NCAA Sweet 16: vs. Cal Poly - Quotes

Post-game quotes from Stanford and Cal Poly following Stanford's 3-0 sweep of the Regional Semifinal NCAA match.

Stanford Head Coach John Dunning

Opening Statement:

I'd like to congratulate Cal Poly on a great season. If you consider where they were two years ago, you have to be amazed with where they are right now. And I'm very proud of our group tonight. I thought they did a great job of preparing. They're in finals, writing papers, all that, but they handled it great. That's what you have to do every step of the way. It was also a great crowd tonight. As a coach, sometimes you just have to sit back and appreciate it.

On the defense:

I think when our team starts to get in rallies like there were at the start of the game, our team wishes we conditioned more. But Foluke doesn't like to run, so we don't do as much conditioning. Erin, you can thank her for that.

The defense we used was similar to what we were using, we just did it really well. Atherstone can hit ball where you don't think they're going to go, but we did a great job on her. That goes back to them doing a great job preparing today.

On Nebraska's near-loss to Michigan State upsets in the NCAA Tournament:

As soon as we heard they were down 2-0, we were checking in pretty regularly. I thought before this season started, this was going to be the best overall year in the history of women's volleyball. Some amazing teams and more really good teams than we've ever had. And it's not increasing by a little, it's increasing by a lot. I thought every team in the Pac-10 might be better than they were last year, which is really hard to do. It's a great sport, that's what I think it is and people are catching onto it. A lot of people know about football, basketball, baseball, but now, it's neat, I don't know that they've ever televised two matches in a Regional before.


Foluke Akinradewo, Sophomore Middle Blocker

On starting strong:

Every play, I try to give my all for my teammates, so whatever I can do to help them out is what I do. It's always helpful when you have a great pass and a great set, so it's great for you as a hitter.

On UCLA:

UCLA's a great team, but they're definitely an emotional team. They never give up, ever on defense. Nellie's a great setter. We need to focus for every point, but if we stay focused and put the ball away, we should be okay.

On upsets in the NCAA Tournament:

Going back to our freshman year when we lost to Santa Clara, we know every team brings something different and so it's very important to take it one game at a time. We focused on keeping the focus, keeping the intensity and never relaxing. I think we learned from two years back what happens when you start relaxing.


Erin Waller, Junior Right-Side Hitter

I just had good sets, was making contact and somehow the blockers seemed to be in the wrong spot, so I got lucky. I always play better when I'm in the game like that, really excited and going.

On the team's differences between now and their first contest against Cal Poly:

I think we're a lot more together and on the same page than we were early on. We know what we're doing before the play even happens or what's going on. We watched film from our game earlier and it was amazing to see how much we've changed.


Cal Poly Head Coach Jon Stevenson

Stanford is an excellent team and they came out firing on all cylinders. The first blast they hit us with was enough to knock us right out. I don't think we ever regained our focus. I wish I could have somehow called a different substitution or serving zone or something that would have made the outcome different, but it was an onslaught. In the first ten points, they probably won five quality rallies and made great plays along the way.


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