Dec. 5, 2008
#9 Illinois 3, UW-Milwaukee 0
NCAA First Round
Dec. 5, 2008
Champaign, Ill. // Huff Hall
Illinois head coach Don Hardin
"That was one of the better serving teams that we've faced all season. They were serving balls that were dropping on the back line and then they were dropping short on us and I don't know if that's something people noticed. Our passers were challenged on their movement and as a result our setters were scrambling around and we sputtered on offense, but thank goodness our block was in true, dominant fashion. I thought our aggressive blocking got us over the hump today. It seemed like a much easier win than it would've otherwise."
On the consistency of the Illinois block...
"I think our outside blockers are lining up extremely well. We've consistently had deflections and frustrated teams with good deflections and good blocking. Wisconsin-Milwaukee was setting relatively tightly to the net today, which accommodated the block and then they adjusted in the other set. In the last part of the second set and the third set they started setting off the net and challenged our defense a little more."
On the play of junior outside hitter Kylie McCulley...
"She was definitely important in those first two sets. We were spreading the ball around a little bit. I think we had some first match jitters and just spreading the ball around on our second contacts a little too much. She's been working on her athleticism these last two weeks and her foots been good enough to train in practice. She's been working on out of system swings. She used to free ball those over, where as now she's running at stuff and hitting in all different areas."
On the match-up with Cincinnati tomorrow...
"We know its one-and-out and we can't be outcome-oriented. This team does not play well when we're worried about winning or losing. We just have to keep continuing on getting better on things. We didn't move well on serve receive tonight and Cincinnati is a very good serving team. They have three jump servers that move the ball around a lot. We're going to have to be more active on our serve receive. We can't sputter on offense like we did tonight. Cincinnati's also in a league where they're used to getting blocked and they will set the net off the block a little bit more so we will have to get back and be a lot more disciplined on defense, especially against Stephanie Niemer. She's an outstanding outside hitter that we actually recruited and watched closely."
Wisconsin-Milwaukee Head Coach Susie Johnson
On UW-Milwaukee's season...
"We just finished an incredible season. I am really extremely proud (of our team). With one senior and 12 freshman and sophomores, no one really thought we were going to do much of anything. I just sat in the locker room and talked to my team about how proud I am."
On playing Illinois...
"That nine seed was well deserving for Illinois. They are an incredible team. It was definitely a team effort. It was very balanced and very efficient. They really took care of everything they needed to take care of. We started to come back and they kept composed."
On Illinois' blocking...
"It's a good block. Our game plan was to hit toward the sidelines and not go to Johannah. I think we sort of started off changing our arm swings and doing some things that we don't normally do cause they were just over thinking that block."
"You just have to swing high and hard. It is a very good block. It is very efficient. I keep using that word cause that is really a good word for them. They don't waste a lot of energy doing unnecessary things. That block is pretty solid."