May 22, 2012
WOMEN: #2 FLORIDA (27-1) def. #1 UCLA (26-3), 4-0
Head Coaches: Stella Sampras Webster (UCLA) and Roland Thornqvist (FLORIDA)
Doubles (Order of finish: 1,3)
1. #1 Sofie Oyen/Allie Will (FLORIDA) def. #6 Robin Anderson/Skylar Morton (UCLA), 8-4
2. #9 Courtney Dolehide/Pamela Montez (UCLA) vs. #22 Lauren Embree/Joanna Mather (FLORIDA), 5-6, unfinished
3. Alex Cercone/Caroline Hitimana (FLORIDA) def. McCall Jones/Carling Seguso (UCLA), 8-5
Singles (Order of finish: 5,4,2*)
1. #4 Robin Anderson (UCLA) vs. #1 Allie Will (FLORIDA), 6-4, 5-2, unfinished
2. #9 Lauren Embree (FLORIDA) def. #98 McCall Jones (UCLA), 6-4, 6-0
3. #73 Pamela Montez (UCLA) vs. #21 Joanna Mather (FLORIDA), 6-3, 3-6, 0-1, unfinished
4. #61 Sofie Oyen (FLORIDA) def. #124 Skylar Morton (UCLA), 6-3, 6-2
5. #79 Alex Cercone (FLORIDA) def. #119 Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA), 6-2, 6-0
6. Carling Seguso (UCLA) vs. Olivia Janowicz (FLORIDA), 7-6(7), 2-5, unfinished
Florida Head Coach Roland Thornqvist
“I really think all those wind springs, all the grass workouts, all the Gator Mountains, all those things that are painful certainly paid off for the Florida Gators today. Without them, we certainly couldn’t have recovered from yesterday’s battle against Duke and be as fresh as we were today. I thought we were absolutely fantastic form start to finish today. On all three courts, I thought we were much better. And on singles, I thought we did great on every court. That was as good as I’ve seen 4, 5, 6 play in a long time. It comes at a great time.”
“I’m really proud of this group. We’ve discovered this year that with out a doubt its much more difficult to repeat than do it the first time. There were some inherit challenged that we had to deal with at the beginning of the year. We had to get through some growing pains as defending national champions. But through the spring, these guys shoed what kind of will and determination they had. They were willing to start over to build a team from scratch. What you saw today, was the culmination of all of that.”
“Those last ten minutes were grueling. To make a run like this, you have to have seven unselfish players. Some players have to be willing for the team to lose for the team to win sometimes. These seven are able to do it. They think of Florida Gators before themselves. That’s going to take them a long way in life.”
On the momentum from the doubles point...
“It’s a double-edged sword a little bit. You don’t want to go in the locker room and find yourself in a battle 20 minutes later. It’s obviously great. It’s better to win it than to lose it. As soon as you win it, you want to forget about it. This team is so physical, it’s really difficult to win four points in singles on us. That gives us a confidence boost when we start.”
On regular season loss to Stanford...
“It really helped us. The really dangerous thing is to talk around and think you’re going to have an undefeated season. They you play every match not to lose. These guys want to win more than I do. It was one of those things where we had to work even harder. We had to play to win. They kicked out butts. That was great for us. It really wasn’t fun at the time. IT was the best thing that could happen to us.”
On repeating again next year...
“Were going to have a huge role to fill in Joanna Mather. She’s been our leader for three years. She’s been our safety blanket and provided tremendous security for our team. We’re going to have to rely several people to fill that void next year. The journey to next years NCAA’s championship will begin with that in the fall.”
Florida’s Lauren Embree
On similarities to last year...
“I thought it wasn’t as dramatic as last year. I just happened to be the last one that had a chance of clinching. It feels amazing to clinch it. It was a team effort. I’m so proud of them for being so tough.”
“It is harder to win the second one. It wasn’t easy, but our gal form the beginning was to try to get back in this position and win. I’m just really happy that my team kept fighting and for working hard everyday in practice. The second one was just as good as the first.”
Florida’s Joanna Mather
On where the program is now compared to freshman year...
