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Coach Kritza's Comments Following Thursday's Practice

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Dec. 4, 2008

NCAA Tournament Central
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On tomorrow's NCAA First-Round match against Tennessee Tech
"Obviously, this is a very exciting time for this program. The team is in good spirits, they fell that they are well prepared and this is a moment that we have all been working really hard towards the last couple of years. But at the same time, we have found that balance where we focus on the task at hand, and for us the task at hand right now is a really tough match tomorrow night against a quality opponent. I fully expect Tennessee Tech to challenge us and we are expecting to advance our level of play tomorrow night."

On what the team will have to draw on in order to be successful in the NCAA Tournament
"We have fared pretty well throughout the conference portion of our season, but now we have to draw on our experience from the pre-conference and some of those teams that we went out all over the country and played to get us to this point right now. I am relying on a good class of seniors and some strong leadership. These players understand the importance of every single match, every single set and every single point. I am completely confident that they will ready to go tomorrow night and they will represent this University well as they have all season."

On Friday's opponent, Tennessee Tech
"Tennessee Tech is a good, solid ballclub similar to the teams in Conference USA that have fared well against us. They are a very disciplined group that can control their team systems well, so we expect them to play very good defense against us and not to be very error prone. They would not be here in the NCAA Tournament if they were. They know how to play this game well. Their coaches do a good job of matchups and making adjustments during the course of play. We are expecting a tough match tomorrow night. It is a good thing that we have had plenty of tough matches this season and we look forward to raising our level of play with every level of the postseason."

On what the team's goals are for their first trip to the NCAAs
"We want to remember this history-making season as much more than just a trip to the NCAAs. It is much more than that because it is a realistic goal for us to advance deep into the tournament. We feel that we still have a lot to prove to the national volleyball community, the media and to ourselves that we truly are amongst the nation's elite in college volleyball."

On if she is concerned that the team is too happy simply to be in the NCAA Tournament for the first time
"That is always a concern for a team that has not been where we are right now. There can be a letdown because you are excited just to be here. To combat that, we learned early on that if we are not focusing on just winning a particular match or winning any of the multiple honors that we earned this year individually or teamwise rather than focusing on giving our best and playing at our highest possible level, then those things are just the inevitable result of how we chose to pursue excellence every day. We have not changed that mentality. It has worked for us so far and we are continuing to push to get better because we really understand what a good volleyball match should look like and how this team should be performing. That is what we are working toward. I have seen our level of play rise as the season has progressed, so if we are focused on playing our best and advancing our level of play there simply cannot be a drop off. That is how we balance it and combat that attitude that `Whew, let us all take a deep breath, we are here, and that is it.' We have not played our best volleyball yet."