Head coach Zenon Babraj, senior coxswain Jennah Blau, and junior stroke Vineta Moca
May 19, 2013
USC Head Coach Zenon Babraj
On the team's performance at the Pac-12 Championships
"I'm very pleased with our performance, today. Of course, congratulations to Cal. Cal has a very deep program; a lot of depth in their program. I think our first eight and the second eight each did a great job on the water. The varsity four has a little bit of work to do, and we'll have to look into the lineups. There were some technical problems out there, but overall, I think we're on the right track, and we should only get faster in the next two weeks."
On looking ahead to the NCAA Championships
"From tomorrow on, we're in camp mode. We'll train here at Lake Natoma which is good controlled conditions and great water. We plan to do a lot of work and bring the speed up in all of our three boats as we prepare for the NCAA Championships."
Vineta Moca, Jr. Stoke
On winning the Pac-12 title
"Winning [the championship] is definitely a lot of responsibility and comes with big expectations. I was pretty amazed once we got out of the boat that everyone was already talking about how much harder we have to work to prepare for the national championships. We're not going to stop here. We have to work harder, every day."
On the varsity eight's championship race
"In the beginning, we were a little bit down. Basically, in our boat, it has been like this all season. But we just had to focus on our race and get our rhythm. By the first 500 meters, we were even with the other boats and just started to walk through everyone. We didn't make a lot of strong moves, but just gradually pushed our racing speed ahead of the others."
Jennah Blau, Sr. Coxswain
On the varsity eight's championships race
"Like we always do, our main strategy is to focus on ourselves and to focus on our run. We haven't raced in about two weeks; we knew that Cal had made some lineup changes, and we hadn't really seen Washington in a while, so we knew we really had to focus on ourselves and get serious. After graduation, we had some seniors fly up, late, so the focus was to bring closure to things and to focus on ourselves. We knew the wind conditions would be difficult, but we didn't think they would be this difficult. About two minutes before our race, we changed lanes, so that was something else that we had to deal with. We came off the line a little faster than normal, which is good for us. Pretty much from the 250-meter line, it seemed like it was just us and Washington. The Huskies started two seats up, and we just started to walk back all the way through, and we didn't stop. In the last 500 meters, we just took our sprint, and we just went for it and ended up getting a little bit of open water, which is more than we could have asked for."
On winning the Pac-12 title
"It's pretty surreal. I don't think it's fully hit me, yet. Our coaches talk so much about 2007. The fact that we can not only win, but win by open water is pretty incredible and pretty surreal. It's great knowing that we could get some good seeding in the NCAAs. The fastest conference is the Pac-12 so this is a pretty good point to start from as we prepare for the national championships."