Gymnastics2001 NCAA Southeast Regional
2001 NCAA Southeast Region
Post-Meet Coaches Quotes (April 7, 2001)
Georgia Head Coach Suzanne Yoculan:
ON TEAM'S PERFORMANCE
"I think they did absolutely great. It's a perfect example of how mentally strong they are and how physically tough they've gotten at the end of the season. They've really shown that they're consistent contenders."
"I've always felt like it's better to be the underdogs. It's always difficult to be at the top and stay there. It's not difficult to get there. It's difficult to stay there and we're always having to maintain that. It's difficult. It takes a lot of energy."
ON TEAM'S PERFORMANCE ON UNVEVEN BARS AND BEAM
"I was extremely pleased with uneven bars. Kristi (Lichey), Eileen (Diaz) and Amanda (Curry) really put it together for us on bars tonight. That was a perfect example of how the first up in your lineup really makes a difference, and it really helped us out."
"I'm totally fired up that we could have some of the little problems we had -- some energy problems, equipment problems. We were struggling and just to be able to score as highly as we did. By the time we get back to Athens, it's going to be fireworks. We're fired up."
ON KRISTI LICHEY
"Kristi has really struggled the last few weeks in practice. She's been struggling with being a senior, finishing up and what she wants to accomplish. She's been putting a lot of pressure on herself and she really came through big for us tonight."
Georgia Senior Kristi Lichey:
"I think it was good. We had a rough couple of practices before the meet and I think it's good confidence going into nationals. So I think different people stepped it up tonight and we went out there and did good. It's good just to score that high and to go into nationals with confidence."
Florida Head Coach Judi Markell:
…ON THE PRESSURES OF PERFORMING IN A REGIONAL:
"This is the craziest meet because it always feels like you want to escape this meet. Yes, you can gain a berth to NCAA's, but when you're ranked number two in your region and it's at home, I think the overriding feeling is that you have a lot to lose. I think, for me, this is the most pressure filled meet of the season."
…ON KRISSY DREGER:
"Krissy Dreger got us started on the three events she was on, she did phenomenally well. She got big scores, she performed aggressively, she did a great job and I was really pleased by that type of leadership."
…ON THE PRESSURE GOING INTO THE FLOOR EXERCISE:
"There was a little bit of pressure on floor when we knew we pretty much had it in the bag and the first kid had trouble. That made everybody else have to hit. They handled that really well."
…ON THE BALANCE BEAM PERFORMANCE:
"Balance beam, to me, I was most pleased with. That was a clutch performance. They did a great job and I think it was the best balance beam performance of the season. I'll take that performance any day."
…ON HILLARY THOMPSON:
"Hillary Thompson had a great night. She just continues to perform extremely well, performing very, very aggressively with a lot of difficulty in her routines. She never holds back and that just shows everybody else how to do it."
Florida Gymnast Hillary Thompson:
…ON HER TEAM'S PERFORMANCE:
"We did awesome tonight. I'm was so proud of us. We started out great on vault and I think we carried the energy all the way through, all the way to the end on floor. If anything happened, any little mistake, we were great as a team and we pulled together and we handled it well."
…ON HER PERFORMANCE:
"I wasn't the happiest with my beam. I had some wobbles I don't normally have. But, besides that, I was happy with everything. I was excited about my vault, my bars, my floor."
…ON HER COMPETITIVENESS:
"I think it translates to the team because I feel like they can count on me. I'm one that will usually pull through no matter how warm-ups go. I feel like the team depends on that and they feed off that a little bit, too."
…ON MOVING ON TO NATIONALS:
"We're going to have to be at our best at nationals, obviously. There are a lot of great teams, so we have things to work on, but we're excited. We didn't make it last year, so this year I think it’s a little bit sweeter and we're definitely going to enjoy every minute of it."
