Postmeet Quotes: NCAA Athens Regional

April 5, 2014

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Michigan Head Coach Bev Plocki
On the team's performance... "We came here and our goal was to not just make it to NCAAs. We wanted to win and we accomplished that. We had a strong showing overall and I'm very pleased with how we performed. We're going into NCAAs feeling like we've gradually improved and that's exciting. People like Nicole, Talia, Lindsay and Briley stepped up and helped pick up the slack. It was a true team effort."

On floor exercise... "Our plan was to start out strong from the beginning. We knew Georgia was starting on their best event, which was uneven bars, and we wanted to put some pressure on Georgia from the very first routine. We wanted to send a message to everyone in the area that we would be able to hang with them and that's what we did. We performed our floor routines and were solid on the landings. After the first rotation, we still had vault and uneven bars, two solid events for us. We didn't give Georgia the feeling of having a big lead after the first rotation. I think that worked to our advantage."

On the different individuals stepping up and ending on balance beam... "I feel like I have to go through and talk about everybody because we all stepped up and did a great job. Natalie went 9.900 on every event. I asked her if she wanted to make it four-for-four and do a beam routine. She sort of just laughed. You know, it's nerve racking to end on beam. We knew going in that the judging would be tight the entire evening and it certainly was on beam, but I do think that the judges were very consistent all night long. They started out one way and held it. We were the second-place team on beam tonight. Georgia was going to vault to close and we were ending on beam. Those situations are tough under pressure. We had a few wobbles but nobody gave into the fall. That showed a lot of fight and determination."

On facing the nation's top teams in preparation for NCAAs... "That's why we schedule the way we do. It's all part of the preparation for NCAAs and two weeks from now. We get to go into NCAAs and see teams that we've faced and beaten already this season. We want to feel good going in there knowing that not only do you deserve to be there, but that you can compete with those teams."

U-M Fifth-Year Senior Natalie Beilstein
On how this NCAA Regional compares to the others... "It was definitely exciting to come here and win on the road. We're excited to get back to the NCAA Championships and show everyone what we've been working toward. We were out to prove something coming out of the Big Ten Championships and this just shows how hard we've trained."

On the changes to the vault lineup... "[Being the anchor] doesn't add any pressure. We've worked on not taking deductions in practice. We actually didn't know the lineup until yesterday. I thought it was fun to anchor. I'm excited to go NCAAs and do the same thing."

On if the new vault lineup provided experience for the younger gymnasts... "I definitely think so. It was good mental preparation for our freshmen going into NCAAs. The lineup is always subject to change. It has all year. It can change within 30 seconds. We're used to it. We tried something new. It's not going to affect us going forward."

On how excited she is to be going back to NCAAs... "So excited. Our team has been building a lot of consistency and confidence these last couple weeks. We showed it going into Big Tens and again coming in here. I think all of us are excited to get back in the gym and work on the little things, because we have some things we need to work on. We'll be ready for the first day of NCAAs."

U-M Sophomore Lindsay Williams
On uneven bars... "It was my best routine of the season. It was almost a little shocking to see Joanna fall, but it happens. I told myself that I needed to get up there and do a good routine that would count for the team. The fact that it was a career high is just icing on the cake."

On hitting her best routine of the season despite it being only her third time in the lineup... "I was so pumped up. I thought to myself, 'This is actually happening.' After I stuck that dismount, I ran over to the corral as fast as I could and hugged everybody. It was so exciting.

On how excited she is to go to NCAAs... "This feels really good, to be able to go out and do what we came here to do. We battled through a lot of adversity this year. We had a mishap at the Big Ten Quad then came back strong at Big Tens. We lost Austin last week and came back strong here. For us to get to NCAAs with all that's happened, it's very exciting and rewarding."

U-M Freshman Nicole Artz
On if this was her best performance of the season... "Score-wise, no, but in terms of how I felt, yes. It was insane. We set the goal to come here and win. Now we've got even more confidence going into NCAAs."

On that confidence... "Coming into this meet and having the setback with Austin, we knew vault, in particular, would be different, but people stepped up. Lindsay went in on bars and did amazing. Austin is definitely a strong asset for this team, but we showed that we can come together as a team and push through anything."

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