'I think we can make a good run at it'

'I think we can make a good run at it'

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His team was knocked out in the Sweet 16, but Illinois volleyball coach Chris Tamas still took in last weekend's Final Four at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. It was an especially gratifying stay for the former Nebraska assistant, who saw the Cornhuskers win their fifth NCAA title. He checked in with N-G Media's Jim Rossow upon returning to C-U:

It looked like a wild atmosphere.

It was great. They set a new attendance record this year at just over 18,000 a match. A lot of them were Husker fans due to their proximity to Kansas City, but regardless of that, it was just a good venue for volleyball. Any time you can fill an arena and play the match on ESPN, I think that is pretty cool for the sport.

Did you get a chance to touch base with Nebraska's players and coaches?

(Coach) John Cook was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame on Thursday, and we were able to see him then. The following morning was the AVCA All-American banquet, and I was able to see the whole team and staff and wish them luck in the finals. It was good to see them all. (My wife and assistant coach) Jen and I spent a lot of hours in our two years at Nebraska with the staff and the main starters that won the championship this year. We were happy for them this year.

Can you guarantee Illinois getting to Minneapolis — site of next year's Final Four?

There are lots of teams that are pretty good every year. To get to the Final Four takes a special mix of talent, teamwork, health down the stretch, match-ups and mojo. If we continue to work hard every day (and) we put ourselves in the best position to improve on what we did this year, then I think we can make a good run at it. I don't like to get too far ahead of myself though.