Iowa Head Coach Mike Lorenzen:
ON THE TEAM'S PERFORMANCE
"I thought they did a good job, I mean with a team that over fifty percent of them are freshmen, nobody on this team has been to regionals as a team before, so I didn't expect us to do any worse than sixth. I'm happy they got through the meet, and they had a pretty good meet. We encountered a couple falls on beam, but otherwise we didn’t fall, and that’s about all we can hope for out of a team that is this young."
ON WHAT STOOD OUT DURING THE MEET
"We did a good job on floor and vault, we didn't miss anything. Alexis went 9.925 on floor, which was great, and she went 9.900 on vault, which was also very nice. Bars was really tight for us. I thought we did a good job but we just didn't get the scores that we were hoping for. They did a good job all around, I wouldn't say there was any one particular thing that stood out, it was just a solid team effort."
Iowa Freshman Alexis Maday:
ON THE TEAM'S PERFORMANCE
"I think our team's performance was pretty good, we had some misses. We started out with a miss on bars, but our team came back great with five great routines afterwards. We went to beam and we had some falls, but we pulled it back together for our two strongest events. I think we could of done better, but we did our best."
ON HER PERFORMANCE
"I just love doing floor, and I have been told that it shows. I love going out and showing off, I think it was one of my best routines I have done this year. Vault was good, I've done better, but it was good."
Maryland Head Coach Bob Nelligan:
ON THE MEET IN GENERAL
"We were thrilled with the performance tonight. The women came in prepared for a good encounter down here. Having Georgia and Florida in our region, we knew that they were going to set a high standard, and we decided we were just going to focus on what we can do. We are healthy for the first time since December, everybody was firing on all eight cylinders and we just came out and had a good run."
ON INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES
"Jill Fisher, obviously had a great night for us. She is a strong motivational gymnast for us. But, really it's all about team for us. We really don't have one of those name brands, one of those recognizable products off of the J.O. (Junior Olympics) National Team or the Canadian Olympic Team or the British National Team. We just have a bunch of home grown, great young ladies that came in with the intention of showing everybody what they had tonight."
Maryland Senior Jill Fisher
ON THE MEET IN GENERAL
"I'm just so proud of the entire team. I'm so proud that we pulled together. We're such a great group of girls and we love each other so much, which is what I think makes our team go 'round. We really love each other and we have such a good time with each other and this was so much fun and it was so exciting. Everybody just picks each other up and wants to do well for each other and our coaches and our school."
ON WHAT THEY'LL TAKE FROM THIS MEET
"Just the unity. The unity, confidence in each other, and the excitement." GW Junior Devin McCallaON GW'S PERFORMANCE..."I think we did really well. It was a big thing for us to come here after the way we left regionals last year, which was like an inter-defeat. It wasn't anybody else, we kind of ran over ourselves. So to come in here and do really well and leave here holding our heads high makes us feel really good. We may not be where we want to be, but it's a natural progression. Every year it's going to get better."N.C State Head Coach Mark Stevenson:
ON HIS TEAM'S PERFORMANCE...
"We had a great time, but our performance was sub-par for us on bars and a little bit low on floor, but you know the kids really worked hard, did a great job as far as keeping their heads in the game, and having fun while doing what they're doing. Our expectations were to come in and hit as many routines as we could hit, and we did a great job, I'm really proud of them. I think that was our highest vault score of the year."
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NIGHT...
"Kelly Brown's vault was probably our best vault of the year for us, she stuck her layout. She's been trying to get that stuck vault all year and she finally did it. The whole beam squad did a great job, I don't think we encountered any falls on beam."
Pre-Meet Coaches Quotes (April 6, 2001)
Georgia Head Coach Suzanne Yoculan:
...on coming to the University of Florida for the regional:
"Well, first of all, the most important thing for us is that we didn’t have to travel far and then, obviously, we want the team to be rested as much as possible when you go into the national championships."
"And certainly, being in Florida, we're very comfortable here, we're very familiar with the surroundings...our team's been here quite a bit, so it’s the perfect place for us."
