Southern Cal coaching legend Jovan Vavic earned his tenth NCAA championship when his Trojans won the men’s water polo title. This spring, his second-ranked USC women have an outstanding chance of earning number 11.
USC has started the season strong. Putting together an 11-2 record so far this season. What do the Trojans need to do to win an NCAA title?
Coach Vavic: We need to improve our defense and become a championship caliber defensive team. We did not play good counterattack defense in that Stanford game [ a USC loss] and we will need to improve on that.
You have two Hungarian National Team performers who have a large impact on your team in Patricia Jansco and Flora Bolonyai. Can you tell us about each and what makes them great players?
Coach Vavic: Flora is extremely intelligent. She is the hardest worker on our team. Flora came to us rather inexperienced as she had only played water polo for four years prior to coming to USC. You have players in California that have played since they were seven or eight years old. As you probably know, Flora started for Hungary’s Bronze Medal European Championships team. Flora is very intelligent as she is the only player, male or female that I have ever coached that has scored an 800 on the math portion of the SAT.
Patricia is a very powerful outside shooter. She has a strong arm along with very strong, powerful legs.
Nadia Dan is a senior lefty and returning All-American. What are some of her special skills?
Coach Vavic: Similar to Patricia, she shoots very hard. As hard as some of the boys here. Nadia is a senior who has been on title teams which means that she knows what it takes. Nadia was a starter on our 2010 NCAA championship team and is a very experienced player.