May 22, 2018
THE MODERATOR: We're honored to be joined by the Arizona Wildcats this evening and advancing on to the national championship match tomorrow against Alabama. We welcome tonight coach Laura Ianello as well as student athletes Haley Moore, Sandra Nordaas and Gigi Stoll. Coach, let's open with a remark about the full day today with two wins and a little bit about the match tomorrow, just a general statement to open things up.
LAURA IANELLO: Yeah, I think the ladies on our team, they really took the momentum that we had from yesterday and they brought it into their matches starting off today, the first match against UCLA gee gee was huge in her match right from the get-go. Haley and Sandra this afternoon, I feel like everybody on this entire golf team is really invested and committed and believe that we can make a shot at it.
THE MODERATOR: Gigi, talk about your full day today, the two matches, things that worked well for you.
GIGI STOLL: After struggling a little bit in stroke play, I think I got a good turnaround, coming back and winning the two matches this morning and in the afternoon. I made a lot more birdies today than I have, obviously, I think throughout the whole week, which really sets the momentum.
Q. And Haley, if you would talk about your matches today.
HALEY MOORE: Kind of along the same line like Gigi said. I did not have my best in stroke play, and I think just when Bianca made the eagle putt for us to get -- to tie for eighth, that gave all of us a big momentum booster, throughout the playoff, and then we still had all that adrenaline that we could win these two matches. Playing in these two matches, my putting has been good, ball-striking has been good, and I'm looking forward to going into tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Sandra, if you would address that, as well.
SANDRA NORDAAS: Yeah, like Haley said, I think Bianca's eagle putt yesterday was kind of what -- yeah, like made us -- inspired us a lot to play and head into the matches today knowing that anything is possible.
Q. Laura, could you sort of reflect on the last 24 hours, kind of the whirlwind of emotions of this last day?
LAURA IANELLO: Yeah, I think right now I feel like a new mother with a newborn baby because we've had three hours of sleep in the last -- at least I have. These ladies up here had maybe five to six hours of sleep. But we're going off adrenaline. I think this team has all the momentum they need to get it done for tomorrow. Bianca has led this team in the right direction, and I think, too, it's a nice feeling, the fact that we had a chance yesterday in that playoff, and then we excelled, continued it into today, and the momentum was there, the hard work has been there, and these ladies deserve it. So I'm just so happy for them more than anything. Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a hell of a ride.
Q. Gigi, Haley and Sandra, the 17th hole has been the most difficult hole throughout the week, but you guys have made some difficult birdies there, especially in your first quarterfinals match today. What has that 17th hole played like to you guys and what makes it so difficult?
GIGI STOLL: 17 is pretty long, and it's also pretty narrow off the tee. I actual had I hit 3-wood a couple days and had like a longer iron in. This morning I hit a 5-iron in to about 12 feet and made it for birdie, which was a really big game changer in my morning round.
HALEY MOORE: Yeah, kind of like Gigi said. It's a very narrow, long hole, and I've just been going up there and picking out a small target for my driver and just go over there and hit it, and then the green is very difficult, so wherever the pin is -- if it's on the right, you want to keep it on the right, or if it's on the left, keep it on the left, because there's that little slope in the middle of the green where a lot of putts are hard to read or hard to see. So I've been paying attention to our (indiscernible) second shot on the green to give me the best opportunity to make birdie or par.
SANDRA NORDAAS: Yeah, for sure, I think it's intimidating from the tee as well as from the fairway, which kind of makes it challenging, because you're going to have a long iron in. And we're also faced with wind in the face, which makes it even longer. But yeah, like Haley said, planning out your approach shots and missing it on the right side is the key.
Q. Haley, I know you're pretty frustrated with 14, but how were you on 15 where you clinched the match and had your teammates there to watch you? How was that?
HALEY MOORE: Yeah, I was frustrated after 14, but once I made the par putt on 15, that just gave me confidence, like okay, (indiscernible) all I need to do is make par, and then my approach shot, I thought it would come off right because my ball was below my feet, but it kind of went left. I just chipped up there close, was pretty close, and she had a tough putt downhill, and so just chipping it close (indiscernible) for us to make the final point to get to the national championship, so with my teammates there to celebrate with me it was pretty cool, and afterwards we were just excited because to be here is just really amazing.
Q. Laura, how many times have you crossed paths with Alabama at tournaments this year? How familiar are you with their roster?
LAURA IANELLO: I'm very familiar with their roster. We've seen them quite a few times. They're a great team, great winners, great coaches. They're solid from 1 through 5 just like we are. Mic has done a great job, so it's going to be a really good match tomorrow.
Q. Talk about the mindset, this is day 5 of golf, so just talk about what it takes to get to this point to be able to survive and advance.
LAURA IANELLO: It's survival of the fittest, without a doubt. I think this format for the NCAA is pretty exhausting on these student athletes. We're very fortunate where we're done with finals, but every one of my student athletes is taking summer classes, so they've still got course work. Gigi has got a test tonight at 9:00 that we're going to try to get out of. But no, you train for this. This is what being a student-athlete is all about. That's why we have a strength coach, Chris Allen, at home, who whips these girls into shape some days when they don't really like it. So moving forward to tomorrow, it's all about perseverance and the ability to do it and believe and know that we're ready to go.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports