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Postgame Quotes
Virginia 83, Clemson 71
Feb. 21, 2008

Virginia Head Coach Debbie Ryan
On the importance of Sharne beating the ACC assists record tonight:
“For me, it was just really important. Words cannot describe it. I have gotten the chance to coach two of the best players in the game, especially in the ACC and even more especially at Virginia. To have two of those players, Dawn Staley and Sharne Zoll, obviously I have been blessed and honored to be their coach, and to have the relationship that I have with both of them has been a dream for me. It has just been fantastic actually.”

On the similarities between Sharne Zoll and Dawn Staley:
“First of all, both are from the Philly area. Second of all, I think that Sharne grew up watching Dawn, and if not watching her, knowing about her and knowing the type of guard she was. I think that she sort of tried to mold herself after Dawn. If Sharne turns out to be half the incredible person that Dawn has turned out to be, she will be an incredible person herself. It has just been an honor for me, and I know that we have a long way to go yet, but I just cherish every minute that I have the opportunity to coach someone as talented, unselfish and talented as Sharne Zoll.”

On the pride she takes in her athletes past and present:
“Winning national championships and coaching on the court is not nearly as satisfying as watching Dawn Staley carry the American flag into the arena for the Olympics where all of her Olympics teammates elected her to do that, probably the biggest honor an Olympic athlete could have. Those are the kind of things that I take far more pride in than the trophies or the wins. Obviously experiences on the court are fun and that is where you get to know somebody, but seeing those kinds of things as they grow and after they leave Virginia and the things that they do are just extraordinary, incredible, and far more satisfying than a win, even a great win.”

On whether she expected what she saw from Clemson tonight:
“I was a little bit surprised at their guards. I just thought they played so hard tonight. They were taking us to the hole so much. I knew they were going to try and do that, and I was surprised that they did it with such success. You have to give them a lot of credit. That team is basically going through the same thing we did last year, with three injured players out for the year. They are good players, and I am sure that Clemson is still trying to find their way in many ways.”

On what Virginia needs to do to win this weekend against Duke:
“Really, I just think we need to go there and play. I just do not want our team to let the name Duke’ beat them. I want to be able to step onto the court knowing that we are as good as Duke because we are. That is the main thing, and I do not think that there will be any question of that. We have seen Connecticut, Maryland, and Carolina. We should be well prepared to play this game, regardless of the fact that we are playing there.”

Virginia Guard Sharne Zoll
On breaking the ACC all-time career assists record:

“I’m so relieved that it came. I can stop thinking about it. My teammates don’t have to concentrate on it, or worry about missing lay-ups at halftime or keeping track of my assists throughout the game. I didn’t even know the lob to Monica (Wright) was going to be number 6. I wasn’t really thinking about the record, but of course it was on my mind. Lots of people were here; my parents were here, so when it finally came, it was like, Thank goodness!’ I kept thinking, If this doesn’t happen today, I’m going to be crushed.’ But it happened, and now we can go on. It’s kind of crazy to break a record that your idol held. But we have a couple more games ahead of us, and now we can finally focus on them.”

On Coach Debbie Ryan’s recent induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame:
“I’m so proud and honored to be playing for her. That’s why I came here, because I knew that she was a Hall of Fame coach. In my opinion, it’s long overdue. She’s produced so many great players. Look what they’re doing nowthey’re coaches, presidents of huge women’s basketball organizations.”

On the fan’s excited response to her breaking the career assists record:
“I’ve heard it everywhere. I had a lot of my friends here, and I’m in a class where it was kind of mandatory to comethey had to write a little paper about it. I kind of had a little bit of help with the fans. The fans have been great my whole four years here. I’m really glad that they were there in support.”

Virginia Forward Monica Wright
On her participation in the alley-oop play that led to Zoll breaking the career assists record:

“It was Sharne who called the play, not Debbie (Ryan). I thought, I better put it in the basket.’ I was so excited when it went in. It was a great play, and a great play call on Sharne’s part.”

Virginia Center Aisha Mohammed
On how she handled Clemson’s defense:

“In any game when you start playing, you have to warm up and get used to your opponent, but we were already warmed up and ready to go. I tried to take advantage of their defense early before they thought of new ways to stop me.”

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