No. 15 Virginia 69, Virginia Tech 61
Feb. 8, 2009
Virginia Head Coach Debbie Ryan
I felt like I knew this was a very dangerous game. As a matter of fact, that was what was written up on our board before we played the game today, the word dangerous. That is what I started my pre-game speech off with. This was a very dangerous game primarily because it is an in-state rivalry, you’ve already won once so you’re feeling puffed out about it when you really shouldn’t be, and they are playing very well right now. I knew they were playing well. I saw them play against North Carolina and a couple of other teams that they played really well against. I was very wary of the start and when it started the way I predicted it would, we went to zone and that was really the answer for the game. We played very smart in it, and we were able to rebound out of it and that was the key.
On playing zone defense:
I would say that was probably the most zone I’ve played in my life. I’m not much of a zone coach, but I thought we really did a nice job of spreading it out and forcing people to shoot shots they don’t want to shoot. We got their percentage back down and that is really what we wanted to do. We dropped their percentage and created more scoring opportunities for ourselves from rebounding. I went to the zone and when it worked I stayed with it. I just think we were a little bit sluggish to start so I had to do something to get them to wake up. That is what woke them up and we got 12 stops in a row.
On development and rest down the stretch:
Today I felt very strongly that I had to get Lyndra and Monica off the court at some point and that’s why the others got a chance to play and they stepped up and played well. I was proud of them. I think we got tired in the Duke game, and it’s probably not a physical tired but more of a mental tired so I have to get them out even if it’s just for a quick drink of water. I think that we are going in the right direction but I think we just have to be sure that we are getting them enough rest.
Virginia Guard Monica Wright
On the start of the game:
We just did not come out ready and Virginia Tech came at us with everything. They were making everything. I don’t know when it clicked but when it did we got 12 stops in a row and then the game really started. When Coach made the change to zone it finally clicked but we have to learn how to start things off better than that.
On role players:
They came in ready to play immediately and those are the things that we need. They help gives us that extra spark when we need it. It gives us momentum and we played better defense, everything starts falling, and we can get on a run.
Virginia Center Kelly Hartig
On her role:
My area is defense and rebounding. I’m a large person so I make it hard for people when they come in the middle. Coach has told to me to focus on the defensive part of my game and offense will come. It is nice to have players like Monica, Lyndra, and Aisha who can take over so I just have to worry about helping them out on the defensive end.
Virginia Forward Chelsea Shine
On her development:
I’ve been finding my role on the team and finding where I can help the team the most. Right now Coach Ryan is looking for me to do a better job on defense and rebounding and that will help our offense, so that is what I’ve been working on. Especially playing in the ACC where every team is getting better and really forming as a team, that’s something I am putting a lot of focus on.
Virginia Tech Head Coach Beth Dunkenberger
I think it was a great start by our Virginia Tech team. We came out moving the ball extremely well on offense, finding our shooters, sharing the ball. Defensively, I think we did a nice job of stopping their transition game, keeping them off of the boards and those are the two things you really have to do when you play against Virginia to really have a shot at it. When they shifted some things around defensively though, we slowed down and weren’t as aggressive on the offensive end.
On being down three points at halftime:
The thing with Virginia is that they are such a good team on the boards and so explosive in transition. I thought we had taken those things away; they had three offensive boards in the first half and seven for the game. I think that if you take away those two things from Virginia you give yourself a chance.
Virginia Tech Guard Lindsay Biggs
On being affected by Virginia's zone defense:
It is tougher when they go in to zone to get shots off because they are playing a wider defense and I can’t run off screens or get open as easily. We just needed to attack it a little better and get the ball in the paint a little more I don’t think we did that enough.
Virginia Tech Forward Utahya Drye
On attempting to limit Virginia's transition:
Well that is what we focused on in practice. We knew that Monica Wright and Lyndra Littles were great, especially in transition, so we just focused on stopping them and packing it in the paint and rebounding. We knew that we would have to focus on rebounding in order to win this game.