Pre-tournament quotes from coaches

(Photo by Erin Tew/BYU Graphics)

Oklahoma Head Coach Santiago Restrepo

 

On making it to the NCAA tournament…

“It’s a great accomplishment for the University of Oklahoma and the volleyball program here. To make it into the NCAA Tournament the last four years means that we have had great players go and continue to come through the program. It means that we have had very good coaches and support staff helping them along in every way.”

On the program’s success the last four years…

“Hopefully we can continue the success that we have had. For those players that are going to stay here, hopefully they can learn throughout this experience so they can learn what we need to do in order to continuously get better so that we can get back to the NCAA Tournament every year.”

On the First Round NCAA…

“We’re very excited about the draw, and very excited we’re here in Provo. Arizona State has had a great season, and they play in a wonderful conference. They’ve done what they need to do to get to this point, and they’re going to be a very tough opponent.”

 

Arizona State Head Coach Jason Watson

 

On validation to getting to the postseason...

“There is an enormous amount of validation for what it is we are doing here. We always felt like this was a program with an enormous amount of potential. Arizona State should be good in volleyball. We have made this progress and it’s huge. It's a big step in a series of bigger steps we are going to take.”

On the difference of Pac-12 style of play and Big 12, specifically Oklahoma...

“Oklahoma is good, they're physical. They're physical in all six spots. In our conference people play the game a lot differently too. They're offensively a lot like USC and run it high. Defensively they're a lot like a lot of the teams we see. The thing about Oklahoma is that they've been here before, have played in the tournament and they have an enormous amount of experience and we don't.”

 

BYU Head Coach Shawn Olmstead

 

On getting into the tournament…

“Being in this tournament means everything to us. Last year I felt we were just one match out of the tournament, in my opinion, so to get back in it is just right where we want to be. It’s what we said at the end of last season. We kind of had to control our own destiny. A conference championship gives you that guarantee. You don’t have to sit around waiting to figure out what’s going to happen next.

On hosting the tournament…

“I think playing at home is important for these kids. They can rest up, they can feel like they’re in their environment. We practice here, we get to play here, so I think that’s a huge advantage for us. We’re comfortable here in the Smith Fieldhouse and we love being here.”

 

New Mexico State Head Coach Mike Jordan

 

Talk about what it means to the program to get back to the NCAA Tournament…

“It’s fantastic to be back. It’s been three years and when you have become accustomed to get into the tournament the way we were it makes you want to get in even that much more. It’s just a great feeling to be back.”

Talk about the excitement of being in the tournament, especially with such a young team…

“That is one of the great things about this; to have the youth that we have on the team this year. It’s a great experience for them and it will benefit us in the future, obviously.”

Talk about playing at a site like BYU…

“It’s going to be a tough environment that is for sure.  They are a tough team and they haven’t lost at home, so it will be a good challenge to take on.  They are expecting about 2,000 people, so it should be a great atmosphere to play in.  This is why our student-athletes decided to join NMSU; to play in the NCAA Tournament and environments like this.”