April 2015 (1) Candygrams

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Thursday, April 9, 2015---Women of Troy Sand Volleyball Senior Salute

Trojan Candy arrived at the Merle Norman Stadium early so that I would not miss the Women of Troy Sand Volleyball Senior Salute. Four Seniors and one Graduate Student were to be honored.

When all the honorees and parents gathered at the stadium entrance, I walked over quickly to take pictures and meet the parents. SID friend Jeremy Wu (8/16/2012) organized the families in order.

Emily and Margaret Young Emily Young and her mom Margaret were first. Emily's dad had to stay in Chicago for work. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Emily!

Pam, Alexa, Tony and  Samantha StonishAlexa Stonish and her family posed next for yours truly. It was nice to meet her mom Pam, her sister Samantha and to be teased by her dad Tony. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Alexa!

The third Senior was Eve Ettinger. Brett, Pamela and Eve Ettinger I photographed her with her dad Brett and mom Pamela. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Eve!

Trojan Candy took a picture of Graduate Student Meg Norton and her family next.Patrick, Meg, Suzanne and Richard Norton I got to meet her brother Patrick, mother Suzanne and dad Richard. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Meg!

Yvette and Bria RussThe last Senior who posed for a picture was Bria Russ (3/23/2012). I have known Bria since 2012 when I interviewed her in Heritage Hall. I met her mom Yvette at the first Sand Volleyball banquet on 5/6/2013. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Bria!

Sand Volleyball Seniors and FamiliesLuckily, Trojan Candy was able to take pictures of all five honorees and their families as they were waiting to be introduced, because the introductions were made very quickly. Everyone was given a beautiful lei by a coach. Trojan Candy did take this picture of all five families at the net.

Sara Hughes banner
Right before the match versus Loyola Marymount began, I took pictures of two banners in the stadium. The first hanging banner is of friend Sara Hughes (1/31/2014).
Championship banner
The second banner is the 2014 Pairs Championship banner that was won last season by Sara and her former partner Kirby Burnham (5/6/2013).

Let the games begin. There were six matches played. In the first round, the match played on Court 3 was non-scoring. The stands were quite full of USC students who were rewarded with t-shirts, USC and Loyola Marymount fans, parents and friends. So Trojan Candy walked up to the second floor of the parking garage where I was able to take the following pictures of all six matches.


Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler
Court 1: Nicolette Martin (3/5/2015) [left] and Allie Wheeler (3/5/2015) [right].
Jenna Belton and Bria Russ
Court 2: Jenna Belton [left] and Bria Russ [right]
Marielle Bagnard and Meg Norton
Court 3: Marielle Bagnard [left] and Meg Norton [right]

Second Round:

Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes
Court 1: Sara Hughes [left] and Kelly Claes [right]
Alexa Strange and Sophie Bukovec
Court 2: Alexa Strange [left] and Sophie Bukovec (3/5/2015)
Eve Ettinger and Lorna Brandt
Court 3: Eve Ettinger [left] and Lorna Brandt [right]

Each match was so exciting!

Eloy LopezWhile I was upstairs, a friend came up to visit. Eloy Lopez and I watched and talked during the entire match. We met when he was the Social Media Coordinator for four years with the Women of Troy Soccer Team. Now I finally got to interview him! Eloy is from Pico Rivera. He will be graduating from USC on May 15th with an M.S. in Educational Counseling. Eloy is currently interning at the Pasadena Athletic Academic Services. He did work at "The Lab" for several years while he was taking classes. Not surprisingly, pizza is his favorite food. After graduation, Eloy wants to work with student athletes. On a more personal note, Eloy likes to go to the beach and to run. He has run cross country. He also likes to travel. Eloy has been to Mexico, Costa Rica and Central America. When he travels, he likes to go to museums and see cultural events. He has a girlfriend who is from New York. She travels a lot for work. As for music, Eloy, who used to like rap, likes Alternative Rock. So nice to visit with you, Eloy. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Eloy!

Saturday, April 4, 2015--- Men's Tennis Seniors Were Honored!

Trojan Candy almost didn't bring her camera to the USC Men's Tennis Team match versus the Arizona Wildcats! Luckily, I grabbed it at the last second.

Head Coach Peter Smith honored his four Seniors after the Doubles Match. He allowed yours truly to be on the court for the ceremony.

