Dec. 3, 2009
NCAA First Round - Dayton 3, Milwaukee 2
December 3, 2009, Huff Hall, Champaign, Ill.
Dayton head coach Kelly Sheffield
"First of all, Milwaukee is a great team. They turned their season around after a 5-14 start. Most teams will give up. So the fact they came back and got this far is a credit to their team.
On the match as a whole:
"That was one of the best backcourt defensive teams we've played all year. Frankly, a lot of our attacks we expected to go down, and they didn't."
On playing five-set matches:
"We have a lot of confidence in ourselves in game 5s. We've played in a lot of fifth sets. We had to play better defense, and especially in game five, we did that. That gave us more quality swings. They played better defense most of the match, but in set five we made some key digs, and I think that was the key."
On the battle:
"I kept telling our girls if they got quality swings, we would eventually find holes. We stayed patient against a team that was going all out and had hit some great shots. We could have really gotten frustrated. I was really proud of our team for the way that they fought. We got a little soft, which you can't do in the NCAA tournament. But we got our competitive drive back."
On possibly playing Illinois:
"They are very balanced. They have a great coaching staff. They have All-Americans. We're going to have to play our game. We are who we are, and Illinois is who they are. I don't think we're going to reinvent anything. There's not enough time for that. We're just going to have to sharpen it up and play a little bit better."
Junior Outside Hitter Amanda Cowdrey
On Milwaukee's defense:
"Their defense was amazing. I don't think any of us expected that. It was the best defense we've seen all year. "
On playing a fifth set:
"It's do or die. We have a lot of scenarios in practice. I think after we've practiced it, it makes it easier to actually perform it."
On regaining the momentum:
"I think we were getting OK touches, but they weren't good enough for us to have a good transition. We started playing defense and getting after it on serve receive. That helped us get the momentum back when we had lost it."
Milwaukee Head Coach Susie Johnson
On getting to the NCAA Tournament:
"It's been quite a season. Oct. 11 was our last loss, but we had to make an incredible turnaround in our season. I'm just so entirely proud of this team because we got better every time we went out. We won 11 matches in a row and got here, so we were feeling pretty good. We put up a great fight for this match. We were able to battle with them We made them adjust, which is what you have to do with a great team.
On the difference between the sets UWM won and lost:
"We were digging essentially the whole match, and we made a lot of really good digs. But the efficiency in our offense goes up and down, and that was the big problem in the fifth. We were just giving them free balls and easy balls over, and great teams, like they are, will just shove it back down your face."
On Jena Berg's performance:
"Jena did a great job. She's really developed over the season. She was a setter at Tennessee, so she really hasn't been an outside. So we've been training her at outside and she's responded nicely. She has a strong attack and still is working on being consistent. They were ready for her every play because she is a great player. So that's a compliment to her. She'll get better and better."
Reflecting on the season:
"For me, I just have to take a step back and realize we accomplished a ton this year. I'm really proud of that. We are going to learn something, how it feels to lose, because we lost for a period of time this year but learned to battle back.
Senior Libero Lauren Felsing
On her team's approach:
"It was great that we came out and we went at them right away. We weren't like 'Oh my goodness, they're in the top 25.' We just went after it and did our hardest to fight back and stop that big middle."
On setter Kellye Zaporski:
"The way she runs the offense, especially tonight, was incredible because they didn't know where she was going a lot of times. She was able to send it to places where there was only one blocker."
On her team as a whole:
"Our team has the best chemistry that any team could have, and I think that plays a huge role on the floor. We're able to play as a team every time out. We know where everyone is, and we had that feel tonight especially."
On her team battling:
"It's so cool we were able to fight in that fifth game, or even take them to five, with that great team."