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December 13, 2012

Dominique Gonzalez

Russ Rose

Ariel Scott


Oregon – 3
Penn State – 1

THE MODERATOR:  Opening statement from Coach Rose.
COACH ROSE:  Well, I thought we had a few opportunities in the second game that we let slip away, and I think we just lost a lot of confidence and steam at that point in time.
And we had an injury that gave us an opportunity for some other people to step up and for us to do a little better job coaching, and I don't think we did a very good job.  And that was, in my mind, kind of how the game slipped away.  Our best rotation is with Micha serving and hitting the jump serve.  And when that happened, we didn't really have a good plan B.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Dominique or Ariel, what was it like in the huddle?  What were you saying to each other when Micha went down?
DOMINIQUE GONZALEZ:  I guess we were just worried for her, obviously, but realized we had to focus on the game, what was next, and to stay focused and stay calm and get the ball.  If she was going to stay in, we needed to get the ball up higher for her and just things like that.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Dominique.  More questions?

Q.  Ariel, could you maybe talk about what Coach Rose was saying in that second set?  Did you feel like kind of it was tough for you after you guys lost that?  Was there a little bit of a focus problem coming out in the third set, or what do you think‑‑ how do you think it affected you?
ARIEL SCOTT:  I wouldn't say it was a focus problem, but winning a game like that definitely had the momentum.  We had chances to win.  But we didn't do it.
COACH ROSE:  We were down 20‑10 and then had four game points.  But it was also obvious in between Games 2 and 3 that it wasn't like Micha was getting healthier.  So we needed to win that second game.  We might have been able to camouflage our way through and do some other things.  But I think she wasn't able‑‑ wasn't really able to jump for the balance and couldn't jump serve, and it caught up with us.
We still had some opportunities for people to do things.  But I think the credit should go to Oregon.  We had a similar situation last week when we were playing Minnesota.  One of their outside hitters tweaked her ankle and came out, and we were fortunate enough to score some points while she wasn't in.
So that's part of the game.  I thought Carp was game, and a couple of other people, you know, had opportunities and they weren't in a position to answer the bell at the level they wanted to or we wanted to.
But I think you give credit to Oregon.  Oregon, they do a lot of things really well.  And they were the better team.

Q.  Coach, in that second set, toward the end there, there seemed to be some concern on the bench.  I think you might have expressed something to the R‑2 on the way out about whether the sets were being called properly.  What were you saying to the R‑2, and what do you think about the sets at the end?
COACH ROSE:  We're not allowed to comment on the officiating.  So I think that there were opportunities for the players to do better and the coaches to do better.  I'm not in a position to judge the officials.

Q.  Both of you, could you talk about getting to this point and the frustration of not being able to still be playing on Saturday?
DOMINIQUE GONZALEZ:  It's always frustrating to finish your season on a loss.  But the worst thing would be to not learn from it and get better and move on.
ARIEL SCOTT:  Yeah, obviously this isn't how we wanted to end our season.  But the other team is a good team.  And, I mean, we played hard, I'd say, so...
It's pretty disappointing, though.

Q.  Coach, what does this say about your program when you don't win a national championship in two years and it's a disappointment when most of the country would be happy with a finish like this?
COACH ROSE:  If you're going to like it when you're on top, you gotta be able to man up when you're not.  It is what it is.  Either the players are going to step up and do what they have to do and we're going to get better as a staff or we'll look back on an era of Penn State volleyball and say, boy, that was a great era.  Players have to be able to do a little bit more.  And I shared the thoughts with the players.
One team ends the season on a great high.  That's what it is.  Doesn't mean everybody else is failures.  I think it's how do you assess‑‑ like Dom said about what do you learn, how do you assess the whole season?  You don't base it on this match.  We didn't go into the match thinking what do we do if Micha gets hurt.  Micha didn't miss a match all year.  All of a sudden she gets hurt, and it's an opportunity for other people to step up and do things.  And I'm like asking them:  How do you feel?  Do you feel like you're really good?
I thought we had opportunities to win the second game.  I'm disappointed that the errors that took place and service error at critical times, I'm disappointed in that.  I'm not disappointed in losing.  If you coach for as long as I've coached, you realize you win, you lose.  Those are the two choices.

Q.  Ariel, can you talk about the block you guys had and how important it was to keep you guys in this match?
ARIEL SCOTT:  Which block?

Q.  All the blocks you had, the big blocking advantage?
ARIEL SCOTT:  Yeah, I mean, we definitely blocked a lot today, but we didn't match that in hitting.  So it was pretty much evened out in the end.
I think the city of Louisville and the University of Louisville and the organization that came together to put together this event has done a terrific job.  Everybody's done a great job.  And we were sorry we didn't play a little better.  But it certainly wasn't for the effort by all the organizing committees that did their work and the volleyball committee and everyone that worked so hard for three or four years to put together an event like this.  I hope it's a great final.

Q.  Coach, just your thoughts on Deja's play tonight.  Seemed like her play tapered off a little bit after that marathon second set.
COACH ROSE:  It's such a hard thing for Deja to be playing at home and she wants to do so well, and I thought she had some flashes where she was doing really well, and then the fourth game she kind of just fizzled and burned and got aced two or three times and had a couple of hitting errors.  And her desire to want to do well is very high, and it was an opponent that wasn't going to allow that to happen tonight.
So it's never one player that costs a team.  It's usually a coach much more than a player.  And so the credit should go to the other team, and I take a great deal of disappointment in how we prepared.

Q.  Give me some thoughts about Bergsma and Brenner.
COACH ROSE:  Well, I mean, I think they were what we thought they were going to be.  I'm not‑‑ we played them last year.  And they had 16 and 17 kills and hit .170.  So, I mean, I think we held them to a very low hitting percentage, but she's got a terrific arm.  Great range.  And it didn't take very long for them to realize that, the rotations that Micha was in the front row, she couldn't block.  So we should have done a better job changing the defense a little bit and trying make some things.
But I thought they're terrific.  And I think Plum is a terrific setter and a great leader.  And it's a great deal for their team.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

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