Pre-Match National Semifinal Press Conference
Penn State - May 3, 2010
Penn State Head Coach
"They have to overcome some significant travel challenges that we put in front of them. We did it knowing there was a great possibility we would be here this year and playing against Stanford and playing a high quality team after a cross country jaunt."
On the familiarity...
"It's not just the national program, but on the club level they are playing against the same guys since they are 14. I think 20-25 years ago, when club was getting started, you had that geographical distance where you heard of reputation and now I think that is gone. Now they have grown up against everyone they are playing now."
"It's an NCAA Championship... you have to learn to role with the punches a little bit and it's not like a regular season match. The more relaxed you can be about that, the more you are able to focus on the task at hand. If you can get a whole team relaxed about it, as Max said, it's just volleyball."
"We've had teams that get overwhelmed by the event.We are past that. Been there, done that, we've seen that movie before. You have to be able to sort out the things that are important... then get on the court and play as hard as you can."
On Lipsitz and why he's a three-time All-American
"His freaking long arms... and I mean freaking in the correct usage of the word, freaking. He came in as a freshman and we've talked about it before, he and his dad came down for the EIVA Championship and I walked into my office that Saturday morning, my office is open, Max and his dad are in the office watching some DVD of some movie and I thought, this kid is comfortable right now and he hasn't even enrolled yet."
"One of the things he took advantage of. He came in pretty strong. But we threw him to the wolves, he had to play his freshman year. We had no other middle blocker besides Max."
Max Lipsitz, Senior
"I think the attraction Penn State has to all the East Coast talent is huge. It is a really nice alternative to coming out to a California school for volleyball purposes. Traditionally it has a strong volleyball program and the academics are great, so for me, I came out West and did visits, but ultimately I felt more comfortable on the east coast."
Playing with the national program
"We've had some pretty incredible opportunities through volleyball."
Will Price, Senior
"It's a pretty small community and being exposed to the junior national teams during the summers creates a lot of connections, not only as individuals, but for our team. It's easy to introduce (them)... and introduce this guy, and though he is pretty competitive on the court, that's a good guy (off the court)."
"On a side note I didn't play men's volleyball in high school (in Maryland). We didn't have enough guys to put together a men's team. So my brother (Andrew) and I played on a coed team. We played against other coed teams."
"If we had had a men's team, our men's team would have played at 5 p.m and the coed team would have played at 7 p.m. And we just happened to not have enough guys come out."