WVB Post-Match Quotes: USC vs. Washington

    Dec. 15, 2013

    Recap |  Final Stats

    USC Head Coach Mick Haley

    Opening statement
    “Well, I’d like to start by saying congratulations to Washington. I thought they hung tough under some great odds. I thought we played very, very well in the match and I’m very proud of our team and I’m sorry we didn’t win, but somebody’s got to win and somebody’s got to lose and we came up a little short tonight. I had four freshmen and sophomores in the lineup and the only way that we could play with that kind of youth was with great leadership by our seniors. I think these three are wonderful Trojans. I think they exemplify everything that a Trojan stands for and I was really proud that they fought like Trojans.”

    On what Washington did in the last three sets that they did not do in the first two sets
    “Yeah, sure, they reduced their errors. The reason they lost the first two sets, partially, is we were pretty error-free and they were very high-error for them. They were seven and nine errors and those are just the hitting errors and I thought we put pressure on them and that caused some of that. That was good for us and hard for them. Really, the third set we kind of killed our self by making too many errors. We probably contributed seven hitting errors in that third set, which gave them a chance. Had we not made those errors, that third set would have been a lot closer. It would have probably been a two point set, also. I’m not saying we would have won, but I would’ve said we would’ve had a better chance to win. And that’s kind of what young players do. They make errors. Washington’s not a young team. They’re a pretty experienced team and I felt like we, throughout the season, were chasing them because they had a chance to go to Europe. They had a chance to be one step ahead of us all the way and we were trying to get our young kids to grow up. That’s the first thing; they reduced their errors. The second thing is we weren’t able to pass as well as we did in the first two sets in sets three and four and therefore, we couldn’t use our offense behind as well. If you noticed, [Elise] Ruddins was good early, but couldn’t score in the last three sets simply because we couldn’t get the ball in a position for our setters to deliver, like we practiced, so that put a lot of heat on [Sara] Shaw to have to produce and we don’t really get her to produce that much and that way she’s there to pass and play defense and do the things that she does so very well for us. As a four year starter, she’s been amazing to do that. [Ebony] Nwanebu kept us in the match. In fact, it was amazing. Nwanebu, if she’s not the best player in the country, she’s the best freshman in the country. There are a lot of good freshman, but I have not seen one like this before. I mean, she’s one of the most amazing kids and she came out there just before we lost in the fifth game and she just kind of grabbed me and her whole body was shaking.”



    Natalie Hagglund, Sr.

    On this being one of the best games she has played in
    “Yeah, absolutely. I mean you have to give your hat to Washington. They played an incredible match and I felt like we played an incredible match, so it’s tough, but going back to it, it was just an incredible game and one of the games that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life, being able to play with this group of girls with 15 of my best friends all in one area and just feeding off the fire, it’s really incredible. I’m bumbed that we lost. In that kind of a situation, you have to take this opportunity and really look at it as a positive and take wonderful things out of it and live it up for the future.”

    Alexis Olgard, Sr.

    What turned the tide at the end of the match
    “I think everyone just played their hearts out. It’s to get to the Final Four. It’s a huge game. Everyone played amazing, it’s just they had a little extra.”

    Sara Shaw, Sr.

    On what Washington did in the last three sets that they did not do in the first two sets
    “I don’t necessarily remember anything right off the top of my head. All I know is that we were just battling back and forth. You could see the emotion in our faces. Each team just wanted it really badly and it ended it up like it did.”

    Washington Head Coach JIM McLAUGHLIN

    Opening statement
    “What a match. It wasn’t pretty all the time but the intangibles were there. As a coach, I can’t say enough about these guys. The heart, the commitment, all of those things that are really important. I think the Trojans had our number. They’re a great program. Mick does a great job, he’s a hall of fame coach and so this is a huge win for our program. It’s a nice return for all of their hard work.”

    On regaining momentum
    “There are lots of temporary ebbs and flows in games and in a match. The key to the thing is to hold course and eventually it will come back. We were just a play away. We just had to stay the course. It’s hard. The mindset is that you’ve got to keep your mind on track and think about the right things. Your thoughts can serve you well or they cannot. It could have gone the other way. But we were on the game plan. We were right there, in a good volleyball game, a good fight. And then we made some plays at the end.”


    On being down 0-2 early in the game
    “We were down 0-2. Any team can panic. Any team can think, oh it’s over. But just looking around the locker room there was no doubt in anyone’s eyes. It’s not over until it’s over and we knew we were just going to battle for every point, battle tooth and nail until the end.”


    On the role of preparation
    “Preparation is huge. It’s the third time we’ve played USC so we kind of knew what they wanted to do. Being on our assignments over and over again and not letting chaos get to you. To be prepared for anything that was going to come at you. I think everyone worked really hard, studied the report really hard, and it paid off, being prepared to play them in a tough, tough match.”


    On her big night (38 kills, 30 digs)
    “I do it for my teammates. I do it for this program and what UW volleyball stands for. I’ll take a swing whenever they want me to take a swing at the ball. I want to do this for my team, for my coaches, and for all the hard work we’ve put in this year. We’ve created an opportunity where we can do something really special and I think that when we all click, it could be really special for us.”