May 20, 2003
Illinois Head Coach Craig Tiley
"It was an unbelievable effort by both teams. I knew it was going to be a tight match the way Vandy had been fighting all week. They'd been
playing with more confidence than any other team out here. I knew we had to play very well to beat them. We did when it counted. I'm
extremely proud of the effort that our guys have done all year. To do what they've accomplished this year is not easy."
(On building program)
"I coached on the tour internationally and I was the David Cup captain of South Africa, so I did have inroads to bring in some really good
players, I thought. I decided in the very beginning that I would like to have the opportunity to build a program with American-born players and have them in the situation where we could really develop the game
and let them go on and have good careers in tennis. We sold our program as a program of development. I knew if I did that, it was not going to happen in a year or two years, it was going to take some time. Our next step is to have these kids go on and have successful professional careers. I don't run the program like a college program, we run it like
an academy of training, providing these guys with daily opportunities to get better."
Winning No. 6 singles Chris Martin
(on going to Illinois and having a chance to win a championship)
"Craig (Tiley) didn't offer me a national championship, he offered
improvement on my game. With improvements in your game, national championships will come."
(on awareness of team's score in match)
"I made the mistake of looking up at the scoreboard late in the third set. I had an idea. I knew Phil and I had to win our matches. When Phil won his match it just boosted my morale and gave me so much confidence. I just knew that I was going to go for it no matter what."
Vanderbilt Head Coach Ken Flach
"We were 12th in the SEC last season and were 1-10 in the conference. We turned it around and we finished up 9-2 in the conference play. We won the SEC Tournament and knew as a group that if we made it to the Sweet 16 nothing would intimate us. Our team has so much heart. I do not know how their hearts fit in their chests. We lost to a great team tonight."
"It is typical during a match to have peaks and valleys. We lost every first set then we peaked in the second set. We had a high in the middle and a low at the end. Chad (Harris) and Bobby (Reynolds) were warriors tonight and all of our players battled back in the second set to make the match close. I liked the matchups in the end. It is an experience that we will learn from and next time we will finish the deal."
(On last call of match)
"Let's face it, everyone knows that there are questionable calls every match. No other sport puts fouls in the hands of the players as much as college tennis does. The match was not decided on one call. We had a lot of chances tonight to come up with the goods, we just fell a little short."
Runner-up No. 1 singles Bobby Reynolds
"Amer was serving great tonight. The first set was tied at four and I knew that the tie-breaker would be big if I could get there. I just kept battling throughout the match. It is an unbelievable feeling to think of the progress our team has made this season. Last season I thought we were all right but we ended up last in the SEC. I knew that we could get where we are today if we laid it all on the line. If it did not work out, then it could not get much worse. Our team kept fighting and battling today, we just came up a little short."