...on expectations for regionals:
"Well, first off, we want to win. We expect to win the competition...we are competing with that intensity and that intent in mind. To win, I think it's always best to compete against who you can see, you can build that kind of fierce competition and that atmosphere that you want by who's around you."
"We want to have a competition like we did at the SEC Championships...we were right on, we hit every routine, our team was intense and focused and we'd like to make sure that it wasn't just luck."
...on competing against Florida:
"We love to compete against Florida. We have a tremendous respect for their gymnasts and for Judi and the program here...we know that traditionally Florida is at their best at the end of the season and they're going to be a lot better here than they were at SEC's."
"We don't take any situation for granted. Certainly, the rivalry between Georgia and Florida from other sports carries over into gymnastics and we love to come down to Gainesville and beat the Gators."
...on Suzanne Sears:
"What Suzanne symbolizes is a lot for college gymnastics, not just for Georgia. She wasn't an elite level gymnast, she wasn't a superstar coming into college gymnastics...and she's been able to over-achieve and make a name for herself and not only be national champion on the floor exercise, but also be one of the top vaulters in the country."
...on Cory Fritzinger:
"She's had a great last month. She's been very, very consistent. I see her as being the winner of this competition"
Florida Head Coach Judi Markell:
...on hosting the regional with Georgia:
"Actually, we were excited that it was Georgia...we're familiar with Georgia, we know Georgia. Every time we've seen Georgia, they have brought out better gymnastics in us, so actually from our point of view it helps us to improve."
"The other advantage is that they're going to bring a lot of people that will help promotions, that will help gymnastics and I think it will help our fans get motivated to cheer even better for us."
...on drawing the Olympic rotation:
"Certainly it was good news. You have to compete on all four events and you, hopefully, train and believe in your ability to hit your routines no matter what rotation you have to go. We are prepared to just duke it out and go hit our routines and do the best we can no matter what situation we were given."
...on Hilary Thompson:
"She's very determined and I think that attitude and enthusiasm bleeds over to the other kids. And in addition to that, I think she's a terrific competitor. Any competition is going to bring out the best in Hilary, whether we say 'Ok, we're going to play a game today and whoever can do this gets a lollypop or gets to leave practice early' then Hillary is going to try to win. It doesn't matter what the reward is, she is a great competitor and I think that fearless attitude and that courage really is a great example to the other athletes. They look up to her, they respect her and they try to emulate her."
...on Kara Waterhouse:
"She certainly has given us nothing to suspect that she's going to do anything other than what she does every day. She's very consistent, she's mentally prepared, she's very confident of her skills and she doesn't seem to be intimidated by any situation. So, if she's in shape, she's going to do well."
Iowa Head Coach Mike Lorenzen:
...on his expectations coming into the regional:
"We really want to keep doing what we've been doing all year, which is basically have fun. I think we have defied the odds, in a sense that we've come farther in one year than anybody would have expected us to reasonably come."
"The only peoples' expectations that haven't been exceeded are the kids themselves. They think they can compete with anybody and at times they're right. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to make it to a regional as a team."
...on Stephanie Gran:
"She's such a bright happy kid. She brings a tremendous energy to the team, particularly when she's doing very well. And during our hot streak in February, she was having great all around meets on all fours events. She has struggled on bars the last three meets. In fact, we didn't even get to compete her on bars, even at Big 10s, so she'll be back in the bar line up with a different routine. We really need Steph to have a good meet. She's capable of winning at least two events at this meet. She is as good a vaulter, as good floor person as anyone at the meet."
...on Alexis Maday:
"From a purely scoring perspective, she has clearly been the leader because week in and week out she has done the job. And she has gone all around every meet of the year."
"To bring that kind of consistency, as well as high scores to the team is obviously very valuable."
...on drawing Florida and Georgia:
"We weren't totally excited because to come in...to have this be one of two sites where the host is the number two seed means for anybody else to make it is very difficult. Georgia is obviously favored...for Florida to be here and have the home advantage gives them, certainly, an edge and everyone else is going to have to work overtime or Florida's going to have to miss for anyone to pass them."