First, the scoreboard congratulated the Seniors.
Our Seniors are Yannick Hanfmann, Eric Johnson, Roberto Quiroz, and Jonny wang
After the teams warmed up, our men huddled. Let the matches begin!
Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz
The Doubles Teams were Yannick Hanfmann (1/25/2015) and Roberto Quiroz.
Jonny Wang (1/25/2015) and Eric Johnson (2/24/2015) after their victory.
Thibault Forget and Max deVroome
Thibault Forget (2/28/2015) and Max deVroome after their victory.

Now it was time for the Senior Celebration!

Tennis team
The team lined up to greet the Seniors.
Jonny Wang
The first Senior to be honored was Jonny Wang.
Jonny and Amy Wang
His mom Amy came to celebrate with him.
Peter Smith
Then, Coach Peter Smith showed a photo album commemorating Jonny's career at USC.
Peter Smith and Jonny Wang
He gave Jonny the album as well as a big hug.
Eric Johnson behind Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz
Eric Johnson was waiting in the wings behind Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz.
Allison, Eric, and Jim Johnson
On the court, Eric posed with his mom Allison and his dad Jim.
Allison and Eric Johnson and Peter Smith
Coach Smith gave Eric his album. Eric's Mom Allison made the four Senior albums. What a precious gift from her!
Allison and Eric Johnson and Peter Smith
As Allison looked on, Eric and Coach Smith hugged each other.
Yannick Hanfmann
The third Senior to come onto the court was Yannick Hanfmann.
Karen, Yannick, and Steven Hanfmann
Yannick posed with his parents, Karen and Steven, who came all the way from Karlsruhe, Germany, for the ceremony.
Karen, Yannick, and Steven Hanfmann and Peter Smith
Coach Smith presented Yannick his album as his Mom and Dad watched.
Roberto Quiroz
Coach Smith's dog accompanied the fourth Senior Roberto Quiroz onto the court.
Roberto Quiroz and Peter Smith
Roberto gave Coach Smith a very big hug.
Roberto Quiroz and Peter Smith
Then, he received his album.
Seniors and families
Here is a picture of all the Seniors, their parents and coaches. These Seniors have won two NCAA Championships in three years, with a third to come!

Then Trojan Candy returned to the stands.

Since Yannick was not competing in the Singles today, I was able to take a picture of Yannick's entire family. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Yannick!

Ina, Yannick, Karen, and Steven Hanfmann
Ina, Yannick, Karen, and Steven Hanfmann.
I talked with Jonny Wang's coach, Kal, who has coached Jonny since he was four years old.
Jonny's album
Jonny's mom Amy showed me his commerative album.

J.R. Tavai and Kevin QuallsOutside the tennis stadium, Trojan Candy ran into another Senior. Friend and football Senior J.R. Tavai (8/26/2011) smiled and said, "Hello." J.R. was walking with his friend Kevin Qualls. I told the two guys that the tennis team was playing now. J.R. asked me, "Men or women?" When I told him the men were playing, J.R. said that Kevin and he want to keep on walking and talking. J.R. did tell me that he "hangs out" with many of the Women of Troy tennis players. With a another big smile, J.R. and Kevin walked on. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, J.R.! FIGHT ON, Kevin!

Back inside the stadium, our men were doing well.

Eric Johnson
On court 1 Senior Eric Johnson won the first Singles match and shook hands with his opponent.
Eric Johnson
He also shook hands with the referee. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Eric!

On court 2 Senior Roberto Quiroz won his match next. Trojan Candy KNEW that Roberto was going to bend over and KISS the court. He did exactly what I thought he would do.

Roberto Quiroz
But I took the picture a split second too early!
Roberto Quiroz
I did get Roberto shaking hands with his opponent at the net.
Eric Johnson and Roberto Quiroz
Trojan Candy was able to capture Seniors Eric and Roberto, who will be friends and Trojans for life, shaking hands before walking off the court together.

Roberto QuirozI have been fortunate to interview three of the four Seniors. When, Roberto walked by me, I knew that I had to interview the fourth Senior. Luckily, he obliged! Roberto is from Guayaquil, Ecuador. He gets to go home to see his family during the winter and summer breaks. Roberto chose USC because his cousin Emilio Gomez and friend Ray Sarmiento were already at USC. Roberto also said that USC is a top school! All Trojans know that! Roberto is majoring in Economics. In addition to tennis, Roberto loves to play soccer and watch soccer. His favorite food is ceviche. Roberto says that he loves all types of music. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Roberto!

Jonny Wang
The third Senior playing Singles won his match. Jonny Wang shook hands with his opponent.
Jonny Wang
After shaking hands with Jonny, the referee gave him a hug.
Jonny Wang
Then he left the court with a big smile on his face. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Jonny!

ScoreboardWhat a fine tribute to our four Seniors!