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Radford at Virginia
Dec. 6, 2010
Postgame Quotes

Virginia Head Coach Debbie Ryan
Opening statement:

“I was not very happy with the first half. We have played three games in a matter of five days, and I think we were a little leg-weary coming in to the game. I feel like Radford came in and was ready to go. We knew they would throw the first punch, so I cut the numbers in the second half and went with players with energy so that we could get some chemistry going. I thought Lexie Gerson had a really good game tonight. She played very well within herself. She had good energy the whole game, and she was a key factor in getting separation.”

On freshman Ataira Franklin in the starting lineup:
“The one thing I get from Ataira every day is consistency. She is a very consistent player who gives me great defense, she has long arms, and she bothers people. She knows her role and is developing an offensive identity. She really understands the game and is a very good ‘glue’ player. She is a very good utility type player, she understands what I need her to do, and she goes out there and does it every single day. Not just in games but in practice too, and I think that is a key to being a very good player. I find that we are better starting the game when we have someone who can pressure the ball.”

On what she has learned about the team so far:
“At times I feel like we have learned a lot, and at times I feel like we have learned nothing. I think that we have learned how to turn it around when we do not really have ‘it.’ We have learned how to play against very good competition and that we are not that far away. We have to get certain things in order to be where we need to be, but we are definitely going in the right direction.”

On Chelsea Shine:
“I think we have found a leader in Chelsea Shine, and she seems to be very consistent in her leadership. Today in the first half she did not lead, and I reminded her that whether she is playing well or not she still has to lead. She realized it and went out in the second half and did other things than score, and things started to come to her.”

On China Crosby’s return:
“She is doing very well. She has been fitted with a brace that she will have to wear for some time, but she has been on the court. She can shoot with the team and was practicing coming off of screens today. They have not cleared her yet [to play].”

Virginia Forward Chelsea Shine
On where the team is now in comparison to where it started the season:

“I think we’re a bit tired but we have also come a long way. We’ve had a lot of great experiences that we are going to learn from – both wins and losses – and playing five nationally ranked teams in the first half of the season has forced us to grow as a team. We’ve been really exposed at times but we’ve also seen where we are really good. Tonight we had a great second half and now we have to be able to string two of them together.”

On the impact of the freshmen class:
“We talk to them, they hear from the coaches and they see it through the second-years who are just a year ahead of them that you have to constantly keep your head up. One moment isn’t going to define you. One game, one practice isn’t going to define you or your career here. I think they’re learning that well seeing as they have been forced to mature because of how important they are to this team.”

On being a leader:
“It’s tough. I am so thankful that I was able to watch and grow under Monica Wright’s leadership for my first two years here. I am glad that I could soak in all of her leadership skills but my role is a little different. I’m not Monica Wright. Leadership speaks in different ways. I got called out today and rightfully so because I let the energy go at some points during the first half and just because I’m not playing well doesn’t mean I’m not still leading this team. I think that I did a better job at that in the second half and that is part of what I’m working on, maintaining leadership through good games and through bad games.”

Virginia guard Lexie Gerson
On her play in today’s game:

“I just go out there having fun and the game just comes to me. We came out in the second half with a lot of energy so that really helped.

On the team’s identity:
“It is definitely an ongoing process. We are trying to find our identity but I don’t think we have established it quite yet.”

On the importance of defense:
“We have a problem with letting our offense dictate our defense so we definitely talked about that. When we get our defense going though, we get good looks and steals; the energy definitely goes up.”

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