"From a moving on perspective, it was kinda one of our least favorite scenarios when we looked at all the possibilities weeks before they came out."
Maryland Head Coach Bob Nelligan:
...on coming to the University of Florida:
"For starters, Florida is one of the premiere competitive sites on the East Coast. Our athletes were extremely excited about coming down and getting an opportunity to test themselves against one of the nation's best."
...on competing against the other teams in the regional:
"Knowing we had to come down to Gainesville, it pretty much prepared us for a very high level competition. From that point, we just worry about what we do. That's all we can control, that's the only thing we can be sure of is that our 14 athletes have given up everything they had just to get here and they intend on going that very same route until the very last moment."
...on Jill Fisher:
"If you looked at our scores throughout the season, you would see that when Jill Fisher in our lineup, we're a totally different team...as of March 1st, we went 14-1 with Jill Fisher in. In January and early February, without her in, we had problems beating teams that we traditionally have had wins over. She is a performer...that's the best of putting it. She loves to perform, she loves this type of atmosphere. She tumbles as well as anyone in the country."
"This year, we asked her to do four events...we needed an all-arounder...and when we asked Jill to swing bars and be more accountable, she said 'Where do I sign on?'. She has just been outstanding for us."
...on Gillian Coty:
"Gillian Coty is our very steady, very stable athlete. She's very clean, very focused. She's the kind of person that when that clock signifies we're on the floor, she's all business."
...on Lisa Mealey:
"Lisa Mealey is an incredible bar worker...we asked her, like Jill, to step up and be an all-arounder for us and during the last part of the season, she's been giving everybody a run for their money."
George Washington Head Coach Margie Foster-Cunningham:
...on coming back to the University of Florida for the regional:
"We scheduled Florida specifically, because we thought there was strong chance we would end up back here for regionals and there's no question having been here once already is a definite benefit. The students know how the equipment feels, they know what the building feels like...not to mention we had a very good competition when we were here before. We hit and it was one of our best meets of the year."
...on competing against Florida and Georgia:
"We've been in their region forever and ever and it's just kind of like the same old regional for us. It's nice to have Iowa, an outside team, come in. And then you've got Maryland and N.C. State, so again, it just adds to our comfort level of knowing what is out there and what we have to compete against."
"I look at it that primarily that Georgia the only shoe-in in this entire meet, that everybody else has as good a chance for that second spot. And we certainly feel like this could possibly be our turn and we're here just to do the best that we can do and if we do that, we have as good a shot as anybody else."
...on Devan McCalla:
"She's a tremendous leader. The character that she has, that's she's not afraid to share just adds huge leadership to our team. It's not just leading by example but she's very outspoken and she pulls people along with her. She's a true leader."
...on Darden Willee:
"Just a stalwart as far as consistency. She's very, very consistent and in gymnastics, you've got to hit to do anything. You can count on her to hit and that gives the team a tremendous amount of stability."
...on Jessica Mantak:
"Just a beautiful gymnast. And again, just adds the depth of consistency. Her teammates trust that she's going to go up and do what she's supposed to do. It just helps to build the team confidence completely."
N.C. State Head Coach Mark Stevenson:
...on competing in this regional:
"Obviously our expectations for our team is to go out and do 24 routines successfully. If we do that, everything else takes care of itself, because we don’t' really compete against the other teams, we compete against ourselves. And if we're successful, we'll do just fine in the meet."
...on Kelli Brown:
"Kelli is one of those kids that just walks in and does a tremendous job of working hard and being very competitive. She always puts herself on the line. And she's been a real staple for us this year. Kelli's carried us on her back when we lost two other all-arounders early in this season to injury."
...on the seniors (Monica Berry, Sara Dolan and Kara Charles):
"The three of them just do a tremendous job of showing the youngsters how to get the job done. They are going to be tremendously hard to replace next year because every meet they step into they score points - they do their job."