MSU Spartans
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Women's Volleyball
2013 NCAA Volleyball Tournament



Dec. 8, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Michigan State Head Coach Cathy George

Opening statement ...
"It was a well-fought battle. We started off strong in game one and Kentucky just roared back playing some outstanding volleyball. They did a lot of great things. I was glad to see our team responded after being down, and Kentucky coming in and making some runs at us. We panicked for a while. I thought we rushed a little bit too much, but then started to settle down; once we did that the team started to play more organized and started to take care of the ball on our side and do what we needed to do.

      A lot of key players stepped up in big-time situations and I was really pleased about that. I'm really proud of them and happy for them that this is the second Sweet 16 in a row for this team, this group and for these seniors. I'm very excited about next week, to come back here, but I want to tell you it's nice to come back to Kentucky because you guys have done an outstanding job running this tournament. It's a great place, and a great team with a great coach and coaching staff as well, so thanks for having us here."

On the regional matchups with Michigan State, Penn State, Minnesota and Stanford next week ...
"Well, you know quite honestly I haven't really looked past today. I know Penn State won, and I know that would be the team that we would face first, Obviously, we are very familiar with them. They are a great team and they have great momentum going into this tournament with some unbelievably physical players. We have our work cut out for us, no doubt. We just need to go after it and get aggressive so we are ready to play in that But, we are not looking past one game. We are putting all our focus into that. We have final exams on Monday, so the focus for the team is there. We will build on that as we come into the week, as we come back to see you all."



Michigan State Student-Athletes

# 1, Kori Moster, Jr., L

On how momentum from the third set carried over in the fourth ...
"Yes. Volleyball is a big momentum game and in that second set we gave it back to them a little bit. Against a good team that's not something you can do, so in that break we came out saying if we can control our side of the court and do what we know we can do its going to take them by surprise a little bit."

#18, Lauren Wicinski, Sr., OH

On what it meant to win the first set in a road match ...
"This is their home and their home crowd, so we knew it was important to come out here and be aggressive. Especially in that first set, we knew we had to take over that because we knew if we gave them the momentum we didn't know where it could go. We knew we had to stay patient and take that momentum from them."

#6, Allyssah Fitterer, Fr., MB

On what it meant to win the first set in a road match ...
"Coming into it we knew that every game from here on out could be the last game of our seniors' career if we don't keep winning. Like we said in the locker room each game is a battle in a war. We came out today and we fought and I think that showed."

Kentucky Head Coach Craig Skinner

Opening statement ...
"The hardest part for me is that you have a group of seniors who deserve to keep playing. The effort that's put in and how hard these guys work, it's tough to swallow when you don't come out on the winning end of the match like this. You have to give Michigan State credit because they killed the ball at an extremely high rate in sets three and four and that was the difference. The effort was there the entire match. They competed hard and you can't ask for more than that. You just hope that you execute better so you can score the points. These two here [Whitney Billings and Jackie Napper] played a heck of a match today. From here, the returners have to figure out a way to get better and go beyond this point. Always proud of these kids from day one and always will be. Congratulations to Michigan State for moving on."

On what changed in the third set ...
"[Michigan State] started passing better, getting the ball in system. They run a fast offense and when you have to try and block two or three at a time when they run it that fast and hit it that hard, that was the difference. Our short serve obviously gave them problems early and then we couldn't get out of system later so they were able to side out. We struggled too and thought we had some momentum and it changed. They earned their points there."

On how the team struggled in the first set last night and the first set today...
"Well, we won the first set last night so I was happy with our effort in that set. I was happy with our effort in set one here too. They just came out on the winning end. These matches in this round of the tournament, when you play against good teams, rarely does it go 3-0. Tonight was no exception. We battled back and gave ourselves chances in sets two and three and couldn't dig ourselves out of the hole in four so that was the big difference."

On the determination he saw from the seniors ...
"They've been committed since day one but you really saw a sense of pride and urgency for the program in the last half of the season. Nothing is ever given to you and at this point in the game, it really starts to hit home that it's not given to you so you have to go for it. All of these guys went for it. Very proud of Jessi [Greenberg] and her commitment to this program and [Desirre' Wilkerson] for changing schools and committing to Kentucky volleyball and Whitney [Billings] and [Alexandra Morgan] for putting five years of their lives into this program and a piece of them will always be here with us."

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#1, Whitney Billings, Sr, OH

On what changed while she was on serve in the second set ...
"I think we got them out of system with the short serve so we kept going with it. That's how we got our runs, just keep serving them short."

On whether she envisioned having such a strong career at Kentucky ...
"When I first got here, I didn't really know where my spot was going to be in Kentucky volleyball but as the years went on I kind of found my spot on the team as a leader. It's where I am now."

On how she feels about the legacy she's leaving behind ...
"I feel pretty good about it. I feel like I gave my team everything I could when I needed to and I know they looked up to me. I know there were some times where I didn't come up for them, but most of the times I did."

#15, Jackie Napper, DS

On what seemed like a one-on-one battle between the liberos ...
"I just didn't want it to be the last game for the seniors. They have fought hard since they've been here. Whitney [Billings] and [Alexandra Morgan] for five years, [Desirre' Wilkerson] for two and Jessi [Greenberg] for four and I didn't want it to be their last game."


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