Nov. 27, 2005
Santa Clara head coach Jon Wallace
As far as the draw goes, we get five teams in from the West Coast Conference and none of us are hosting. I'm a little disappointed in that. I felt that either San Diego or Santa Clara deserved a seed in the tournament. I thought we played a tough enough schedule and won the appropriate matches to warrant that. As far as our draw, we've played Sacramento State earlier in the year. They are a very good team and they've been on a great winning streak. I think it is a good match-up for us in the sense that with their style of play and our power game, hopefully our power game will lead us to victory.
On traveling during the tournament:
There's good and bad to that. Whenever you have to play regional teams, it makes it tougher because you are so familiar with each other. Sometimes it is better to be shipped out and it can be an advantage. You get completely out of your region and there's a different style of volleyball. Sacramento State and Stanford are all very familiar with our game, which makes it tougher. The experience of the tournament of traveling is great as well. Last year, traveling to Washington, they have a really nice venue. Stanford has a great venue as well, but sometimes it is nice to experience different places.
What has impressed him the most about this year's team:
I just go back to our leadership. Our girls eight months ago set a goal that we would win the conference and they worked extremely hard to accomplish that goal and they did. We are going to look to our leadership heading into the tournament. We'll set a goal as to how we want to play, what our expectations are, and I believe they are going to come full force in order to accomplish their goals.
On not playing for nearly two weeks:
I think it is going to help this squad. If we had to play over Thanksgiving break, I don't think the motivation would have been there that would have helped us in the tournament. I think that by being away, getting some rest, and having some practices, it will help us for the tournament more so than playing.
On whether or not clinching the WCC title so early hurt the team:
I think it did. I thought winning the conference was such a huge goal for us and by us clinching at almost at the halfway point, I think it made our girls lose sight of some of the goals they established.... We are refocused on the tournament and now, Sacramento State. This team is going to lock in and get after it this Thursday.
On the strength of the West Coast Conference:
We have five teams in and I think our conference is really strong. I look at us and San Diego. We beat the No. 2 team in the Pac-10 in Arizona, San Diego beat California and Long Beach State, the winner of the Big West Conference. I think our conference is very strong and getting five teams is fourth best in the nation I believe. Our conference RPI is fourth behind Big 10, Big 12 and the Pac-10. I think the longevity of the coaches in the conference has really helped us in the quality and I think our conference is one of the best to play in.
Junior Outside Hitter Kim McGiven
On playing so close to home:
I'm excited. I am happy we are playing close by and we'll have some fans at the game. I think Sacramento State will be a good match-up and it will be a great game. Our team has a lot of confidence going into the match.
On the differences between this year's team and previous squads:
I think the team buys into what we are trying to accomplish this year as opposed to other years. We are all on the same page and I think that makes a big difference. We are more competitive on the court and we are mentally tougher. The last few matches we struggled and we lost sight of that, but I think through working things out as team, we've gotten that out of the way and we're going to go out there stronger than ever.
Senior Setter Kristen Luxton
On playing close to home:
I'm excited to be playing so close to home. I think it will great for us to get some people out to the games and have that level of comfort. I think we really have a chance and I'm excited.
On motivating the team this year:
I think our team has been pretty dedicated to winning this year. Finding ways of motivation was a little difficult at times, but I think as a whole, everyone is determined to push through and I think that's what makes us special: we are determined to win no matter what.