Erin Martin, Minnesota Senior Outside Hitter
(On playing USC again)
"I don't think we could have played much harder the first time we played them. It was a really evenly matched game, and just a couple of points either way and we would have had it. I think that this time we're definitely a lot more prepared, a lot more relaxed. It's not like we're trying to knock off the number one team in the nation like we were earlier in the year. We're just playing a team that has also made it to the Final Four."
(On how Minnesota views this USC team as compared to last year)
They're still a really good team. I'm not going to take anything away from USC, but definitely when we played them last year, whatever match win streak they were on was on our minds. There's still the defending national champs, but they've also lost their fair share of matches this year too, so we know that they're beatable, as opposed to last year when they were undefeated.
Paula Gentil, Minnesota Junior Libero
(On what Minnesota took away from the earlier loss to USC)
It was fairly good that we lost to them. I guess we learn more from the losses more than we do from the wins. We've been preparing to play them ever since and we knew we'd eventually get enough shot at it.
(On what Minnesota learned from the 48-46 game four against Georgia Tech)
We learned that we need to play to the 30th point and not stop at 28. We had a five-point lead and we let them come back, so I guess it shows that we just have to work hard until the last point.
Southern California Head Coach Mick Haley
"You can recognize that we are very excited to be here. We are fortunate that we are the only team to play all three teams here. We have had two good match ups with Minnesota in the past 14-16 months. We even have close to the same colors, so it should be a good match up."
(Minnesota's arrival as a national power)
"It is no surprise with coach Mike Hebert (that Minnesota is here). He is good at recruiting and has organized the team well. They are good at both sides and the middle two. They can get 70-80 swings in a night. Minnesota has been a sleeping giant for a long time. They are the major university in the state. I would expect them to have a good program."
(On Minnesota's improvement since August)
"They were pretty good in August so I hope they didn't improve too much. Now they don't just rely on two girls but they have spread their offense out. They also show more movement in transition. It looks like that everything they have done has been effective. They are a good team with out a question. Their depth is also good."
(How his team, USC, has improved since August)
"It is hard to say because I watch them everyday. We have worked so hard just to improve every week. I think we are more confident as a unit now. One of the things we have done well is the ability to integrate seven new players into the program. That takes a lot of work."
(On the possibility of creating history with three national championships in a row)
"We have embraced it. It is kind of a bold move on our part. We embraced it before this year. We talked with last year's seniors about helping the sophomores and freshmen so that the possibility of winning three could happen. People like April Ross and Toni Anderson coming back and nurturing the younger players. We talked about it at the start of this year. We asked if they really wanted to do this. And once we decided to do it, we wanted to make it fun. We had some great opportunity sessions. A lot of one step forward, two-step back opportunity sessions. When we go out there (at practice) you will see big targets on our back. That is because we knew that we would be a target. It is a good learning opportunity."
(On winning a national championship)
"We have one match we need to win in order to play a second match."
Emily Adams, USC Senior Middle Blocker
(On how this team is different from last years team)
"We are trying to run the same system but with new players. We had to adjust to that. We fought a lot of down to the wire games. It is defiantly a different team but hopefully we will come out with the same outcome."
(On what they have achieved)
"So far we have achieved success by acclimating seven new girls to the system. We had a lot of fun teaching them a new system."
(On the August match with Minnesota)
"I remember it being down to the wire. They played well. We will look more at scouting them on video today. It will be a challenge in all areas. I am going to try to work on my blocking."
(On having three PAC-10 teams in the Final Four)
"I am thankful we are in the Pac-10. We had so many great games. I think the Pac-10 really helps prepare teams for this tournament because we beat up on each other all year."
(On being the underdog)
"It has been my dream to be the underdog. It is very different from last year. It was fun but this year has taught me to take every game seriously. Anything is possible. If we are just a little bit off and the other team plays one of their best games then that is it, we don't get another chance."
Keao Burdine USC Senior Outisde Hitter (On her career this far with two National Championships and two MVP's)
"I came to USC to win a national championship but I never thought I could win three and not in a row. I think one of the reasons I got the award was because in the past we had better players so teams never zeroed in on me."
(On the pressure to win) "We don't want to end our careers or our season on a loss"