March 16, 2012
Michigan Head Coach Bev Plocki
On the team's performance against Michigan State ... "Tonight was a little bit of a mixed bag. I am proud of what we did. We're getting better. It's a little late in the season to be saying that, but we're competing more relaxed and more aggressive, which is a good sign. We're still making some really stupid errors and mistakes that we shouldn't be making at this time of the season. We're giving up some very valuable tenths. Now we have to wait and see what happens with Minnesota tomorrow at Denver, and deal with whatever it is."
On the team's performance on balance beam ... "We've just been hammering away and hammering away on the fundamentals. They are a young team, but they are coming along and getting it. The whole thing with beam is being able to go up there and get yourself in the right mindset, to talk to yourself in a positive and instructive way, and don't let those negative thoughts get into your brain. It's difficult to do. We keep reinforcing the mental choreography, and the mental things they need to tell themselves, so that their routines become automatic when they are competing."
On floor exercise ... "We're a stronger floor team than we showed. We gave up some valuable tenths. I don't know what happened to Reema (Zakharia), whether she got caught up in the moment or what, and that's unfortunate because she had a great routine going. Sachi (Sugiyama) tucked at the end of her middle pass instead of doing a layout. Joanna (Sampson) had a great routine but landed a little short on her last pass. Not major errors, but at this point in the season, every last half-tenth makes a big difference. We have to fight for every single one of those tenths."
On what this meet does for the team with Big Tens next week ... "I was hoping for even a little bit stronger than this, but this is without question one of our stronger meets. This definitely give us what we need going into Big Tens. It still makes us hungry, because we know we can do better."
U-M Junior Katie Zurales
On the team's start to vault ... "It was good. It was exciting. Reema got us going by sticking her vault, which was just an awesome way to start. It got the meet moving and put us on the right foot."
On how she handles herself mentally before routines ... "I just try and take it one routine at a time. I've done these routines a million times in practice. You have to tell yourself, 'I know how to do this. I got it. No problem.' I've been trying to get my teammates to relax a little more and have the same mentality. I think it's helping."
On her floor routine ... "I knew we needed a big score. Floor is fun to dance to and a good way to get the crowd into it. It was really cool competing here with everyone so close. I felt like I had to do it for the team and wanted to do it for the team. As a team, I thought we put out a very solid set."
On if the meet gives the team confidence heading into next week ... "Definitely. A lot of good things came out of this meet. We needed a solid 196.000 score, and we needed people to hit here and there. Beam was a definitely a big confidence booster heading into next weekend, so I think we're ready."