WVB Post-Match Quotes: USC vs. BYU

    Dec. 14, 2013

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    USC Head Coach Mick Haley

    Opening statement
    “Well I think from my standpoint, as the coach and watching all the matches that I’ve gotten to see in the tournament, this had to be one of the best matches in the tournament. This is the way you want tournament games to go, especially if you’re USC, but I thought BYU was wonderful. I thought their defense was extraordinary. Their effort was really good. They were coming off that big win in Hawaii and I thought [Alexa] Gray did a marvelous job, 23 kills against us and she played her heart out. Shawn [Olmstead]’s done a great job for BYU and we were very, very happy. I’m extremely proud of my team because we won the match. We won the match because in the fourth game we made zero errors. We were 15 for 33 with no errors. We’ve been trying to reduce errors all year and it looked like we finally grew up a bit out there. It’s always fun as a coach when you see your players growing right in front of you. We had some just unbelievably good performances and, not only that, we had Alicia Ogoms come off the bench to play a critical role for us when Alexis [Olgard] could not go tonight and I think Alexis will be alright, but she sustained a minor injury and she just said, ‘Coach, I can’t be a hundred percent.’ And the way we do our system here at USC everybody practices with the idea that they’re going to play and the next person up was Alicia and she jumped at the chance and came right in there and did a whale of a job. And I thought the setters were really good because they trusted her; they gave her the ball; she got her hands over the net, like we know she can and I thought she gave us a lot of spark. If you looked at her face, she had a smile. She was talking to people, slapping hands and we know she can play like that, so things really worked out well for us tonight, but we know we’ve got to play again tomorrow, so we’ll entertain questions and then get ready for tomorrow. ”

    On how playing Washington this time will be different from the two previous times
    “Well, I think we’ve already done it. I’m not going to tell you, but if you saw the first two matches we played a little bit differently. And we really want this opportunity to play Washington a third time and our conference, the second time around, if you lost the first time, you do everything you can to win the second time. If you won the first time, you know the other team’s going to do everything they can do the second time. It’s very unusual for us to lose two times to the same team. The last time this happened was, I believe, in 2010. We were in Dayton and we lost to Stanford twice and we got them in the finals of the regional and in the fifth game, they were ahead 14 to 11 and we won 16-14, so we kind of think we have a shot at this. They took an international trip with their team last summer. We felt like they were better organized than we were. We have six freshmen and sophomores playing in the lineup and their team is a little older and a little bit more mature and so, we’ve been trying to play catch up all through the season and we kind of feel like we’re finally ready to play now, so I’m excited to get a chance against Jim [McLaughlin] again tomorrow night. I mean we have high respect for each other and our teams respect each other, but we will go to war – both teams – you can bet on it tomorrow night, so sorry this isn’t a Final Four match because I think it deserves to be, but I can’t do anything about that. The only thing I can do is make sure that we’re the one who advances to get to the Final Four, and we can possibly do that so we’re going to try to do that.”

    Samantha Bricio, So.

    On her overall play and rallying the team
    “I think we all did a really good job. Like Mick [Haley] was saying, Natalie [Hagglund], Alicia [Ogoms], the entire team did a really good job. We had a dip right there, but we just came up in the fourth set. We were really focused in the last set.”

    Natalie Hagglund, Sr.

    On her stamina and how it comes up in every set
    “I mean the enthusiasm thing is what my role on the team is. I know I’m not a scoring position and I don’t get to do much in terms of that, but what I can give to my teammates is my complete passion and my complete heart every single day. I do it in practice every day, so it’s not difficult for me to – you know – turn it on during a game because it’s just natural. I find myself playing better when I do that because I’m more engaged in the game and I’m more focused and I can tell my teammates ‘feel the fire’ and take that with them. Anything that I can do that helps my teammates score and that’s the biggest thing right now that helps them.”

    Alicia Ogoms, So.

    On her confidence rising each set
    “I gained a lot of confidence from practicing and from Natalie and Sam too. I saw them playing really hard and it gave me confidence to play harder and to believe in myself and to believe in my team, so that’s where I got it from.”


    Opening statement
    “Hats off to USC. They played a wonderful match and were really efficient. They served well and it got us out of our system a lot. Bricio (Samantha) scored all their aces and attacked very well. I am happy for the chance we got to compete here against USC. I felt like we were very well prepared and we showed that in the first set. I do want to credit USC and the wonderful match they played. I am happy for our team and the players have done a wonderful job all season. Losing is tough but these are the lessons in athletics and it will make the team stronger.”

    On losing first set and going into second set
    “I was concerned that the tough and close first match was going to take a little out of the players because we were at set point so many times and still lost the match. I told them to take from the first set that they can compete with USC and that they are right there point for point. The team was with SC the entire set and I was pleased with their performance and effort. I was surprised with what happened in the second set. I am happy with the fight in the players and we went down as tough as we could.”