Dec. 4, 2009
HEAD COACH Rob Patrick
(Opening statement): "I'm very pleased with the effort the team put out today. One of the things we've been talking about with our team is improving our serving and to be more effective with our serve. Over the last four games the team has done a tremendous job of focusing and making that change. The second thing is this team did a great job of following the game plan - both offensively and defensively. That's another thing our team has done a very nice job of. We played a very good Duke team. They were very well-prepared. They were not making a lot of errors. They made us play at a high level. And when we did we were able to be successful. When we didn't, Duke took advantage of that - especially in the third game.
(On moving on to play Minnesota on Saturday in the NCAA Tournament second round): "This is the third match in the last four that we've played a team ranked in the RPI top-30. Our team is playing very consistently at a high level. Very fortunate for us, one of those matches ended up being in the NCAA tournament. Winning a match in the NCAA Tournament is a big step. Now we play a very tough, seasoned Minnesota team. They present a lot of challenges. All you ever want in the NCAA Tournament is an opportunity to go another step, and we get that opportunity tomorrow."
(On Tennessee's incredible fourth set): "The biggest thing that changed was Kayla Jeter and our left-side blockers did a tremendous job of adjusting where we were setting the block. Duke did a great job in the third set of running some offensive plays. We didn't do a good job of defending in the third set, but Kayla and Kylie (Marshall) did a nice job of adjusting with our blocking in the fourth. We were able to slow them down, and then Nikki (Fowler) picked up her game to another level. Offensively and blocking-wise, she took over her side of the net. She dominated that right side of the court. Jeter, Marshall and Fowler stepped up and made some big plays.
SOPHOMORE OUTSIDE HITTER Kayla Jeter
(On Minnesota's height advantage with 6-6 hitter Tabi Love): "(Tabi Love) is a big block out there. She's powerful. The SEC has prepared does though. We've faced team that can really slam the ball. We're just going to play volleyball and do what we do. We're going to stay focused, stay calm and take over whoever we're playing."
(On playing at home for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament): "I definitely think playing at home gave us an advantage with our crowd here. We've played against ACC schools in the past and its rough because they have a crowd against us, but we had the crowd tonight. We were comfortable. We were 12-1 here this season, and we were able to take care of business on our home court here tonight."
JUNIOR OUTSIDE HITTER Nikki Fowler
(On allowing Duke's big run down the stretch of the third set): "I think we lost focus. We'll need to come out stronger against Minnesota. I think we rebounded well in the fourth set after the third, though."
(On winning her first NCAA Tournament match after losing in the first round last year): "We've had a grudge against ACC schools in general. We lost in the first round to Clemson last year, and we wanted to prove that we can beat school from that conference this year."
Head coach Jolene Nagel (Opening statement): "I feel like Tennessee played tremendous tonight. They played a really good match and executed well. We wish them the best as they move forward and advance in the tournament. We're disappointed in the outcome but this has been one of the most enjoyable teams that I've ever had the opportunity to coach. This is hard for us but at the same time the rewards we've received from being a part of this group will last forever."
(On the 16-4 that Tennessee opened game four with): "I can't explain that one. Wouldn't that be great if I really understood that myself and could prevent that from happening? Tennessee maintained their aggressiveness and right away, we weren't able to handle the serve like we're normally able to and we couldn't run our offense. We needed to control the ball better when we touched it and we weren't able to do that at the start of game four."
(On Tennessee's strengths as a team): "I think they handle the serve really, really well. Their blocking--they out blocked us by quite a bit tonight and I thought they did a great job with that. Defensively, they're pretty hard to crack as well. I personally think those are their strengths: their block, defense and serve receive.
Senior outside hitter Rachael Moss (On her career at Duke): "I speak for the whole team when I say that we didn't expect for this to end. At the same time, I'm proud of the way we played tonight. I felt like we were playing together as a team but everything didn't really click. Those kinds of matches are the most frustrating where it's something intangible. Right now, the only thing that's running through my head is that my career as a collegiate student athlete is over and that's surreal. Duke has really given a lot to me and I'm just blessed to have made it this far with such a great team and a great group of girls. Right now, I'm just reflecting on it and thinking back and I'm grateful."
Sophomore setter Kellie Catanach (On what this season meant to her): "I think I speak for everyone when I say that the experiences we've had this year have been amazing and in some cases, life changing. Our team did an amazing job this year of staying calm and relaxed. We didn't get frazzled in tight situations and we loved playing together. It made coming to practice every day and playing in matches so much better."
(On the team's senior leadership): "The seniors for us have been huge. I don't think we would've made it this far or be the people we are without our seniors. I'm sure everyone in the locker room is so grateful for everything they've given us and I think that's the biggest disappointment for me right now--that I don't get to play with them anymore."