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December 15, 2018

Audriana Fitzmorris

Kevin Hambly

Morgan Hentz

Kathryn Plummer

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Stanford - 3, Nebraska - 2

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Stanford. We'll start with opening comments from coach, followed by questions for the student-athletes.

KEVIN HAMBLY: First, just congratulations to Nebraska on their season. I don't know that I've been part of a match that was, I don't know, more interesting, more hard-fought. The turnaround they had after set three, then the turnaround we had to make after set four, you just don't see that very often in matches. They played incredible.

Foecke was unbelievable in that match. We couldn't touch her. It's sad to see her leave the sport -- not the sport, but leave the NCAA. She's going to have a long career ahead of her. I think we just all have a lot of respect for that team, how hard they play, the way they defend, the way they scrap.

We knew we had to match that from the beginning. That was the difference in the sets we won; they won. Who defended, who passed. I'm really proud of our girls for the turnaround, sorry, our young women for the turnaround after the fourth and staying together because it could have been easy for us to fracture and fall apart.

All in all, I think we're elated and exhausted.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Kathryn, is it fair to say you were out of sorts and out of sync for a lot of the match, but you were able to grind through?
KATHRYN PLUMMER: I don't know how to answer that question (laughter).

I think that Nebraska was just doing a really good job of executing their game plan. We found out other ways to score when I wasn't scoring. Other people stepped up, and that's what did it for us.

Q. Morgan, when the challenge was denied, do you remember what you said and can you repeat it?
MORGAN HENTZ: I don't exactly remember what I said. There were a lot of emotions going on in that point. But all I can say is that I'm so happy that we won and we got that point.

Q. Morgan, could you address that turnaround from the fourth set to the fifth. What went wrong in the fourth, what did you say to each other after the set, how did you pull it together for the fifth?
MORGAN HENTZ: Yeah, in that fourth set, Nebraska came out swinging hard; they were on top of it. They got us out of system with their serve. We weren't able to get in rhythm.

Going into the fifth set, we got to lay it out there, give it everything we have. It took us a while to get there. Nebraska kept coming back and back. They put up an amazing fight.

We were able to fight back, as well.

Q. Kathryn, can you talk about the fifth set. Such a hard set to play when it all comes down to one set. You were trailing a couple of times. Were there nerves?
KATHRYN PLUMMER: Before the fifth set started in our huddle, we just talked about playing mini games to five, executing point by point. That's how you have to break down a fifth set. We work a lot in practice with that type of scoring, executing at a high level.

I think our team, like I said, took it point by point. You can't look ahead or behind. A fifth set is short. If you hold up on things, it's not going to end in your favor.

I think we did a really good job of coming out strong after that kind of crummy fourth set. I'm so proud of these girls.

Q. Audriana, could you talk about the two women next to you, then Jenna. Talk about the bond between the four of you all in the same class.
AUDRIANA FITZMORRIS: I'm so proud to call the people around me my teammates and more than that, my friends. They're people that we spend so many hours in the gym, then outside of the gym together. To be able to go through all of this with them makes the journey and the process 10 times greater.

Yeah, just so thankful for these people around me, Jenna, Morgan, Plummer. Going to miss our seniors, as well. They contributed a lot to our program. I think the people make the experience. I'm just very thankful for the people around me that have made this experience amazing.

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

Q. Talk about Holly Campbell's night, what she meant to your team.
KEVIN HAMBLY: I mean, she was clutch. Huge swing there in the fifth, in a rotation that's difficult for us, rotation four. We were struggling to sideout there. Jenna went to her, she made a great play. High, flat off the hands.

She wasn't a person that was scoring points. If you look at her numbers early in the season, she hit around a hundred for the first 10 to 12 matches. She worked really hard, her and Jenna, to add shots, figure out how to play college volleyball. For her to be that clutch in this big of a moment speaks volumes about her hard work and also her heart. She's a special kid.

Q. The match certainly ended in a different kind of way. They celebrated, then there was a challenge. Did it cross your mind, If we lose this point, you have to regroup?
KEVIN HAMBLY: Yeah, I mean, Meghan was heartbroken because she thought she was over. She lost the national championship. That wasn't going to be the case because we still had another swing at it.

The thing we were saying is, We ground them real quick when it was challenging, if this turns, we're fine, 14-13, we can sideout, we're going to be great. Keep their heads straight on that, calm down Meghan. Some were crying because they won the national championship, some were crying because they were scared they made a mistake.

The thing about that point, we've been asking Meghan to hit the bick hard in transition like that all year and she finally did. That's what I was excited about, she actually took a rip on it, especially in that big of a moment. Pretty special swing.

Q. It's not time to talk about legacy yet, but in moments like this, how does it show there's something special about that group?
KEVIN HAMBLY: I mean, I think everyone witnessed it, between all four of these juniors, just incredible leaders in totally different ways. I will say that we're going -- they mentioned we're going to miss the seniors. You only see Tami Alade out there. Alexis, Courtney, Payton bring every single day in practice is the reason we're here as well. Between the two groups right there, the leadership has been incredible. The dedication...

The commitment to getting better every day. We were really frustrated about last year. The things we asked them to do were not easy. We asked them to bust their ass on defense, work harder, get better at passing, be more competitive, go for it. We have had to make some paradigm shifts in the way we looked at the game, the effort level. The seniors and these guys were driving that, making sure they held each other accountable. That's what this match was about, about defense and passing.

Q. You called that timeout up 14-12. What was your message to the team?
KEVIN HAMBLY: Take a deep breath. We work at this all the time. We put them in situations like this in practice all the time, you have to put a ball away, sideout at this moment. Here is the play. Let's execute. Don't get ahead of yourselves. It's not over yet.

What all coaches say, total coach speak. Just wanted to calm them down a little bit.

Q. Did you call that bick out of the timeout?
KEVIN HAMBLY: It was a transition play.

Q. How do you feel right now?
KEVIN HAMBLY: I don't know. I'm tired actually. I'm just exhausted. I don't think it's all settled in. I think one of the things I said to my wife, It's done, I don't have to worry about that any more. Like (Kentucky coach John) Calipari said, you don't have that hanging over your head to win the national championship. That's out of the way, now we can try to win more at Stanford.

I think I kind of need some time to calm down, let it set in. I'm too tired to really think about what this means, how excited I am. It's been a long season. We've grinded to try to be good for the last.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.

KEVIN HAMBLY: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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