Dec. 13, 2013
Purdue Head Coach Dave Shondell Opening Statement:
"I thought the key tonight was a college volleyball team taking the things that they had worked on all week long, the adjustments that we needed to make and some of the things that we had to do to defend and score and then, execute it in a nearly flawless manner. It was a great performance by our volleyball team. Illinois is a great team, super well coached. I don’t know if there is a better coach in the country than Kevin Hambly and, not to mention, first-class guy. They’re big and physical, and we felt like there were some things we had to do, but telling a team ‘this is what we have to do’ and going out and doing it are two totally different things. We did it tonight, and we’re thrilled to be advancing in this tournament."
Val Nichols on momentum after first set:
"I think it was huge. We kind of focused on heart and execution as the way we were going to win this match. Big Ten teams are going to be fairly equal and physical, so with heart and determination is how we won that first set."
Catherine Rebarchal on stepping up in big moments:
"You just get in the zone. If you lose, you go home, and I want to keep playing. It’s my senior year, so I’m all in."
Faye Adelaja on knowing Illinois:
"I think it was really helpful playing them twice in the Big Ten this year and going through their lineup and rotations in practice and working on their tempo. Our coaches are great about teaching us drills for dealing with their tempo."
Illinois Head coach Kevin Hambly’s opening statement:
“Congratulations to Purdue. I thought they played tough, they executed. Especially the first set, we had a great opportunity to go up one, but I thought that they made some plays at the end, dug a couple balls, and they took advantage of it. I think for us the whole time I felt like we never got in a great rhythm in anything really, offensively and defensively. It was probably a byproduct of a lot of them never having been in this situation before and you could tell that Purdue did, they were ready for a Sweet Sixteen match and it didn’t seem like we were. I’ve been through this before and it’s nice to get [that] for this group; it’s not nice for [Jennifer] Beltran because she’s been a pleasure to coach and Courtney Abrahamovich. Our two seniors have been a pleasure to coach and great ambassadors for Illinois and great players and special to me, but it’s great to get back here for the kids that move on from here and hopefully they feel comfortable more comfortable the next time they’re in that moment.”
Jennifer Beltran on the end of her career at Illinois:
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I’m definitely not selfish so I said something to the team to learn for next year and know that next year starts right now. This one is done and it’s on to the next one so I just want them to hopefully learn from this and take it to next year and make another run at it because they’re got another shot.”
“I wasn’t expecting it to end like this, but it did so I’ll just do what I can do to be there for them and whatever I can do.”
Jocelynn Birks on the importance of the way the first set ended:
“I think throughout the entire match, not only that set, we weren’t attacking and executing like we should have and even when we had a couple points on them we backed down and stopped executing and they were fighting, and scrapping, and executing the entire time.”
Beltran on defending Purdue’s versatile attack:
“On defense they did a really nice job of using their block and hitting around us. It was a little tough tonight, but we do what we can to prepare.”
Coach Hambly on what tonight does for next year’s team:
“Our expectation is to go further with the program, we’ve set that [expectation] and Jennifer [Beltran] had a lot to do with that. It’s nice to get in this match because it takes a while to get used to it. I don’t know how else to describe it other than being in the big moment and being in a big match in a different stage. It takes a couple matches to get used to that and for me it was exciting to get to this match because this is where I feel we should be every year. We should at least be in the Sweet Sixteen and then from there you have to see if you can make a run and lot of that depends on matchups. So I’m not satisfied with this season, but I’m also not super disappointed about where we’re out. To get back to this match was good, I was disappointed with how we played tonight because I think we could have played better, but I’m not disappointed in this season. We took on a tough schedule and I don’t know who’s played a tougher schedule in several years, and they stood up to it, and they fought and I’m really proud of what they were able to accomplish.”
“I like coaching these kids and when it ends the group dynamic is over. I never get to coach Jennifer [Beltran] again, I never get to coach Courtney Abrahamovich again, and it’ll be different with the other kids that we have. As a coach you’re completely in it and you’re in the moment and the time you have with the group and you’re just immersed in it. When it’s over all you feel is a tremendous amount of disappointment because you just want to continue to coach them.”
Coach Hambly on the atmosphere at State Farm Center:
“I thought it was incredible, especially for the first set when we were up. It’s too bad we couldn’t take advantage of [the atmosphere] because we couldn’t sustain any kind of run to get a little bit of help. We could have used some help tonight, but we didn’t earn it. We needed to do some positive things for them to celebrate, but I thought that for a big, vast arena it felt like a great place to play volleyball.”