Sunday, November 25, 2012

NCAA | Teams in Washington’s bracket react to news about heading to Seattle

Santa Clara vs. Hawai’i |November 30 |5PM
Central Arkansas @ Washington | November 30 |7PM

Central Arkansas players react to news that the team will come to Seattle to play Washington in the NCAA tournament
-University of Central Arkansas Sports Information
The Sugar Bears of the University of Central Arkansas have qualified for the school’s first-ever D1 volleyball tournament. From their school website:
“It feels great, I’m really excited for our team, the fans that follow us, and for Central Arkansas,” said Coach David McFatrich after the announcement. “Washington is a very good blocking team; they play in the best volleyball conference in the country. We did not expect to go that far, we were expecting Kansas or Kentucky, but the committee decided for us to go to Seattle, and we’ll definitely take it. We need to get out there as early as we can, so we can get acclimated to the time difference.”

Senior middle blocker Taylor Hammonds shared McFatrich’s excitement, saying, “It’s exciting, it’s new, we haven’t done it before, but we’re all just really excited about it. All we really know about Washington is that it’s far away.”

The Santa Clara Broncos, making their 14th NCAA appearance, will face Hawai’i. From Santa Clara’s website:
“I am very happy for these women, especially the juniors and seniors who have not been to the NCAA tournament before – they have paid their dues,” said (head coach Jon) Wallace. “Those two classes came to Santa Clara because of our tradition in going to the NCAA tournament – having gone 11 straight years - and they have worked hard to get the program back there this year.”

“Being able to travel for the NCAA tournament will be a great and fun experience for our team,” said Wallace. “Playing a team like Hawaii, always a top team in the nation, will be challenging but also exciting at the same time.”

“When we walked in today to watch the NCAA show, I believed we were in. I thought we were in,” said (senior outside hitter Kayla) Lommori. “I am just grateful to play another match, potential matches. It’s been our goal forever and it’s awesome to meet that goal my senior year. I am very excited.”

“I agree with Kayla on the excitement of playing in the NCAA tournament. It will be challenging and fun to play Hawaii in Seattle,” added (senior outside hitter Lexi) Williamson. “It will be challenging to play them. We will focus all week on playing well in Seattle. “It’s freaking awesome.”

“I remember Hec Ed Pavilion as a small gym packed with fans”
-Hawai’i’s Emily Hartong

The Hawai’i Wahine Rainbows earned their 31st bid to the tournament. From Volleyshots, the volleyball blog for the Honolulu Star Advertiser:
“Obviously we’re disappointed,” (said coach Dave Shoji). “We feel we deserved a seed but we just have to move on and get ready to leave. I understand the committee’s reluctance to send three teams here but it was doable. They did it last year.”

“We know how tough it is to play there (Hec Ed.) We know how tough Washington is.”

“We thought we were deserving (of a seed, said junior outside hitter Emily Hartong,) “but it is what it is.” “I remember (Hec Ed from the 2010 tournament) as a small gym and packed with their fans.”

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