March 9, 2011
MADISON, Wis. -- In preparation for this weekend's NCAA quarterfinal round, UWBadgers.com caught up with senior Kelly Nash (Bonita, Calif.) to get her take on the Badgers' matchup against Minnesota Duluth at the Kohl Center.
Q: How does the team feel about drawing Minnesota Duluth in the quarterfinals? Does the fact that you've already played them four times this year help the team feel any more comfortable?
Nash: It was definitely a shock when we first heard that we drew Minnesota Duluth. I actually thought that they were just announcing all the teams before they announced who we were playing. It was a shock to us, but I think we can use it to our advantage. We've played them four times this season and they have a lot of the same players as last season, so we're used to them and hopefully we can take that into consideration.
Q: What would you say the mood is like in the locker room right now? Are you any calmer now that you've gotten through the first part of the playoffs in the WCHA Final Face-off?
Nash: Honestly, from what I've heard from other people I think there's a lot more nervousness and anxiety going on right now. A lot of our team hasn't played this far into the season. We got knocked out last year and it's about half and half of people who have been through it and people who haven't. But I think the nervousness is good because people are saying they're just as excited for it also.
Q: As a senior, what do you and the other upper classmen do to keep some of the sophomores and freshman comfortable and make sure they don't get too nervous?
Nash: We just try to keep them calm. It's only the beginning of the week and some people are nervous about it already in practice. We just have to play it like any other game, especially with how we've been playing this season.
Q: What is the team doing to prepare for Minnesota Duluth? What things are you working on and what do you have to watch out for specifically against them?
Nash: Specifically with Minnesota Duluth, they have some really talented individuals on their team. Some of them are even back on defense now, and they have those few people that can carry it from one end of the ice all the way to the other, so we have to focus in on that a lot. They have a lot of stick-handlers on their team too, and we have to prepare out defense for that. They're not scared to challenge our defense one on one, so we have to be aware of that.
The No.1-seeded Badgers host Minnesota Duluth at the Kohl Center on Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. CT.
Tickets for Saturday's game are on sale now and may be purchased in person at the McGinnis Family Athletic Ticket Office located in Kellner Hall at Camp Randall Stadium, over the phone 1-800-GO-BADGERS or online at UWBadgers.com. Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for UW students, senior citizens and youth.
On game day, tickets will go on-sale 90 minutes prior to face-off at the Kohl Center. Season tickets, promotional coupons, sports passes or red cards are not valid for admission to NCAA tournament games. All tickets are general admission. All fans will need a ticket for admission regardless of age.
The quarterfinal winners will advance to the 2011 NCAA Women's Frozen Four, set for Friday, March 18 and Sunday, March 20 at Tullio Arena in Erie, Pa.