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Women’s Basketball Media Day
Oct. 17, 2011
Virginia Player Quotes

Junior center Simone Egwu
On what practice has been like thus far:

“It’s been really intense. Learning a whole new system is really intense, for lack of a better word. It’s really mind-blowing, especially being a junior having been set in my ways. There have been a lot of changes; preseason was really hard and involved a lot more running. But all of us know it’s what we have to do to be a championship team so we are all really buying into it.”

On the new coaching staff:
“I like them a lot; they’re great. They are really positive and super understanding when it comes to mistakes and learning a new system. The atmosphere has been great.”

On the team’s strengths and weaknesses:
“Our biggest strength is definitely our chemistry. We all really know and care about each other. Right now our weaknesses is just getting to know the offense and trying to run, which can result in turnovers and a lack of focus. That’s something we really need to work on.”

Junior forward Telia McCall
On practice thus far:

“It definitely has been intense and the environment has been different with a new philosophy and system. It feels like we are all first years again trying to learn it. But we have all been going hard.”

On the team mentality:
“I see everyone more focused. They are buying into the program and what Coach Boyle is teaching us. We definitely need to focus more on our defense and she is on us about that. Defense wins games.”

On how she has improved since her freshman season:
“My conditioning definitely got better. My first year I was out of breath trying to keep up wondering how people got in shape. But after doing it for two years, I got into good shape and figured out it was more of a mental game in college.”

Sophomore guard Kelsey Wolfe
On what the focus has been in practice:
“We have really been focusing on defense and making sure we get everything right. You can’t win games if you let the opponent score; we know it’s important.”

On the team’s strengths and weaknesses:
“I think a real strength has been our learning curve on offense. We’re starting to pick that up. On the flip side, our defense is a little slow in just making sure everyone has all the concepts right. We need to get better at that.”

On having a year of college under her belt:
Last year was a big learning experience for me. I played pretty well in the beginning and kind of falling off in the end; I just learned a lot about myself. I have brought that into this season and have been preparing as hard as I can to be able to put a lot into this season.

Redshirt sophomore forward Erinn Thompson
On practice thus far:

“This last month has been about learning the new philosophy. The change that comes with coaches is never easy. It’s hard to see a staff that you committed to leave. But the coaching staff that is now here has been a great change for us. They are very enthusiastic. We have been learning the new system, which is very defense-oriented, and putting that on the court.”

On her role:
“I am going to be an energy player. My injury has been a little disjointing throughout my career but I am actually to a point where I can practice full-time. I want to bring energy and enthusiasm to the team and do whatever I am told. I want to play a role.”

Sophomore forward Sarah Beth Barnette
On adjusting to UVa:

“It’s just weird because it’s like starting all over again, which I expected, but even more than I thought. I feel like a freshman again but I’m starting to get to the point where I’m settling in. The basketball transition has been really easy. I love the coaches and I love the girls.

On transferring from Kentucky to UVa:
“It just wasn’t a good fit. There were a lot of things that went into it. I have a lot of respect for Coach Boyle and her ability. Virginia is obviously an awesome school. I love the location and being in the ACC. When Coach Boyle got here I wanted to come visit. She is a great coach and an even better person.”

“With the new coaching staff, you get the feeling of urgency and excitement. I like practice is going well even though there is a lot of new things to learn. Everyone knows what is expected and what we need to do to get where we need to be.”

Freshman forward Sarah Imovbioh
On adjusting to UVa:
“It’s been really great so far; I learned a lot over the summer just learning where to go and what bus to take to all of my classes and to train.”

On her role this year:
“My role this year is to get better, get to know my teammates, and learn what I can from watching practice. It will be important to learn the plays and just focus on what is expected of me from the coaching staff. I’m going to be getting my conditioning in and hitting the weight room. It’s important to me to get in shape and work on my speed.”

On what you can learn from watching:
“I have really learned a lot already. I already know that the plays are very high intensity and the coaches are looking for speed. I’m looking forward to learning everything I can.”

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