“We got a lot of new players. My freshman year was amazing, too. We were so happy tog et into the Round of 16 that year. And it was such a big deal. It feels great to competing for national championship as well. I wouldn’t trade any of these four years for anything.”
Florida’s Alex Cercone
On the turnaround form yesterday...
“At first, I was a little concerned how I would hold up today after my match yesterday. I’m really happy that I played efficient tennis today. For me physically, that was good, and it helped out the rest of the girls.”
On playing tennis at NCAA’s...
“I don’t strike the ball was well, but I play my best tennis. I compete the hardest. There’s something about the atmosphere here and all of the people. Everything that goes into this event really brings the best out of me.”
On playing in the NCAA tournament...
“It’s hard not to play your best tennis here. The atmosphere is great. It’s difficult not to play well here.”
UCLA Head Coach Stella Sampras Webster
“I think Florida came out strong in the doubles, especially number one doubles. They played with a lot of energy and fire. I think we had some chances at two and three. They played well, they won a lot of the big points. Losing the doubles point was tough. Going into the singles, we had never played them, but we knew that they’re a very strong team and they’re very deep, but we still felt like we could get four points and win this. They just played better than we did today at certain spots. I wasn’t at four, five and six, but they really seemed to dominate at four and five. We were hanging in there are one, two and three, but they play with a lot of heart and they like to grind. We’re more shot makers, and we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be to beat a team like Florida. You really need to be able to execute and finish points off, and we weren’t able to do that as successfully as we needed to. We came up short, but Florida’s a tough team and they played well. I haven’t seem them play all year, so I don’t know if that’s their best match or if that’s just how they play, but they definitely outplayed us today.”
On Florida’s experience at four and five giving them an advantage...
“To tell you the truth, I have no idea; I didn’t see my players play. I know that Florida’s players have won a lot and they’re great players. I thought that we would be able to really compete and give them a good contested match, but it seemed like they really just took over. I’m sure my players will look back and maybe figure things out a little better. I really don’t know, but that got us off to a slow start, getting down so quick in some of those matches. I don’t see my young players as young players anymore; they’ve been through a lot and they’ve won a lot of matches, so I expect them to continue to thrive on being here, enjoying the moment and being in the tournament. Maybe today, some of them did get a little wrapped up in being in final. Florida’s got the experience and they were here last year, but they had the pressure to repeat and that goes both ways.”
UCLA’s Robin Anderson
On how she felt today…
“I felt pretty good today. I went out and I tried to fight my hardest and play as best as I could with what I had today. I was being successful with it, but I wish I could have pulled out the match. I thought I played pretty well today.
UCLA’s McCall Jones
On how she felt today...
“I felt okay. I’m one of the players that doesn’t sweat as much as most of the girls on my team, so my body actually felt fine. My biggest concern was that I had severe blisters on both my feet. Other than that, my body felt okay. I think I was more mentally tired. I think we had such a high yesterday and to go from such a high to now such a low is really tough.”
On her time at UCLA...
“It’s been a great experience. I couldn’t have asked for more from the coaching staff and my teammates. At Brigham Young University, we never made the tournament, we never got this experience. So, even making it to the final four last year was amazing to me and I couldn’t believe it. Now, we’ve made it to the finals. We didn’t win, but we made it to the finals and we won indoor nationals, which was also amazing. UCLA doesn’t normally put so much emphasis on indoors because it’s our first team tournament, so we’re always unsure of how we’re going to do. Our team came out strong and we ended pretty strong, only losing three matches.”
MEN: #1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (33-1) def. #3 VIRGINIA (29-2), 4-2
Head Coaches: Peter Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) and Brian Boland (VIRGINIA)
Doubles (Order of finish: 2,3)
1. #2 Steve Johnson/Roberto Quiroz (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) vs. #5 Drew Courtney/Jarmere Jenkins (VIRGINIA), 6-5, unfinished
2. Alex Domijan/Mitchell Frank (VIRGINIA) def. Emilio Gomez/Yannick Hanfmann (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 8-5
3. Julen Uriguen/Justin Shane (VIRGINIA) def. #35 Daniel Nguyen/Ray Sarmiento (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 8-4
Singles (Order of finish: 1,4,3,2,5*)
1. #1 Steve Johnson (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #4 Jarmere Jenkins (VIRGINIA), 6-3, 6-2
2. #25 Ray Sarmiento (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #39 Alex Domijan (VIRGINIA), 6-4, 7-5
3. #2 Mitchell Frank (VIRGINIA) def. #21 Daniel Nguyen (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 6-3, 6-1
4. #57 Emilio Gomez (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Drew Courtney (VIRGINIA), 6-4, 6-2
5. #51 Yannick Hanfmann (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #82 Justin Shane (VIRGINIA), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(4)
6. Roberto Quiroz (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) vs. Julen Uriguen (VIRGINIA), 2-6, 6-7(3), 3-4, unfinished
USC Head Coach Peter Smith
On the match...
