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Tulsa Head Coach Steven McRoberts Postgame Quotes vs. Oklahoma


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Sept. 17, 2013

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TULSA HEAD COACH Steven McRoberts

On the match
"I was a little bit disappointed with our focus and our effort coming out in the first two sets. (Head Coach) Santiago (Restrepo) at Oklahoma may say the same thing. It was really two ugly sets. We made more errors than they did. We were hitting negative after two sets. Anytime you do that against a good team like Oklahoma, you're going to find yourself down 2-0. I was proud of the way the team bounced back in Set 3. Then in Set 4, a back-and-forth affair, they had multiple chances to close it out and we had multiple chances to win the set. It just kept going back-and-forth and we finally pulled it out there at the end. When you're playing these good programs, the number one thing you ask for is just to have a chance. When it's 13-13 in the fifth set, you feel like you have a little momentum and you have your best server back there. We had Kellie back and she hit a good jump serve, and they control it and their outside puts it away. They make one more play and that's the match. Overall, I think we'll be able to take a lot of things from this as a team. Definitely pre-match preparation and how we come out, but also what we'll take from it is, once again, we can play with just about anybody. It's frustrating that, of our four losses, in each one when you add up the points tonight, we lost by five points total in five sets. At some point, we're going to have to make those clutch points to put away the close sets and get a win. We'll have three more opportunities this weekend to do that."

On what changed after intermission
"The three things that we'll live and die by as a team are: our serve, serve-receive and our defense. It's obvious when you look at our offensive stats that we are not an offensive juggernaut. We're going to have to score by winning long rallies, we're going to have to extend points, we're going to have to serve tough and get them out of system so we get as many roll shots, free balls - those sort of things, so we can run our offense and be more effective. That's really the main thing we talked about at the break. We have to come out and do those three things well, and I feel like, after the break we did those things pretty well. I'm proud of the players, but it's just hard. It's hard when you lose. In this program, we expect to win. We expect to win against Oklahoma. We expect to win against Kansas State and Arkansas. Losing all these close ones, I don't know how much it does for our morale. We want to start winning these, and that's going to be the point where we really take it to the next step in the program. We're putting them on the schedule every year. We're going to have these opportunities. We have to win them when we have the opportunities to do that."

On the high number of digs, particularly the 30 by Culbertson and 28 by Berryhill
"A lot of that happened after the break. As a team we had almost 100 (digs) and they had 108, so the total digs for both teams - over 200 digs in a five-set match. That's pretty impressive. That's a lot of long rallies, and once again, a lot of that is because we sometimes struggle putting the ball away. But when we were able to extend rallies, we did ourselves a favor. Kellie, I think she came off a weekend where she had a lot of digs too, and her dig numbers are going up and up. Brooke did a great job tonight. It was probably her best defensive effort of the season. We're still without Genesis (Viera). To be honest, we've played four matches running a 5-1 and we haven't had time to practice yet. Hopefully, Genesis will be back for the weekend. I think it makes us better in some areas, and we'll see exactly where that makes us better. When you face adversity, play good teams, and fight the way we did, we're going to take some good things out of this."