Dec. 9, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As the Mizzou volleyball team prepares for its Sweet 16 matchup with 12th-seeded Duke tomorrow, the team took time out of its day to meet with members of the media and practice at Rec Hall. Below are quotes from the Tigers during the press conference and to view pictures of the day's action, click here, or click the link at the top of the page.
Mizzou Volleyball Quotes
NCAA Sweet 16 - University Park, Pa.
Thursday Press Conference
Head Coach Wayne Kreklow
On making his second regional final appearance at Penn State...
It was a really good trip for us last time (2005). We had a good weekend - we didn't come out on top in the second match of the weekend - Tennessee was a really good team, but we had a great match against Hawaii the night before. I was pleasantly surprised that we got to come back here. You always like to go someplace that you are familiar with. The players haven't been here before, but we have, so just being someplace that you have been before helps with all the little things. We are glad to be back and anytime you are still playing this time of year is great no matter where you are, but we are happy to be here. When the bracket came out, I didn't even look past the first one (vs. Northern Iowa), so for a long time I didn't even know where we would go if we won. So once we got past that first round, we were happy to be headed back out to Penn State.
On freshman setter Molly Kreklow...
She is obviously a really big part of what we do, particularly in the second half of the season when we have been playing quite well. A lot of that is due to her. She has had some injury issues throughout the year and as she gotten better and worked through some of those things. In the second half, she was able to do more things and that has helped us to become a much different team. She has become more comfortable and more confident with our system and the tempo that we like to play at now. She had a really good weekend up at Northern Iowa and she really played well, so that was a big boost for us.
Senior outside hitter Julianna Klein
On playing in the Sweet 16 at Penn State...
We are all just giddy and so happy to be here. Everyone is all smiles all day long and like (Caitlyn) Vann said, we are just having a good time and we are trying to cherish every moment that we have. We have never experienced this before, so it is really fun for us to be in this spot.
On gaining confidence after defeating fifth-seed Northern Iowa in the first round... Any time you beat the No. 5 seed, no matter who it is, that definitely boosts our confidence. But we can't overlook Duke by any means and start thinking about possibly playing Penn State - we know that everyone that we play from here on out is going to be a tough competition. It is going to be a battle to the end.
On the team's strengths...
One of our strengths is our competitive drive - we all are so competitive. We play so intensely and we are just throwing our bodies everywhere on the court. Recently, we have been doing well playing as a team, not as just six players. We are one unit and that is our strength right now.
Senior libero Caitlyn Vann
On the excitement of the team to be playing in the Sweet 16...
We are very excited to be here. The whole trip has been awesome and we are just trying to soak it all in and enjoy all of this as much as we possibly can. We are pumped.
On whether or not the team has been playing with an underdog mentality...
I'd say so. From the beginning of the tournament, I think we were the underdog. Hopefully we can stay in that underdog role so people don't expect us to come out and play really well. That is the role that we want to play.
Senior middle blocker Catie Wilson
On how the team has prepared to face Duke this weekend...
We came out and did a lot of the same stuff that we do every week - watch film, all that stuff. The only thing that changed was that we practiced to what their starting lineup would be like. Otherwise, I think our practices have stayed the same.
On playing as an underdog...
We have had a hard road so far, so we know that we have to come out and work hard every night. Our team right now has a lot of fire and a lot of confidence and everyone just goes out there and gives it their all every night. That is how upsets happen.
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