Johnson, Ndipagpor, Davis, Faulknor, and Gaither Named USC Credit Union Student-Athletes of the Week

    Eric Johnson had a monster week for the men's tennis team last week.

    April 8, 2014

    LOS ANGELES – USC men’s tennis junior Eric Johnson and the women’s track & field 4x200m relay team of Akawkaw Ndipagbor, Jessica Davis, Alexis Faulknor, and Tynia Gaither were named USC Credit Union Student-Athlete’s of the Week for the week of March 24-30.

    USC junior Eric Johnson was in winning form in both doubles and singles last week, helping the Trojans to two Pac-12 victories with his two doubles and two singles wins. Against Stanford, Johnson paired with Max De Vroome to capture the first win of the day in an eventual 7-0 shutout of the Cardinal. In singles, Johnson came through with the clincher, beating Anthony Tsodikov in a quick 6-1, 6-2 decision to lock in the team win for the Trojans. The next day against No. 18 Cal, Johnson and de Vroome secured the doubles point for the Trojans with another 8-6 win. And in singles, Johnson put USC in position for the win with another straight-set victory, beating Cal’s Gregory Bayane 6-2, 6-1 to give USC a 3-0 lead over the Bears in an eventual 4-0 win. Johnson and de Vroome have now won seven straight doubles matches together during USC’s 13-match win streak. In singles, Johnson is 23-8 overall and 14-2 in dual-match play. USC is 22-2 overall and 4-0 in Pac-12 play.

    Other USC men’s student-athletes nominated this week included: Dante Flores (baseball) for going 5 for 13 over the weekend with 5 RBI's including a 3 for 5 effort in Sunday’s win; and Victor Fajoyomi (track & field) for winning the men's high jump at the Florida Relays and was the ninth highest mark ever for USC.

    The USC women’s 4x200m relay team had a legendary performance on Saturday at the Florida Relays at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. The team of junior Akawkaw Ndipagbor, senior Jessica Davis, sophomore Alexis Faulkner, and sophomore Tynia Gaither won the 4x200m event with a blazing time of 1:30.99. This incredible time broke a USC school record from 2007 of 1:32.87. The team’s historic time was the fastest recorded by a college team this season and only four schools have ever recorded faster times: Texas A&M, LSU, Texas, and South Carolina. To go along with their success in the 4x200m race, Davis, Faulknor, and Davis all competed in the 4x100m race as well. In this event, the three girls teamed up with Loudia Laarman to place third among college teams, with a season-best time of 43.90. Believe it or not, but some of these girls weren’t even done yet.

    In the 4x400m relay, Ndipagbor, Davis, and Gaither competed yet again for the Women of Troy. The team added Vanessa Jones to their crew and placed second to a record-setting Florida team. USC’s time was the third fastest in school history. Led by the incredible efforts by these athletes, the USC women had an incredible performance in Florida.

    Other USC women’s student-athletes nominated this week included: Jenna Tong (track) for winning the 3000m steeple chase at the Cal-Nevada championships and running a PR of 10:42.91 to move from fourth to third on USC's all-time list in the steeplechase; The Trojan Varsity-8 Rowing team of Paige Fernandes, Vineta Moca, Krisztina Gyimes,Madara Strautmane, Keret Einaste, Madelyn Walters, Elizabeth Turner, Lindsay Gibson, and Svenja Jonas for winning its grand final for the Jessop-Whittier Cup by a little more than 2.5 seconds; and Sam Hirschmann and Natasa Siljkovic (sand volleyball) for winning each of their matches against LMU and UCLA on their senior day.

    The USC Credit Union Student-Athletes of the Week are voted on by the student assistants and Sports Information Directors of the USC Sports Information Office. Nominations are compiled and distributed for voting by Robby Kolanz. Student assistant voters include Charlotte Adlam, Sarah Bergstrom, Nikki Borchard, Lily Campbell, Constance Hiller, Carlene Jones, Robby Kolanz, Alec Koondel, Aubrey Kragen, Taiu Kunimoto, Janessa Mendence, Tera Novy, and Max Schwartz.