Notable quotes from Nebraska’s 3-1 win over Florida for the national title.
Nebraska Coach John Cook on the 2017 Huskers:
“I feel very honored and privileged to be around a team and a staff that's had an unbelievable belief in what we could do. As head coach, sometimes you don't think — I don't think we're very good, but these guys gave everybody an example in the sport of volleyball that you don't have to have five All-Americans. We started two walk-ons today, Anni and Sydney.
“But you saw a team play great team volleyball. I saw Coach [Terry] Pettit had an article called "old-school volleyball." It was serve, block, dig, and try not to make errors on offense and get a few sideouts. And you saw our serve-blocking defense really frustrated Florida today. That's what this team has been built on all year. They've embraced it, and they've had unbelievable leadership from the senior class.”
Nebraska outside hitter Mikaela Foecke on adjusting after a back-and-forth start to the first set:
“I think we just kind of settled in. It's the first set of the national championship. You're obviously going to have some jitters and you're going to want to pound every single ball, but obviously, they had a huge block, and Florida sets up a great block every single time. So the second set, I think Kelly was just putting us in great spots and we were using the block more and using more shots.”
Florida Coach Mary Wise on Nebraska’s level of play on Saturday:
“I thought they played a very clean match. Obviously, they put a lot of pressure on us with both their serving and their backward defense. But we look at this match, and this match will not define the 2017 Gators. There is so much to be proud of in terms of what they accomplished, and on this night as other teams that have played Nebraska in the past month haven't had any better luck either. That's a very, very well-coached team, very disciplined, that just took care of the ball exceptionally well tonight.”
Florida outside hitter Carli Snyder on what makes Nebraska tough to beat and playing in front of a partisan crowd:
“I think we knew that the serve-pass game was going to be crucial in this match, and they definitely won that game tonight. It puts us in a difficult position trying to play out-of-system balls. They're a great defensive team and a great blocking team. I think that when that got better, when our passing improved, we made uncharacteristic errors, it is a very tough environment. The grittiest of teams in that environment are going to struggle. And I think that was part of it as well.”
Cook on Nebraska’s defense-first mindset:
“We told them in the beginning of the year, the first goal we wrote on our white board was if we want to win the Big Ten, that's where we start. We have to be the best defensive team in the conference. So we have to develop this mindset of how we're going to play.
“Anni [Albrecht] is a six-foot outside hitter. Jazz [Sweet] is a freshman. So it's not like we've got All-Americans and we're going to be set and we don't have to worry about it. So I knew that was our only chance. These guys really embraced it.
“Defense is a mindset, you know. In any sport, it's a mindset. These guys have a really strong mindset.”