Oct. 26, 2012
Post-match quotes vs. Illinois
Oct. 26, 2012
Head Coach Pete Waite
Opening Statement: “I’m really pleased with the way we played tonight. The first set we really had a fast start but we just didn’t stay consistent with it and we started breaking down a little bit. (I have to give) credit to the team – that’s what we’ve been working on is to come back and forget those errors and stabilize.
“Even in the third set we were down and staged a huge comeback. I thought they really stayed confident and kept going and they did really well. Jules (Mikaelsen) had a monster night, that was great for her in a lot of ways. It wasn’t just the swings she took, she made a lot of great sets, great saves in the back court, chasing things down so she did really well and obviously some other people had some record nights.
“The team was due. We’d seen spurts of their abilities and they sustained it and they met the goals we talked about during the week. That was really important for them to do so I’m real proud of them.”
On the team’s offensive rhythm after the first set:
“I think Courtney (and) the passing improved each set especially the back side, the slides (and sets) to Jules on the right were quick and forced Illinois’ blockers to really get to the outside. There were a lot of split blocks and we scored well from the right tonight and that was a big key. Often our left side attackers have big nights and tonight if you look at the stats it was opposite. We got it done on the right side.”
On Deme Morales providing depth in the back row:
“I would say (Deme) really had a good match, she was much more steady. That’s up to every player, the more they steady up their game the more court time they’re going to get, the better we get.
“To her credit, she’s had some surges in this season where she’s really hot then kind of off for a little while then really hot and off for a while. Her ball control was very good tonight and that’s huge for us. She did well. That’s the biggest thing. I think Caroline (Workman) also, she had some matches recently that were not great then she came back and had a great match.”
On the team controlling play at the net:
“If we continue to block like that it, stresses out the opponent. We knew their two big hitters, Birks and McMahon, got their numbers. They still had big numbers but some of the other players didn’t and that was important (that) they didn’t have as balanced of an attack overall.
“If you look at us, .171 is not a great hitting night for a team. We’re not super proud of that but when you get the blocks and you’re doing other things well and if you look at the digs (82-67), I think that was a big number right there. We really worked on our coverage this week and I think the team was much more focused with that and just scrambling.”
On Julie having a career night:
“Jules earned Courtney’s trust, at that point she knew she was hot and she knew to go to the hot hitter. In every sport – you get a hot basketball player, a hot volleyball player – you need to go to them and keep feeding them.
“Tonight, Jules was definitely hot and I didn’t mention before but you know Annemarie got hurt in the first set and went flying off the court and was really wounded through the match so she’s a pretty tough cookie. To put up those kind of numbers when she’s hurt and hobbling around says a lot about her grit and determination.”
On Annemarie’s defense:
“You guys don’t always see it but Anne does a really good job of getting deep on the line for the long attack from their side and dug a lot of those balls. That was important because (Liz) McMahon is swinging a lot of those so she did well.”
Right-side hitter Julie Mikaelsen
On tying her career best with 19 kills:
“Courtney (Thomas) did a really good job setting me (a) really fast ball so the blockers on Illinois had problems getting out (and) they weren’t closing. Annemarie and people in the back (row) were doing really good digging balls so we could run the transition.”
On her game-winning shots in sets two and three:
“It’s a lot of fun getting final kills to just keep going and keep going. It’s also a lot of credit to Annemarie and the people in the back row digging balls and Courtney setting the ball. She kept setting me a really good ball and most of the credit is for her definitely.”
Libero Annemarie Hickey
On sliding off the court in the first set:
“I definitely felt the effects of it. It was hurting me the whole entire game but our blockers did a great job of closing the block tonight. Our blockers put it up tonight (and) made my job really easy. Even though I was hurt, I just put that aside and didn’t really worry about that and was really focusing on what I could do better for my team and being aggressive.”
On the team’s improved communication:
“We do sometimes have spurts where there is a little off in communication but tonight we were communicating really well. I said how our blockers were communicating well out there, so there weren’t a lot of seams in the block. Deme (Morales) and Caroline set it up in the back row which great for us and Jules did too. We just had a lot of confidence back there and that’s what we needed.”
Middle Blocker Alexis Mitchell
On the comeback in the third set:
“I don’t really remember what happened in the third set. If we were down or not, but we really wanted to pick up our energy and we knew that if we took the third set then we would be up in the advantage and be able to just play forward. I just wanted to do everything I could for my team and do my job. The passes were there, the sets were there, so I had to take care of business.”
On how the win helps heading into Sunday’s match vs. Northwestern:
“Everything that we did tonight are things that we have to bring to Northwestern. We know that they’re a great team, they’ve beat some great teams. They’ve shown that they are strong so we have to keep the same mentality and it’s really going to matter what we’re doing on our side.
“We were really focused going into the match as a team and we all had goals that we wanted to achieve and I think everybody did that. If we do that same thing and set up that way for Northwestern, I think that we’ll come out on top.”