Three Trojans Earn ITA All-American Honors|
June 7, 2012
USC senior Steve Johnson winds down his illustrious collegiate career officially as a seven-time ITA All-American with this year's accolades in the singles and doubles realm. He is joined on the 2012 honor roll by two younger Trojans, with sophomore Ray Sarmiento cementing himself as a two-time ITA All-American with this year's set of singles honors, and with freshman Roberto Quiroz picking up doubles ITA All-American accolades as Johnson's powerful partner in crime.
The only player in history to stand as a four-time NCAA Team Champion and back-to-back NCAA Singles champ, Steve Johnson has finished up four years at USC with a 149-21 career record in singles and 134-32 career record in doubles play. This year, Johnson extended his singles win streak out to an unprecedented 72 straight victories as he successfully defended his NCAA title in winning the 2012 singles crown. He finishes up the year deservedly as the No. 1 singles player in the final ITA singles rankings, and ranks No. 2 in doubles with teammate Roberto Quiroz after the pair reached the NCAA Doubles Quarterfinals as the No. 2 seeds in the draw. In all, Johnson posted a perfect 37-0 singles record in his senior season, and went a near-perfect 31-3 overall in doubles thanks to a 21-1 record with Quiroz. Freshman Quiroz was instrumental in securing his first ITA All-American honors with this year's doubles selection alongside Johnson. The duo recorded key wins in five NCAA Team Tournament matches for the Trojans to keep USC on track to its fourth straight national championship.
Sophomore Ray Sarmiento, meanwhile, was a machine for the Trojans particularly during postseason play. He went undefeated in dual-match singles action during the NCAA Team Tournament to power up for another national championship run. His individual singles push was upended in the NCAA Round of 32 to the No. 2 seed in the draw, but Sarmiento's team-leading 38-win singles season has lifted the sophomore to his second ITA All-American status as he wraps the year at No. 19 in the national singles rankings. Sarmiento posted a 38-12 overall singles mark in his sophomore season, while he and doubles teammate Daniel Nguyen won 15 straight matches together to work their way into a final national doubles ranking of No. 33 on an overall mark of 30-5.
Nguyen missed the All-American cut by just one spot, finishing up his Trojan career with a No. 21 national rank in singles after going 35-10 overall in his senior season. The four-time NCAA champ and clincher-extraordinaire has gone 135-38 overall in singles during his Trojan career and 114-40 in doubles in his four years at Troy.
Steve Johnson is just the third Trojan in history to accumulate seven or more All-American selections. Rick Leach stands as USC's only eight-time All-America, having grabbed singles and doubles honors every year in his 1984-87 career at Troy. The only other seven-time All-American in USC history is Byron Black, a three-time singles and four-time doubles All-American from 1988-91. Johnson rounds out his historic career as a four-time singles All-American and three-time doubles honoree.
In all, the USC men have five Trojans ranked in the ITA final singles list, and three pairs in the national doubles scene for 2012.
A player must meet any of the following criteria to earn ITA All-America honors: