Trojans Earn ITA Awards
May 22, 2012
The USC tennis programs have four members on this year's ITA Awards list thanks to the powerful tandem efforts of the Trojan men's and women's tennis teams, who just yesterday (May 21) made USC history in reaching the NCAA Semifinals on the same day at the same site. Leading the pack is ITA/Farnsworth National Senior Player of the Year Steve Johnson, who carries a 65-match singles win streak into today's NCAA Championship match. Fellow senior Daniel Nguyen, who has not lost a singles match in NCAA Team competition since coming to Troy, is a co-recipient of the ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award. USC's men's associate head coach George Husack has been honored as the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year. And on the women's side of the game, USC's standout freshman Zoe Scandalis has been rightfully crowned the ITA National Player to Watch.
ITA AWARDS RELEASE:
Steve Johnson, the 2012 ITA National Men's Senior Player of the Year, took over the top spot in the Campbell/ITA Division I Men's Singles Rankings heading into the NCAA Championships. Serving as this year's team captain for the top-ranked Trojans, he is unbeaten on the year in singles action. He entered the NCAA Championships with a 60-match overall singles match winning streak, including winning 56-straight dual singles matches. Johnson was named Pac-12 Player of the Year for the second straight season earlier this spring. He is a four-time Pac-12 First Team honoree along with being named an ITA All-American seven times in his career. He has also helped his team to three consecutive NCAA Men's Team Championships.
Another tremendous freshman from the Pac-12 Conference, Zoe Scandalis, the 2012 ITA Women's Player to Watch, has been one of the top players in the nation in singles the entire season, currently ranked 14th in the Campbell/ITA Division I Women's Singles Rankings. She has played at the first singles position for the entire season, collecting over 30 wins for the Women of Troy. She had a tremendous fall, playing her way through both the pre-qualifying and qualifying draws of the ITA/Riviera Women's All-American Championships to advance to the main draw of the prestigious event. This year's Freeman Memorial Singles Champion, Scandalis was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on January 23.
Daniel Nguyen, one of two honorees for the 2012 ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award, has been a symbol of leadership and sportsmanship in his four years in the Trojans program. This year alone he has amassed more than 20 dual victories in both singles and doubles. He was a member of the BNP Paribas Master'U team, which claimed the title with a dramatic victory over France in the championship match. Nguyen has been just as dedicated in the classroom, maintaining a 3.5 GPA in communications, which included being a member of the Dean's List in 2010. He has been a very active member around the USC campus, serving on the USC Trojan Athletic Senate for the past three years. Nguyen has also generously devoted his time to a number of community service projects. He participated in the Harper for Kids 32nd Street School tennis event, teaching clinics to promote health and well-being. Last year he joined the USC Joint Educational Project, where he became a teaching assistant at Manual Arts Senior High School, teaching Geology and the science of human performance.
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men's and women's varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 20,000 college varsity student-athletes at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA web site is www.itatennis.com.