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December 14, 2018

Kevin Hambly

Jenna Gray

Morgan Hentz

Kathryn Plummer

Minneapolis, Minnesota

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Stanford. We will start with some opening comments from coach.

KEVIN HAMBLY: Congratulations to Nebraska. That was an incredible match last night, to watch them against Illinois. It was a great battle, incredible comeback.

They are the defending champions. They showed that last night with their heart and fight. We feel like it's going to be a great match.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Kathryn, do you feel like you spent your whole day in front of a microphone and camera?
KATHRYN PLUMMER: This morning was fun, talking to public people. A little bit uncomfy, but we're good now.

Q. Thoughts about being named the National Player of the Year?
KATHRYN PLUMMER: It's just a great honor. The people that were up for being recognized were some high-level athletes. To be in that class is just really incredible.

But like I said at the banquet, it's more of a team award because I couldn't have done it without my team.

Q. Morgan, yesterday in the first set, had you a sideout percentage from 62% that went up to 72% in the second. How important is that going to be at this stage in the national championship game, starting out at that level?
MORGAN HENTZ: It's really important. We talk about serve and pass before every single game. If we're not in system, we can't run our offense. When we communicate at a really high level, we're able to pass really well together. It's definitely going to be key in this next match.

Q. Kathryn, yesterday 17 total team blocks, in a three-set match, you're playing at your highest level possible? Is that possible to do again in the championship match?
KATHRYN PLUMMER: I think the only way that we can get that many blocks in a three-set match is first with our serve, we're able to set up, because they couldn't run their fast offense that they wanted to. Then our middles are just doing a really good job of getting low and over, which we work on every single day in practice.

Like, knowing that our defenders are there behind us, they have trust in our blocks, just gives us extra confidence to excel at that.

Yesterday we got BYU out of system a lot, so it made it a lot easier to put up some big blocks.

Q. Jenna, Nicklin is a freshman at this stage in the championship match. You were the same. What are some of your memories being a freshman playing at this level? What kind of helped you to feel at ease?
JENNA GRAY: Yeah, I feel like a lot of the stuff from freshman year is kind of a blur because it was all moving so fast.

Just knowing that I have my other freshmen on the court there with me. Then we had Inky (Ajanaku), who was an incredible leader. We look to her a lot. I just felt so much confidence in her.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. We'll continue with questions for coach.

Q. Mikaela is not only a great player but she's a great leader. What does Stanford need to do to limit her impact on the match?
KEVIN HAMBLY: We need to block and defend, which isn't going to be easy. She's going to get some points, she's going to score. I think we need to do our best to make the offense simple, so maybe we can get a better block set up, like Kathryn was mentioning, serve aggressively, hopefully get them off in that a little bit so we can set up our block, do the best we can.

Q. Jenna Gray, Stanford volleyball. If you could pick a favorite player on the team, so it can be blonde, a setter, who would it be?
KEVIN HAMBLY: Well, it was Jenna Gray (laughter). Now it's Payton Chang.

Jenna, get out of here (laughter).

Thanks, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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