UCLA-Utah Post Match Quotes & Audio

By NU Athletic Communications
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UCLA Head Coach Andy Banachowski
Opening Statement
“It feels good to get a win to start off the season. It feels good to get a win in this building, and I thought our team effort was pretty outstanding tonight. We talked about the team developing a fighting, never-giving-up spirit, and I think we showed that tonight. I’m pretty proud of them.”

On changing the team’s momentum
“I think we do get more intense as there’s more on the line out there, and in some situations, we made some good runs and made some good plays. You can generate a little bit of momentum toward the end there. It really can carry you.”

On rallying for a 3-0 win
“It was really pretty gratifying to be down a little bit and make that run like we did. We did it off some great serving, and the team, I think, left the door open a little bit. We wanted to finish it off, and we were pretty hungry at the end of that third game.”

On hitting percentages in a season-opening game
“I think I’d like to see it about .300 points higher, but I didn’t pick the schedule for our first opponent. I just got an invitation, and I think I might have made a mistake accepting before I knew who all the teams were in here. Certainly I think when you start out with teams that did so well in the NCAA Tournament last year, there’s just a lot of rough edges to smooth out. Some of that shows up in hitting percentages.”

Senior outside hitter Rachell Johnson
On rallying late in the third game
“I think any big play like that when you’re scrambling like those feels really good. With a long rally and players scrambling all over the place, it’s just a big mental victory. That just really helps to change the momentum for us.”

On earning a win in the Qwest Center
“I think we’re already past the (2006 NCAA Semifinal) loss and looking onto the future, but this one is definitely big in this building. Unfinished business is there too, so we’re excited, especially for tomorrow, whether we play Tennessee or Nebraska.”


Utah Head Coach Beth Launiere
Opening Statement
“I thought we did some really good things tonight, and obviously they were just too few and too far between. There wasn’t a lot of flow to our game, but we did get into the flow at times. Not only was it an early-season match, but we had a young setter, who did a nice job as the match went on. I thought she played some really good defense for us and did a nice job.

"Karolina Bartowiak, another freshman, went in and did a very nice job in game two. I believe that we’re going to be a pretty good team. It’s going to take some work. We’ve got some young players, and we’ve just got to put it together. I was proud of how we competed. I thought we competed well in game one, and I thought we competed very well in game three. That was a big goal of ours, and I thought we did a good job of that, especially coming out of the locker room after game two. That’s all we can ask, and we’re going to keep our heads held high, come out and compete every match”

On competing with UCLA
“I felt like at times we were going point for point with UCLA, and then they would get on runs of points. That’s what was killing us in games one and two. In game three, we weren’t giving up runs of points until the end. I thought we did some good things, just few and far between at times.”

On scheduling difficult teams to open the season
“I’ll always play any competition that we can play. We’ve always played a strong schedule. We’ve got the strongest schedule in the preseason that we’ve ever had. We planned on being a little more experienced this season, but it’s the cards we’re dealt. I think we’ll learn a lot from this competition, and that’s going to be important for us. We just want to be a lot better team when we get into the Mountain West Conference, and I think this competition will help us with that.”

On having a younger team
“I think the couple freshmen who played did a great job, but we still have some work to do. We’re a whole different team than we were last year. When you have that, you have to figure it out and gel differently than you did the year before.”

Senior libero Connie Dangerfield
On playing difficult competition early
“I love playing competition like (UCLA). It’s always better to play harder competition to see where you are and what you can improve.”


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