NCAA Regional Finals (12) Florida State 3, (4) Iowa State 2
Florida State Coach and Player Quotes
Head Coach Chris Poole
Opening statement: "The girls just kept hanging in there, kept playing hard. I think the sets that we won, our block did pretty well. Our sets that we lost, our block didn't do as well. So that was kind of the story of it, which we felt like coming up here that would make a difference if we could get our block going. You just have to give credit to our team first for the way they kept fighting, and certainly Iowa State didn't back down and kept fighting to try to make us have to work even harder. I'm very proud of the girls for the work that they've put in over the past year to get to this point."
On his team: "We've got a good balance. We've got a couple setters that do a good job. We've got a libero that does a good job digging the ball in the back row. We've got two very experienced senior left sides, which is very important to be able to handle all the out-of-system things that you need to be able to handle. Two big blockers that are both athletic, and then we've got a couple big right sides. So we've got enough of everything--it's just a matter of putting it together and staying consistent throughout a match. I think they've grown as the year's progressed."
On the Seminoles' second regional appearance in Minneapolis: "I think we panicked a little two years ago. It was our first experience. We went from being in an NCAA Tournament one time in 10 years to suddenly finding ourselves in the Elite Eight. It happened so fast that I think they panicked when they got. ...We were fighting everything. I think the returning players learned from that. They learned not to panic."
On advancing to the Final Four as a senior: "There is no way to put it into words. For me it's very important, because this is my last season. I'm leaving volleyball, so this is the season when I'm ending my volleyball career. So every game is so important. It's incredible."
On whether she believed at the beginning of the season that this was possible: "Yes. Actually, I did an interview at the beginning of the season, and the girl asked me, `Kate, what is your goal for the season.' I was like, `We're going to the Final Four.' I really thought we were going to do this. Yeah, Texas!"
On advancing to the Final Four on her second try in Minneapolis: "I definitely think that our team had the courage and the fight to come back and take it. The first time we came here, it was a huge letdown, losing to Minnesota. I know that team wanted it so bad. Coming back, all those girls are supporting us--all the ones that were on the '09 team. We did this for everybody--for FSU, for the past players. This is huge."
On the block: "Our block is a huge momentum change in the game. Every time we get a block, the girls get so excited. Me as the blocker, I try to go after it every time because I know that my team is behind me."
Florida State Notes
- With a win tonight, Florida State became the first-ever ACC team to reach the Final Four. - Florida State makes the Final Four as a double-digit seed at No. 12. Pepperdine is the No. 15 seed and plays No. 7 USC later tonight. - The Seminoles are 9-13 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. Four of the nine wins have come this year, and three have come at the Sports Pavilion (one in 2009 and two this year) - Florida State's record at neutral sites in 2011 is 5-3. - Jekaterina Stepanova recorded her 24th double-digit kill match of the season with 20. She has reached double figures in all four of Florida State's NCAA Tournament matches. This was her third match of 2011 with 20-plus kills. - Visnja Djurdjevic recorded her 16th double-double of the season and fourth of the NCAA Tournament with 14 kills and 19 digs. - With 24 digs, Katie Mosher now has 30 matches this season with 10-plus digs. - Sareea Freman recorded her sixth double-figure kill match of the season with 12. - Freeman recorded 10 blocks on the night for a double-double. She had 19 blocks on the two NCAA Regional matches. - Duzceler Duygu reached double figures in digs for the sixth time this year and second time in the Tournament with 14. - Sarah Wickstrom reached 10-plus digs for the ninth time this year with 10. - Katie Mosher had 24 digs on the night for Florida State and 52 during the two matches in the regional round. Mosher now has 616 digs on the season. - Mosher had 20+ digs in three of Florida State's four NCAA Tournament matches.