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Dec. 5, 2008

Utah Head Coach Beth LauniereOpening Comments: “It’s always great to win an NCAA match. I don’t think you could ever take that for granted. I thought Furman played very well. They are a good team. They play hard and play great defense. Furman held us under our average in the first two games, but we were able to break loose in game three. They had a great gameplan to go up against our big block. Overall, I was very impressed with Furman. I felt our team responded very well to a good defensive team that was taking our best shots for a while in the match. But we were able to respond. We did a good job of getting our offense going and blocking balls, which we did a lot of.”

On how far away they traveled: “It’s the NCAAs. Our team was very excited to play. Once we knew where we were going, we didn’t care where we went. We are just happy to be here. We were going to come in and play with our good energy. We’ve been a pretty good road team. I thought we maintained our composure pretty good when it got a little tight in game two. Furman had a really great crowd. It’s going to be a great crowd tomorrow also. Everyone is within driving distance except us, so we have to be able to handle that. And I think we were able to tonight.”

How they finished the game: “One thing this team has done all season is respond. They were a little frustrated with the way we started game three. But Chelsey Sandberg and Karolina Bartkowiak took off in game three. I don’t know how many kills they had but that was the difference. We’ve responded all year. I tell my team I’m going to yell at them just to start the match because they really respond when I get a little frustrated with them. So, I’m just going to start that way for now on. I’m just kidding…I love them.”

Lori Bairdabout the team “The great thing about this team is that if the other team is keying in on one player, we can go to someone else and they can get the job done. It’s nice being a hitter on this team because that’s the way it is and you don’t have so much pressure one way or the other.”

Furman Head Coach Michelle YoungOpening Comments: “We’re really happy with the way we played besides losing the match, obviously. I’m really happy with what the girls did. We wanted to get in there and do some things, which was pass well and have good first contact. I think we did that. And I wanted us to get in there and battle with Utah. And I think we did a great job of doing that. Especially for a team who was playing in its first-ever NCAA Tournament. I’m really proud of our showing.”

“When you dig yourself into a whole, especially against a #12 national seed, Furman has to play a sharp match to stay close to them. Digging yourself a whole does not help the situation. But, I thought we did hang in there and battle and came back. It’s just a lot to overcome. Obviously, Utah is a really strong team and is going to do well. It’s hard when you don’t have a huge margin of error.”

on Kelly Kirby “We always knew Kirby was a gamer. That’s been her biggest strength…she likes big situations. That’s one of those things you can’t teach. She’s been the type to do everything. She’s training as a center as well as hitting right side. Then we had an injury right before the tournament, so we moved her to left side. That’s asking a lot out of a freshman. But for her to be able to not only do it but succeed at it has been huge. But I’m not surprised at it, nor is the team.”

Kelly Kirby comments “It’s nice to go down as a piece of Furman history. To come here and support my school and to have so many fans here was great. It’s an awesome feeling to know that I got to play with all the captains and seniors. It means so much to me that I had the opportunity to be taught by them as well as the coaching staff. It’s just an amazing feeling to be here.” “I was shocked by the way I played tonight. I tried to come in as best mentally prepared as I could. I gave it everything I had.”

Allison West comments “I’m proud of the way we played. We knew it was going to be tough. They’re a great team and we played our hearts out. I couldn’t go out being a senior a better way. It was awesome to be in the NCAA Tournament and Utah is a great team. We played well. It feels great. It’s tough being the last game of my career, but I’ll remember it forever.”

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