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    Women's Volleyball

    Post Game Quotes

    Dec. 4, 2009

    Recap |  Box Score

    Illinois Head Coach Kevin Hambly
    Opening Statement...
    "I'm really proud of the way we competed tonight. It would have been easy for us to hang our heads in the first set, especially after we were down big, and not fight back, but this team is very resilient. We didn't play particularly well in the beginning of the match, but after 18 points, we really started to get in a groove. The girls just competed so hard and we found a way to win. I'm proud of the way we performed and stayed calm under some tough circumstances. That Dayton team is a very good team, and they present a lot of problems for us, no question."

    On defense after the first set...
    "I thought Erin Johnson changed the match. I think she had four blocks in that (2nd) set alone. It took a while for our serve to wear them down. The combination of the serving and the blocking defense was what changed the tide in that match."

    On Dayton's biggest strength...
    "Their middle attack torched us in the first set. We had to get them out of system and we weren't. If we didn't get them out of system, we didn't have an answer for them. We did a good job of serving, otherwise they would still be scoring on us. "

    On letting down after two wins...
    "I don't worry about that with these girls. We talked about that all year, that the Big Ten is great preparation for the NCAA tournament. You play two matches against two great opponents, and then you have to forget about it, good or bad. Obviously, if it's bad now, we don't have another match. But if we win two, we have to let it go and get on to the next opponent."

    On Rachel Feldman's school record 26 digs in an NCAA Tournament match...
    I can't speak for the history, because I've only been here five years, but I can speak to her effort. Her effort was remarkable. They went after her, both serving and with offense, and I thought she did an incredible job digging balls."

    Illinois setter Hillary Haen
    On losing the first set...
    "I think we're used to it. We have lost first sets before and come back from it. So I don't think we got nervous, and we knew that we ended the first set really well. But it does give you a lot of confidence to come back and really give it to a team and keep them in single digits. That helped of realize the kind of fighting attitude we needed to maintain for the rest of the match."

    On facing a team they had a history with...
    "I think it's good we had that history, because we knew how good of a team they were. We knew not to let up, because they could really take it to us."

    On the help past NCAA experience brings...
    "I think we knew the work that it took all season long. There was no point in the season where we could let up and start getting worse, because you need to peak at the end of the season. I think it also helps that now we know we have to elevate our level of play even more to go to California and compete as hard as we can."

    Illinois junior outside hitter Laura DeBruler
    On what needs to improve for the Sweet 16...
    "I think starting out from the beginning and fighting from that first point and not letting a team get a big run on us."

    On getting to the Sweet 16...
    "For us, this has been one of our goals for our entire season, so it's just another stepping stone as far as going as far as possible in the NCAA tournament. It's good having the experience and being at home also really helps. We had a great crowd and they were getting really into it.

    Dayton Head Coach Kelly Sheffield
    Overall Statement...
    "We played against a great team. Illinois is really good. Their block is as good as the best block in the country. We have not played a block like this all season. We knew they were good, but their blocking was awfully impressive. DeBruler in the first set with 11 kills. You don't see that happening in single set that often. They have a lot of different contributions from a lot of different people. As far as our team goes, I thought we battled. Game one was awesome volleyball from both ends. We had some great rallies. At the beginning of game two I thought we had some over passes that we should have put away. We had some pretty balls that hit the floor. We had three or four points that we did have momentum that we did not take advantage of and that gave them a little bit of life, and off they went."

    On Dayton's offense...
    "Our outsides were really good. They were both hitting pretty well and hitting in high percentages. Both were averaging about .300 in game one. I thought we were hitting our spots where we wanted to offensively. To their credit they made some adjustments and we found it very difficult to get some kills. I thought both sides did a great job at siding out, in game one. We were just able to effectively hit our spots."

    On Illinois defensive adjustments in the second set...
    "I think they made some defensive adjustments that put a lot of pressure on us. There are only a few things that you can do to make yourself better. We don't play against a block like that. It is a unique team. It's a very dynamic and physical team at the net. There is not a lot of teams that are that physical in the country."

    Junior outside hitter Amanda Cowdrey
    On the NCAA experience...
    "What I am going to take from this is that we just played the number five team in the nation. It doesn't matter what conference you are in. Dayton can play with anyone. We are as good as anyone when we play our best. I think that this lost showed us what we need to improve on in the future. We are not going to forget this and we are going to make the best out of this situation."

    On Dayton starters all returning...
    "It is exciting that we made it to the second round. I know we all wanted to make it further. I don't think we should hang our heads we had a great season. Illinois is a great team and we only can learn from this and get better."

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