Stanford vs. Nebraska NCAA Finals Quotes

Stanford took game one and had a chance to lead again with a three-point advantage late in game three, but Nebraska played like champions Saturday night in Omaha to take home the 3-1 win and NCAA title. The Cardinal could only congratulate the victors, while Nebraska basked in the glow of their season, accomplishment and superstar play from Sarah Pavan and Jordan Larson.

Stanford head coach John Dunning

Opening statement:

"I'd like to congratulate the state of Nebraska for the wonderful show.  It was an amazing crowd tonight - an amazing tournament.  This was probably the biggest match in women's volleyball history in terms of scope.  I'd like to congratulate Nebraska; I thought they played great in all facets.  I thought they were very tough when they had to be.  I'd like to congratulate my team as well on a great match."

On the difference in the match:

"Obviously Sarah [Pavan] and Jordan [Larson], mostly early in the match, played great.  I think they hit very aggressively and pretty much played error free.  I also thought they served great."

On the play of Sarah Pavan:

"She has been playing volleyball a long time.  Her dad's a coach; her mom's a player.  Like some of the players [in Canada], it's in her blood.  What makes what she does different is the point of contact.  So she is wonderfully skilled; she knows what she is doing; and she hits the ball from a different point than a lot of people do.  That makes her hard to block and dig."

Sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza

On Nebraska coming back to win game three:

"It's hard to pinpoint one play in the match, where it turns in one team's direction or the other way around.  Every contact on the ball is crucial, especially when you are playing a team that is as good as Nebraska.  Tonight, they were a couple touches better than us."

Reflecting on the season:

"I'm really proud of our team.  I thought we had an amazing season and obviously we would have liked to come out with a win tonight, but I am really proud of every single member of our team.  I thought every player stepped up.  We had a great comeback in game four.  Next season starts now for us."

On the effect of the crowd:

"It was great for the sport of volleyball to have that kind of support out there, so thanks to the state of Nebraska."

Junior setter Bryn Kehoe

On Nebraska coming back to win game three:

"Volleyball is a game of streaks.  We let a streak go.  It was back and forth all night, and that's what makes volleyball exciting."

Nebraska head coach John Cook

Opening statement:

"What a tremendous accomplishment to win a national championship.  Of all of the teams to win a national championship, this may be one of the best of all time.  This team definitely maxed out everything that they had.  With the pressure they had to deal with all season, and then to be able to play in front of 17,000 each night, is just an unbelievable experience.  To follow that up with two Nebraska girls getting the last two kills on the night is a fairy-tale ending.

On ranking this championship with all of his personal experiences:

"This probably ranks number one.  This team maxed out to their abilities.  They really never wavered the entire year, and they embraced it if they did.  To win this here in Nebraska, with this group of people and overcoming the obstacles to get here and dealing with this pressure, it has to be number one.

On Jordan Larson:

"After Thursday night, [athletic director] Steve Pederson called HuskerVision and had them put together highlights of Larson making big plays.  We worked on that Friday, and Coach [Lee] Maes and Jordan watched it last night.  Jordan is a great player, and one of the most rewarding parts of this is seeing how she responded from Thursday night's match.  That's why she is a good player.  Jordan made a choice to have a big night."

On the season:

"When we won in 2000, people would say that those people were already here, but look at what we had to replace last year and the expectations that were placed on us, being ranked #1.  We've got two freshmen on the court.  At times we had four first-year players out there.  It's an amazing accomplishment.  I told this team when we were in China that something special was going on.  When you go on a trip to Asia for 20 days, and you come back as tight as possible as a group, there was just something special.  They found a way to get it done.  I don't think we are the most talented team.  I'm not even sure we were the best team, but we found ways to win.  That's why you play sports, and those are the intangible things you work for."

Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Larson

On the season:

"It was just such a long journey for our team.  Starting in China, we've went through some rough times.  I knew we would pull it together in the end.  I just wanted to win it for my team and play my hardest and forget about Thursday and give everything I had."

Junior outside hitter Sarah Pavan

On winning the championship:

"It's unbelievable.  I don't even know what I'm thinking right now.  I've won championships with teams before, but this doesn't even compare.  These are my best friends, and to share this experience with them on the court and the coaching staff, I am just ecstatic right now.  It's unbelievable to know we are the best team in the country."

Redshirt Freshman setter Rachel Holloway

On winning the championship:

"This definitely was a great journey.  I can't believe they put up with me all year.  I've made some stupid mistakes - I'm not going to lie.  But they helped me through it, and I owe it to them.  I couldn't do anything without the hitters I have."

Junior middle blocker Tracy Stalls

On winning the championship:

"You talk about the ultimate goal; our goal we kept talking about was to max-out our potential.  We did and that's the best feeling, dealing with things that are totally out of our control, and dealing with those things with our preparation, our effort, our attitude, and just how we relate with each other.  Together we did.  It's the best thing, to take this talent that the Lord gives you and max it out, you can't think of a better feeling."

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