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May 21, 2018

Elliott Avent

Durham, North Carolina

ELLIOTT AVENT: Just a team that's been very, very consistent from Opening Day to where we are now. Their mentality, makeup, intensity, how they go about it every day I haven't seen changed through winning streaks that we've had or losing streaks that we've had. Very resilient group that have gone through a lot of changes this year through injuries, and had to make adjustments or rely on a lot of freshmen and watch them come along and grow.

They just dealt with a lot, and very resilient group.

Q. Virginia this year, especially recently, has been using a lot of lefties in their lineup. How does that impact maybe who you pitch, your strategy this weekend and kind of what you see out of that lineup?
ELLIOTT AVENT: Well, I think one of the great things about the tournament is you know who you're going to play, so you can play matchups that you're alluding to, and if we had to win the tournament to advance to post-season, that's obviously something that we would look at more so than we are now.

But right now we're trying to not only go to the tournament and prove our seeding, whether it be a national seed or just improve our seeding for hosting in trying to win the tournament, but obviously get ready for post-season play next week, as well.

Q. Is it almost just a little weird to look at the standings and see that you have UVA in your pool, the 10-seed, being in this league a long time and what they have accomplished and not having that type of year this year?
ELLIOTT AVENT: Well, they have dealt with some injuries, as well. I know McCarthy, who is one of the top players in the ACC, and you lose a guy like that for basically all the year -- I think they got him back like the last, whatever games, ten games or so, which is not only a big boost to their lineup, it's also a big boost to their team mentally to get a guy like that back. But they have dealt with some injuries.

They are the 10-seed in this tournament and they are the 10-seed a lot because of the injuries they have had, and they are a lot better team right now than they have been all year.

Q. Do you have a starting pitcher for your first game?
ELLIOTT AVENT: First game is going to be Reid Johnston.

MIKE FINN: We've asked this question to a lot of the coaches, just to talk about the overall depth and quality of the league this year.

ELLIOTT AVENT: I think the overall quality for the last, I don't know, you can pick any number you want, but the quality of the last six or seven years has been incrementally a lot better than it's been since I've been in the league.

A lot of people talk about the fact that because of this is a league that's gotten -- you know better than I, eight or nine regional teams in it, and hopefully we will. Hopefully there's some teams that are going to make a run here in this tournament and do well and get into the post-season.

But I think the quality of depth in this league is what's changed this league from where it was eight, ten years ago. So everybody beats everybody. Every weekend is a tough weekend, and then obviously, you have some teams this year that are putting together unbelievable years on top of that.

The league is as strong as I've ever seen it.

MIKE FINN: I know you got a question about Virginia, but you also have Florida State in your pool. Can you talk about what they present, as well?

ELLIOTT AVENT: Yeah, they are fresh in my mind. We just got through playing them. They are as hot as they can be right now, much like when we played North Carolina a few weeks ago.

You know, good teams are good teams, but good teams on a roll, they present quite a problem. Florida State is very hot right now, playing very well, and they are as healthy as they have been all year. That's what you want to try to do. We all go through injuries throughout the year. You want to be as healthy as you can getting ready for post-season. That's where they are right now, very healthy, playing very well and with a lot of confidence and their pitching is really, really, really good.

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