themselveNCAA Tournament Pre-Match Quotes (1st & 2nd Rounds - Minneapolis, Minn.)
UC Santa Barbara Head Coach Kathy Gregory: "Northern Iowa is a very consistent team that won't beat themselves. They are similar to us in that they play very quick in transition, however they are a better blocking team than us. We're going to have to play our best to beat them."
Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert: "Wisconsin-Green Bay's style is similar to Ohio State, in that they have a very dominant outside hitter that they set a lot. They also like to run their middle a lot particularly in transition. They like to keep their opponents off-balance with a variety of attack styles in pushing the ball to open parts of the court. They are very feisty. I like how they play. Wisconsin-Green Bay is a very crafty team and will be challenging to play."
"The first match between Northern Iowa and UC Santa Barbara will be a fun one to watch. We know Northern Iowa very well. All of our matches in the past against them have been very good. UC Santa Barbara is a very accomplished program. This is a typical UC Santa Barbara team with great defense and ball control. Their two left-side hitters are very intelligent. The match between the two teams will be very interesting. I think if we are able to advance to the second round either team we would play would be a toss-up match."
Wisconsin-Green Bay Head Coach Debbie Kirch: "We are excited about the fact that this our first trip to the NCAA Tournament. We had a week off after winning our conference tournament before we saw the selection show. So we had time to savor that moment before we started preparing for Minnesota. We were excited to be in the midwest where a lot of family can come see us play. We played at Minnesota before so it isn't totally new to us. Once you get to this level all 64 teams are good."
"We were in position in our conference tournament to be one of the top two seeds and get a bye and it was a let down at the end of the regular season that we lost our match and ended up with a No. 3 seed. I was real proud of the way the players came out in our conference tournament understanding that it belonged to anyone. It was really like a snowball effect. We came out in the first round and played dominating and we got better and better as it went along. We had to beat two teams that we lost to in five games during the regular season, in five games during the conference tournament. It definitely was a great momentum builder, and we'll hope that the week layoff does not hurt us. We are playing our best team volleyball of the season right now."
Northern Iowa Head Coach Bobbi Peterson: "Obviously our No. 1 goal was to host the first two rounds, but this is the next best place for us. Last year we were here and it just seems like we play enough here that we are comfortable with the site, which is a great volleyball venue. It is a great opportunity for our fans to travel to see us. We could have been picked to go anywhere and this is a distance we think we can get some of our fans to."
"Our focus was to play our best in the conference tournament and to get the automatic bid. It was a huge challenge for us. There were a lot of things working against us that weekend and I think our kids really stepped up and that is big momentum for us coming in."
"Our conference gets better and better every year and that can only be a positive. There was a point where one or two teams dominated. To go through a whole conference season and only be challenged one or two times you really suffer when it comes to tournament time. This year we have gone up against tough teams in conference and along with our non-conference schedule that should really help us coming into the NCAA Tournament."