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NCAA WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP


December 18, 2014


Megan Courtney

Ali Frantti

Micha Hancock

Russ Rose


OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA

Penn State テや 3
Stanford - 1


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're now joined by Penn State, coach Russ Rose and Megan Courtney, Micha Hancock and Ali Frantti.テつ We'll take an opening comment from Coach.
COACH ROSE:テつ Well, as is the norm, when we play Stanford, it's always a great match with players having to step up and make plays and grind, and every year we find ourselves in that situation with them.
So we're thrilled with the victory tonight.テつ We've got some great performances.テつ I thought Megan was the offensive star of the night.テつ And Ali really battled and did a great job.
So I thought we had a nice game plan, and sometimes the ball rolls your way, and we had a real good effort tonight.

Q.テつ Megan, safe to say you like playing Stanford?
MEGAN COURTNEY:テつ Yeah.テつ Yes, I do.

Q.テつ Can you correlate and talk about the match early in the year and then this one tonight, those are by far your two biggest matches?
MEGAN COURTNEY:テつ Playing Stanford, there's a big tradition of Penn State‑Stanford, and it goes way back further than any of us have played.
Coach has really instilled us the tradition.テつ It's a grind.テつ Stanford is a great team.テつ They're the No. 1 team in the country.テつ Well deserved.
The game we played earlier, we fought.テつ It was a five‑game set.テつ It was a thriller that could go either way until that fifth set.
Tonight it was just about the 20 girls on the team, the coaching staff, against the world, and that's what we took it as and that's what we did.

Q.テつ Micha, what does it do for your offense when you have Megan being so consistent on the outside?テつ She had 23 kills, six, six, six, and five by set.テつ How important is that for the offense for her to be consistent?
MICHA HANCOCK:テつ It's really important.テつ It's nice to know you can chuck the ball outside and someone's out there putting the ball down.
So we've had a little struggle with passing early and she came alive.テつ So it was good.テつ When we started passing better we were more comfortable.テつ We could get the ball to the middle, I could chuck it behind me.テつ So it really opened us up.

Q.テつ Micha, can you just talk about how you felt like you handled the emotions and all of the surrounding stuff before this match and coming in?
MICHA HANCOCK:テつ Yeah, I mean, it was emotional for me to even see like our send‑off.テつ Our band, they came out it was like, what am I doing?テつ I have a semifinal match.テつ I was like after that no more of this crybaby crap, I'm going to zone in and I'm going to play hard for my team.
So when they're there looking me in the eye.テつ So it was good to have them around.

Q.テつ Ali, what do you guys look forward to with BYU given the run they've had and the big match Saturday night?
ALI FRANTTI:テつ I've never played in a national championship.テつ So I think that's pretty cool I get to experience that my freshman year.テつ I think we're just going to take it one step at a time one point at a time.テつ BYU, we watched them earlier they're a really great team.テつ We have a lot to look forward to.

Q.テつ Historically, just because you have the frame of reference, what Ali did as a freshman tonight in a Final Four, is there anything like super significant, is it one of the great ones?テつ She had big numbers.
COACH ROSE:テつ She played even better the first time we played Stanford.

Q.テつ But that wasn't a Final Four.
COACH ROSE:テつ Not in the Final Four but it was her first big match against a great opponent.テつ And she had 20 kills and hit over 400.テつ But for her to come out and play as well as she did is a terrific tribute to her and she's been sick and missing practices and she really had to battle out there today.
I thought we looked really tired.テつ It was a tough match.テつ When a match starts at 9:30 Eastern Time, you don't have ample time to get your biological clocks correct.テつ So it's a challenge for these guys.テつ We try and get them into the right mindset and try and get it done.テつ But it's really hard.
So hopefully we'll be a little fresher because obviously BYU beat, to go back to back, beat Nebraska and then Texas, for sure they have our attention.

Q.テつ Megan Courtney has at times in the past been not completely consistent in big matches.テつ And she was nails tonight.テつ Seemed like she not only hit for a high percentage but she kept the ball in when she could have hit it out in tough spots.テつ Tell me a little bit about her progression this year as a big game player.
COACH ROSE:テつ She's been a key player in our program since she came in.テつ When she first came in, we would other hitters.テつ So her responsibility was a little different.テつ And even this year maybe her responsibility wasn't to be the go‑to hitter.
But she had a good rhythm tonight.テつ Took some great swings.テつ Had a lot of confidence.テつ She took a couple of swings I'm sure she'd like to take back.テつ But she plays the full game.
She's our best volleyball IQ individual.テつ And the expectations are really high for her.テつ I'm happy that Nia Grant, who had a really tough night offensively, was able to contribute as well as she did at the net blocking.
I mean, Inky and Lutz are really good and both of them are hitting over .400.テつ That's a veteran team, and we really knew that we had to battle in different positions and try and get some points at certain times.

Q.テつ You said BYU has your attention.テつ What are you already thinking about with them?テつ Or what have you thought about any already?
COACH ROSE:テつ I haven't watched any video on them.テつ I saw some of the match on TV, because I'm not going to think about BYU at the expense of watching as much film as I possibly could and try and pull out all the scenarios that take place with Stanford.テつ We played Stanford a number of times.
I think we played them 17 times.テつ And that's a lot of times to play a great opponent.テつ One of the top programs in the country.テつ So I wasn't looking at BYU and Texas.テつ I just kind of on a cursory review just kind of look at it.テつ But I knew the teams that they beat were really good.
I mean, we lost to Nebraska earlier in the year.テつ So Nebraska is good.テつ Wisconsin.テつ We had a match similar to this last week with a great Wisconsin team and we really had to battle.テつ So that match really provided us an opportunity to recognize.テつ We had to dig a lot of balls and we had to make smart swings when they were available.
And so I'll know more about BYU tomorrow and hopefully I'll know a lot about them by Saturday.

Q.テつ You said you're not‑‑ you're a fan of the float serve.テつ And seemed like tonight everybody always talks about Micha but tonight it was the float serves that seemed to give Stanford most of the trouble for most of the night?
COACH ROSE:テつ I think they passed better than we did.テつ I mean, you're going to get what you get.テつ We lost the game when Micha missed three serves and that was the game.テつ She served three times she missed three serves.
We battled back and had a chance.テつ But if you're going to lead the nation in aces, the downside is some days you're just not going to have much pop or whatever it is.
She's got a great float serve, too, but I remember last year in the Finals asking if she wanted to go to the floater and she swore at me.テつ So I decided that I'll let her take that swing.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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