“I think that sometimes you inspire your team and sometimes your team inspires you. I went back to my hotel room [after doubles] and to be honest I couldn’t visualize it. That was hard for me. I get a few pep talks, went in there, faked it pretty good to the team and you know, these guys really stepped up.”
On the streak...
“I considered the possibility that it was going to end in the semis or the finals. You’re a coach you are always thinking of different things, but once you are out there you don’t think like that, it’s just about competing. Me, I am competing on every match and I was just trying to stay focused on Yannick’s match and just really compete and compete as hard as my players did. You’re just in the moment. It’s not about winning or losing it’s just about trying to do the right things.”
On the clinch...
“It was tough for us. The last two matches were going to be two freshmen against a sophomore and a senior. That was going to be tough but you know those guys, tradition lives on and it’s unbelievable.
On the team...
“I went in there and we talked about equating this doubles loss to our loss against UCLA. When we lost to UCLA I felt like that helped us a lot. I said ‘our backs are against the wall, lets just go out and play and play hard and stop worrying.’”
USC’s Yannick Hanfmann
On the clinch...
“It’s not just me; the whole team was just competing and playing their asses off like coach wanted us to do. I think that we all did that. Just seeing everybody playing so hard it was just inspiration for me. I am lucky I finished that well.”
USC’s Steve Johnson
On the team...
“It’s a different kind of stress. I trust Yannick and I trust Roberto out there and never did a doubt cross my mind that they weren’t going to get the job done. You know it’s just hard to watch. As a tennis player it comes down to you usually and it’s not this team format. Usually the ball is in your court and you are able to control it. To have it out of your control is just stressful to watch.”
Virginia Head Coach Brian Boland
“Proud of my team. No doubt that they left everything on the court. Congratulations to Southern California for winning another national championship. They deserve all the credit for getting it done. I’m really proud of my players. I thought Justin Shane did a amazing job and what a great learning experience for him and the rest of the guys. I always say that you have to be willing to go through the pain if you’re going to play the game, so to speak. These guys continue to get back here and put themselves in position to become champions and in my mind they are champions regardless of losing this match. They did everything the right way this year and they have worked extremely hard. We had tremendous leadership in Jarmere Jenkins and Drew Courtney, who is the one guys who is leaving us this year. And of course Philippe Oudshoorn. Those guys were great captains and I’m and really proud of the team. Can’t say enough good things about them and it was a tremendous journey. I feel very very blessed to have the opportunity to coach them.”
On the mood after doubles...
“We felt good, but we knew we had a lot of work to do. We certainly had a really good mindset about it. The guys handled the adversity that took place over the tournament but that’s just part of sports. I thought we handled those transitions well. Credit to Southern California, they came out well and jumped on us early. I think that was more of a credit to them than anything we did poorly. I thought we came ready to play and and we got in here and played indoors. I thought the midsets were great and unfortunately one team had to lose.
Virginia’s Justin Shane
“I didn’t realize that it was 12:30 a.m. It’s tough waiting around in the rain but came out and played to the best of my ability so it didn’t feel too bad.”
On change in play...
“ I changed my strategy up a little bit because it’s indoors and I tried to take a little off instead of trying to go through the ball so much which I normally do. He was loving the pace the first set so I tried to take some off the second set and that worked well.”
On breaking in third set...
“ I was taking it one point at a time. I might have gotten a little frustrated with the ref but there’s nothing you can do when he’s doing his job. I stayed focus on the present.”