Washington Volleyball Media Day Quotes

Dec. 3, 2003

Washington Volleyball Media Day QuotesDecember 3, 2003Player/Coach Quotes

Head Coach Jim McLaughlin

On key to success during tournament: 'Composure. Taking care of the things that we have to take care of. Also, hitting the ball in the court.'

On improvement over season: 'We've measured it and we continue to get better, just in all phases of our passing, our serving, our anything. We are getting better, but the key thing we have really improved in is creating opportunities. Creating opportunities for digging the ball and scoring but also converting those opportunities. I have always believed, just statistically, that is a key stat when you become a competent team. It is your ability to convert at a high percentage that wins a national title.'

On team and expectations: 'Everybody has just got to take care of their role and play their game. The way you help the people around you is to be good at what you do. Our roles are so different, but we need everyone to be firing on the same level and if we do that and remain composed, then we will be okay.'

On match-ups: 'Match-ups are important, but the most important thing is what UW does and how we respond and to keep doing the things that we do.

'The key in the tournament is to just get hot, play well, and just get better, make it collective and start to get hot, by just taking care of the little things and doing the same things we've done day to day. If we approach this thing the same way, I think we will be fine.'

On hosting the tournament: 'It makes a big difference to be hosting. You can look at that statistically too. There is some outrageous number of teams that host, win. We don't have to get on a plane and we get an extra good day of practice and we are at home, in front of our crowd. Our crowd is partially responsible for us hosting, because the committee looks at that. So we get to play in front of our own fans and that's growing.'

On theme of team: 'I think that they have bought into the 'Every play everyday' 100 percent. In just the way we play-- we want to always play hard and we want to be mindful and play smart. You want to play to win all the time, you want to go for the 'W.' We talk about doing things the right way. If you don't work hard, then you have problems, but UW works hard.'Senior Middle Blocker Kara Bjorklund

On team's goals for this season: 'We definitely wanted to make it farther than we did last year. We knew that we wanted to get to this point and we want to take it as far as we can. We have really worked hard to make sure that we're here and we have a great chance to make a great run in the tournament and we're hoping to go far.'

On back to back 20-win seasons: 'We were in the tournament last year and so we have some experience and it's not a brand new thing to us. We know what to expect and what is going to happen, I think that we are all prepared. The past two years have been great and we have gotten used to winning and we want to continue getting better and work hard and go as far as we can.'

On player's goals: 'All season we informally talked about December and we know that in all the matches we've played we need to make sure that we are going to peak at the right time. We want to make sure at this time of the year that we are playing our best volleyball.'

On postseason goals: 'Obviously, a national championship would be perfect, but I think we all want to make it farther then we did last year. We want to make the best run we possibly can and playing the best volleyball. If we go out playing the best volleyball we can play, then we can't argue with that being a good way to go out for the year.'

Junior Outside Hitter Sanja Tomasevic

On team motto 'Every Play, Everyday': 'It's just a big part of the game. If you think about it, it really is true. You can't play a good game if you don't practice well. That's why it's so important to practice well Monday through Friday so when you go to a game on Saturday, you know what you are going to do. It is important for you to be able to think 'OK, this is what I did on Tuesday, it's just the same thing, even though there are tons of people in the gym.' You've got to go out and play the same, every time and everyday.'

On the strength of the team: 'I think it is our system and our heart. We just won't give up. Even if it is 28-22 for them, we won't let them go, we will fight for every point until the end. I think that just being a team is a big part of our success this year.'

Outlook for play-offs: 'Hopefully we will go all the way and be NCAA Champions. But we will fight for every game and we won't give up so they have to be ready for us.

Sophomore Libero Candace Lee

On playing at home: 'I am very excited about this weekend. It's going to be awesome, and my family gets to come up also. I think that it will be a great opportunity for our program and for our fans.'

On postseason play: 'We just keep working hard everyday and hopefully it will pay off. We are focused, and we know that we can make a run in the tournament and so we are excited to see what happens.'

On personal goal for tournament: 'My goal is to just play confidently and to play with no regrets.'

On team goal for tournament: 'We want to get past the sweet sixteen. Last year we were top 32, but this year we really feel like we can make a good run in the tournament.'

Freshman setter Courtney Thompson

On differences between high school state tournament and NCAA tournament: 'It is on such a different level. It's more fun (in college), the crowds are bigger, the competition is better and more intense and that what you want as an athlete.'

On key to success: 'We just concentrate on getting better each day and taking it one day at a time. We get along really well as a team, so that helps.'

On postseason goal: 'We want to win. So does all the other 63 teams, but we are just going to take it one day at a time. That's everyone's goal right now.'

On getting home crowd fans: 'I have lots of family and friends coming to this game and it is just another advantage to playing at home.'

On getting a week off from playing a game: 'It was a nice break and we let our bodies rest and now we're ready to come back harder.'

On progressing as a team: 'It's fun, because everyone is so excited. We really feel that everyone is coming together. This is what we've been working for and for some of the girls this is their last shot and it's just an awesome time for our team.'

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