Stanford Head Coach John Dunning
First I'd like to congratulate Sac State. I think they had another great season; they've had many under Debby [Colberg]. I don't know how many years it's been... 32? I've known her the entire time she's been coaching there and she's one of the people I admire the most in our profession. She's a great coach and I'll be sad not to coach against her anymore, but I want to congratulate her. I'd like to congratulate Cynthia [Barboza] and Foluke [Akinradewo] – I think they played very well, at an amazingly high level tonight. You can count on that on for every match here on out.
On Stanford playing a close Game 3 (winning 30-28):
I thought that Game 2 was a big thing. We've been playing well in Game 1, in Game 2, we sometimes let the intensity drop and I thought we played great in Game 2. In Game 3, I think that Sac State just raised their level and put pressure on us.
On the upsets thus far in the NCAA Tournament:
Some amazing upsets. It's just a sign of parity in the sport. There are so many good teams. Debby and I were talking about that before the match. Women's volleyball is amazing – the number of good players and the skill level... all the teams are good.
On Bryn Kehoe:
I agree with Cynthia and I'm sure Foluke would say the same thing. Bryn is a great athlete. She's been playing volleyball since she's been a year old or something – both her parents were players. She has a lot of neat intangibles about her, as well as her volleyball and athletic skills. Figuratively, she would rather die than lose. It's great to have people like that on your side
Comparing this year's team to last year's squad:
I don't think I want to get into that. Out of any year that I've watched, there are more really, really good teams than any other year. I think that there are so many people, including the two sitting here, playing the college game right now that are going to end up playing in the Olympics, playing at the highest level year round internationally. The level of play is just amazing... We can do some amazing things. You watched them hit some balls today, block some balls, play great defense that is at a very, very high level.
Cynthia Barboza, Outside Hitter
On Stanford's play in the third game:
I agree with John. I think Sac State came out with a new intensity after we went in for the break. They pushed us just like team we've played in conference and every team we'll see here on out. I think it was good for us to come out on top of that game. They are definitely a good team and made us raise our level.
On playing Cal Poly in the Sweet Sixteen, for the second time this year:
We can say you've played a team already in the season, but playoffs brings out something entirely different in every team. Just because we beat them before doesn't mean really anything.
On having Bryn Kehoe running the Stanford offense:
She's just such a good athlete, so competitive. You can tell she's going to give it her best on every single point so it's awesome to have a person like that on the court with you that you can look at and know she's on the right page every time.
On playing against teams that have a different style of play than Stanford:
Yes, that's why we do all of our scouting. We don't come across too many teams that play the same exact style as us, because everyone has different set of weapons. Sac State did bring a lot of unique, new challenges to the court. Missie Stidham is a great player. She was tough to handle for us. Everyone on their team did a really good job.
Foluke Akinradewo, Middle Blocker
On what she would like to see from her team against Cal Poly:
Obviously, I'd like to see a win! I think just bringing intensity and starting the game strong and ending the game strong. I think we need to focus on every point. I think we sometimes get a bit complacent, but I believe that if we play how we can play and bring all our intensity, no team can beat us, if we are playing how we should be playing.
Debby Colberg, Sacramento State Head Coach
I think in the match, at the very beginning, we just had so much trouble passing the ball that we could hardly function out there. They just got so many points off of serve receive, we were never in that game. I felt that when we did pass the ball, we were able to rally and score some points. We hit pretty well in that first game, but the ball control was really lacking. Stanford was serving really hard and deep floaters and we had trouble passing them. That hurts your confidence. You're never going to play at a level that's higher than what you can pass. Game 2 was much of the same, or worse in terms of attacking. We couldn't mount an attack at all against them. So during halftime, we just decided that we were hoping Stanford was going to come out with that normal third game lull after winning the first two. They kind of did and they didn't play with the same intensity. I think we had a little bit more opportunities in that game – they were out of system more. We couldn't get them out of system at all in the first two games. The third game, we had our opportunities, but we didn't have the belief that we could really win the game and go on. My hats off to them – when they are in system, they are really a tough team to defend. They hit around us, over us, through us... pretty much you have to defend against the entire back court and you can't do that. Very impressive when they are in system.
On facing Stanford virtually every year in the first round:
It's hard to have perspective right now. I feel like you want a sense of fairness in your life. Based on where we live, it dictates that we are in a Final Four match, essentially, right off the bat, right out of the chute almost every year. It makes it hard to build a program. So it's hard to keep a perspective as a coach and motivate your players. This was a little bit better because we got to play someone else other than that Final Four match right off the bat. And then we get to play the best in the country, so we get a taste of both. It's all based on money. You'd like to see the whole tournament seeded. That would be the ultimate for athletes. And if we're in it for athletes, we've got to be headed that way.
On whether it dawned on her that it was the final time she would ever walk off the court after 32 years of coaching:
You know, it didn't when I was walking off. You are just so consumed that you just lost. That's been a part of my life this whole season. I've been feeling that all along. I don't know if tonight is any different. Maybe when I don't have to go to practice, it'll hit me, but it's been hitting me all season long. It's not anything tonight that's any different than what's going on before.
Jennifer Ferguson, Outside Hitter
On the intimidation factor of playing Stanford at Maples:
I think so. Coming in and playing Stanford, there are always some nerves, but at the same time, we know it's going to happen and we're coming out ready to play. It just didn't happen for us tonight.
On beating Minnesota, a Big Ten team, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament:
Yeah, we got to keep that in mind. That's what's keeping us positive. We had a great match last night. We played hard, the team came out well. That was good.
On playing for Coach Colberg and with fellow senior Lindsay Haupt:
It's been amazing playing for a coach like Debby and a player like Lindsay – she's amazing. I think we've set the standards for the younger girls to live up to and that's all you can do is leave something behind to help the kids play harder for the next years.
Lindsay Haupt, Middle Blocker
On leaving the Sacramento State program with Coach Colberg:
I'm really glad she sticked [sic] around for our last year! She's the best coach I've ever had. I came from a really small school and I could never had dreamed of the things she taught me, not only on the court, but also throughout life. I think she definitely puts her influence on us to be good people. She teaches us beyond skill.
On Sacramento State's nine-point run at the end of Game 1:
It was just going out and being aggressive. Against [Stanford], you just can't worry, you can't be scared; you have to be courageous. Just going out, plugging away and picking at them to make them work as hard as they can for every single point. It was sheer hard work.
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