and hit every single ball right to Julie, and she distributed it really well."
Texas A&M Coach Laurie Corbelli
"We came up against a team that was really tough on their home court. Home court advantage is incredibly huge in this sport, and we've been fortunate over the years to get to host and have earned hosts and seeds. This year, for whatever reasons, we didn't, and we got a really tough team on their home court.
"It's not really relating to the crowd. It's just the comfort level that you have when you are at home, the familiarity of all the surroundings and all the things you've experienced on that court. They played an awesome match. They had a great game plan, and they played a great match.
"I thought we were right there, even though we were really off. We typically don't hit 18 percent as a team. We typically hit .260 or .270. I think we match up really well with this team, but it wasn't our night. That's the only way I can explain it.
"Tennessee's a great team; they played a great game. They had scouted us well. We spend our whole day as coaches scouting our opponents, and they had tried to scout Munsch, but they didn't know if Munsch was going to play or not two days ago, and neither did we. She had a major sprain of her ankle and hadn't played for 10 days until last night, so they knew they had to stop her and had to stop Jones, and they couldn't do that.
"They have a huge block, no question, but it was a difference of only three in the match (11 blocks to 8), and I think we've seen bigger blocks from Nebraska and Kansas State. Lots of teams in our league block as well Tennessee, if not better, on a consistent basis. This is the first I've ever seen them, so I don't know if that's one of their huge strengths. It didn't look like it from the numbers. But they are a good team.
Texas A&M Senior Middle Blocker Melissa Munsch
"We had a couple of letdowns, and we had moments where we really came out and fought. The team that we usually are, is the team that fights all the time for every ball. For whatever reason, it wasn't happening for us tonight."