Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The St. Joseph's Hawks upset the ranked Dayton Flyers 61-54 to advance to the A-10 Conference Tournament championship game next Saturday at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPNU. To get some insight on the game, Swish Appeal had the opportunity to interview Hawks stars Chatilla Van Grinsven and Erin Shields.
What did you all learn from the first game against them that helped you all yesterday?
Erin Shields: I think it helped in getting used to defending their style and being able to make adjustments based on our mistakes. We learned from our mistakes and knew what we would have to do to be able to win.
Chatilla Van Grinsven: We made some defensive adjustments from the last game to this one -- to stop their go to players and slow them down. Overall, we really stuck together as one team, and we never panicked. No matter how close the score was, we played fearless as a team. And I think that’s what makes us great as a team. This was a great win. Dayton is a great and respectable team -- and extremely well coached. For us to show up yesterday and play towards our ability shows people what we are capable of.
How much were you all looking forward to the rematch against Dayton?
ES: I was really looking forward to it. These are the games you live for as a player being able to play against one of the top teams in the country. Dayton is a great team and it was great to have two opportunities in one week to play against them.
How does it feel to be playing for the A-10 championship title today?
ES: It's a tremendous opportunity for us to be able to represent our university in a championship game. It is something that we have worked hard for all year and it was one of our goals to get here; now we are just going to try to cap it off with a win.
CVG: I am extremely excited about the championship match-up -- definitely a team I am looking forward to playing against. I have this whole level of excitement and power in me at the moment. Something I have been working for a whole season and we as a team are ready for it -- and we have great support from an incredible coaching staff.
Chatilla, how much did it help having your father in the stands to watch you play for the first time in college?
CVG: My father is an inspiration to me both on and off the court. On the court he really believes in me. My father prepared me for these types of moments. We still work tirelessly on my game. Off the court, I’ve had no better example than my dad in courage and strength. He has fought tooth and nail with his health. After undergoing a major organ transplant, he is here in the states, in the stands, cheering me on!