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Old May 22nd, 2013, 10:30 AM   #949
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Re: Www 2013 Ncaa Team Tournament

Stanford Head Coach Lele Forood
"It's a great feeling. This has been a great team for a long time. A lot of these players are juniors and seniors who have contributed heavily to the win. For Kristie Ahn to clinch is just poetic justice because she's been the missing player for the last two years (due to injuries) at the end of the season, and we weren't able to get it done without her, and when we got her back, we got it done."

"I felt bad for Nicole early on. I wanted her to find a way to get back in the match. Early in the second set, she said, 'I have to win this match. I have to do things differently.' And so it was her urgency and I think she found a little more energy. I think she felt a little sluggish in her legs early in the match and her opponent was playing beautifully, extremely well. But she found some energy, was able to plug away, get the momentum in her favor and things got rolling for her after that."

Stanford junior Kristie Ahn:
"Honestly, it's such a clichť, but words really can't explain this one. From my freshman year, I've wanted this moment, and I've been bugged by injuries, and to clinch makes it that much better. When we played USC in the round of 16, I had a shot. It could've come down to me and I could've clinched, but she played well, and I didn't get that and was pretty upset. Last night I was thinking, `How sick would it be if I could clinch tomorrow?' And when I got to 2-2 in the third set, I was smiling. I was having the best time of my life because I was thinking about how absurd it was that it was coming down to me."

"She (Urbina) started shanking balls and pushing a little bit. But I was like, this is it. Watching Krista last night was so inspiring, and I kind of drew from that. I can't tell you the amount of good energy I felt, how absurd that it was coming down to a 4-2, 4-3 match in the finals, it's crazy. And I started smiling uncontrollably. Life does not get more absurdly wonderful than this."

"My team is a bunch of nerds. We love politics. I can't tell you the dinner conversations we have. It's too much about substance."

Stanford junior Nicole Gibbs:
"I've had a leadership role on this team, and it's really hard to see your No. 1 player go down 6-0, 6-0. We saw that yesterday with Florida, when I was lucky enough to rattle a couple off against Lauren Embree. That's a tough blow to come back from, so I think just sitting there thinking about the impact I was having on my team from losing just made me dig a little bit deeper, get through being tired, being exhausted from all the energy we've been putting into this week as captains, and just push through. Evidently it worked. It was the weirdest match I've ever played in my life, but I'll take it today."

"This means so much more to me than any of the individual titles last year. Obviously it's awesome to have all three under my belt, but this was the one I wanted. I came back to school after having such a good year to chase after this title, and having it just means so, so much. It's everything I ever could have wanted. I'm so happy I got it."

Quotes:

Texas A&M Head Coach Howard Joffe

(On the teamís rapid improvement overall and success this season)

This is the first time as a head coach that Iíve made it to the Round of 16. Iíve only been at Texas A&M for two years. If you want a synopsis of the season, the trajectory of our team is rather sharp. Two years ago we were ranked 33, last year 17 and this year weíll probably end the year either No. 2 or 3. We obviously have a very, very fine team. It is not shocking to me that we were here in the final match. We do have very, very good players, and the trajectory and the speed that we have come from nowhere so to speak is somewhat startling even to the head coach.

Just simply at the level of such a meteoric rise, from middle of the pack to being right there near the top, it is a little bit startling. From the point of the viewer, there is no question that the eight ladies on our team are awful good. With respect to todayís match, I certainly donít feel like we played our very best, and we still came within a couple of points here and there of actually winning a title. We have a very good team, so in that respect itís not so surprising.

(On No. 2 singles)

The score line doesnít necessarily do justice to the match, particularly with respect to the third set. Tina (Stancu) was up 2-love in the beginning of that set. Anyone that watched the match in its entirety, the quality of tennis of that match was very high, two very fine athletes moving, hitting the ball very hard and intense, so it just had the quality feel that it could change on a point here and a point there, which it did. I wouldnít have bet a lot that we were going to come back from 5-2 match point, and yet when Tina ended up saving a match point to having the advantage, it didnít feel like too much of a stretch for her to get back into the match.

The score maybe belies a little bit. 6-2 is probably not the most accurate, but Ahn really, really is a very fine tennis player and she played well.

(on the emotion of the team to start the match)

I think in the doubles we suffered from not playing our best doubles. In the doubles, I felt like we were playing a little tentatively. Not at No. 1, the Romanians played awful well, but in the other two doubles, I felt like we were a little tentative. Other than that, there was no sign of being over awed by the occasion. They really got after it and so did Stanford.

Texas A&M Senior Nazari Urbina

We are really happy for the things that we achieved this year. We had a great team. The girls are just great girls, great persons, they are just great teammates. Iím really happy for the team. Obviously we wish we could have won tonight, but that is how things go. It was a tough match. Stanford, they played great. All of the girls kept fighting until the end. That is how things are, but we are really happy for all the achievements this year.
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