February 2016 (2) Candygrams

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February 16, 2016---Men's Volleyball versus Hawaii

Da'John HarrisMy husband Jim and I were walking to the Galen Center parking lot, when I heard someone say, "Hi, Candy." I turned around and didn't recognize his face. Then, he said, "I'm Da'John. You probably don't recognize me since I've lost 70 pounds." As soon as he said, "Da'John," Jim and I both remembered his name..'. Da'John Harris (4/17/2009), along with football teammates Jurrell Casey (9/3/2009), Armond Armstead (4/24/2009) and Tyron Smith (9/9/2010) used to stop by the Heritage Hall desk where Jim and I were volunteering. Da'John said that he is still close to his three former roommates. At USC Da'John is working towards his Master's Degree in Social Work. He told us that, "Education is everything." What a wise young Trojan! It was so nice to see him again. FIGHT ON, Da'John!

Da'John was going home after a day of classes, while Jim and I got items from our car and went to the Men's Volleyball match versus Hawaii. Last night, our men lost a close match to the Rainbows in five sets, 3 to 2. Tonight, Trojan Candy thought that our men would win, so I decided to cover the match.

Men of Troy warming up
Here is our team warming up.
Star Spangled Banner
The team stands facing the flag for the Star Spangled Banner in this video.
Now it was time to introduce our starters.
Our men came out strong, won the first set 25-18 and celebrated with a winning huddle.
Both teams
Here is a picture of both teams.

Hawaii won sets two and three. So our men had to win the fourth set. and we did 26-24.

A determined Team
The fifth set was so close. We were determined. We fought off four match points and prevailed 17-15!
We celebrated!
Video of celebration
Here's a video of the celebration.

Lucas YoderThe Pac-12 interviewed #25 Lucas Yoder after the victory.

What an exciting victory!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016---David X. Marks Tennis Stadium Renovation Dedication

It was a tremendously hot afternoon. Thank goodness the Athletic Department wisely put up a large tent over the seating area. Since my husband Jim and I arrived early, Trojan Candy was able to get an excellent seat to take pictures.

Women of Troy tennis team
The entire Women of Troy Tennis Team posed for my first picture at the stadium entrance. Zoe Katz (2/28/2015), Kristen Venter, Madison Westby, Paige Keating, Meredith Xepoleas (2/28/2015), Rianna Valdes, Gabby Smith, Jessica Failla, GiuGiu Olmos (2/28/2015), and Sarah Teichner.
Several Men of Troy tennis team
Then I walked among the arrivals taking pictures. Here was some of the Men's Tennis Team. Max deVroome, Rob Bellamy, Laurens Verboven, David Laser, and Nick Crystal.
Amanda Fink and Darcy Couch
USC Women of Troy Tennis Alumna Amanda Fink posed with SID friend Darcy Couch.
Women of Troy tennis team
Men's Tennis Alumnus Jonny Wang (1/19/2015) came with John Kuramoto.
Thibault Forget and Zoe Katz
Trojan Candy saw that smiling face and congratulated Thibault Forget (2/28/2015) on his tremendous effort against Tulane. Women of Troy Tennis player Zoe Katz smiled with Thibault for the picture too.

Now, it was time for the program to begin. Senior Associate Athletic Director Steve Lopes gave the opening remarks. He thanked all the donors who made the renovation possible. Next, five speakers spoke.

Women of Troy Head Coach Richard Gallien told the audience, "Thank you. We now have a home. It's like a family day every day to work in this building."

Men's Head Coach Peter Smith said that, "This feels like winning a national championship! I go to school every day. I'm blessed to do something that I really love. Thank you!"

Following the coaches, two tennis team members spoke. Both are the only Senior on their respective teams.

Women of Troy Senior GiuGiu Olmos (2/28/2015) told us that, "Our team is so excited. We have many fond memories in the old stadium. But, now we're getting a brand new home."

Senior Max deVroome related a story about what Coach Smith told him in 2014. Max said that he was trying to clinch the national championship for his team when Coach Smith told him, "If you clinch this match now, we'll get the most amazing stadium." Max said, "I clinched and we got this stadium." From the audience, Coach Smith shouted out, "Fight On Max!

Donor Gary Buntman said of his donation, "It was time to step up and make this facility match or exceed any other facility in the nation."

Ribbon cutting
Trojan Candy was able to take this picture of the ribbon cutting.
Shane Foley and Art Bartner
Everyone was invited to tour the new stadium. Before Jim and I went inside with Tara Quarrie (11/29/2015), Trojan Candy saw Shane Foley and Dr. Art Bartner.
Women's lockers
Jim, Tara and I walked inside the Michael Uytengsu Women's Tennis Pavilion first. From the Women's Lounge we visited the Veronica "Ronnie" Jabara Women's Locker Room.
New courts
The new courts.
Jack Jaede, Thibault Forget, Jake Devine, Laurens Verboven, the Ericksons, Coach Smith, Tanner Smith, and Henry Ji
In the Coach Peter Smith Men's Locker Room, the coach and team posed with Mr. and Mrs. John Erickson. Jack Jaede, Thibault Forget, Jake Devine, Laurens Verboven, the Ericksons, Coach Smith, Tanner Smith, and Henry Ji.
Men's Lounge
The John & Gil Shea Men's Lounge is beautiful.
Learning Studio
The Lisa and Douglas Goldman Family Learning Studio has a display of all USC Tennis All-Americans.

As we left the Learning Studio, Jim told me that the entire men's team was taking pictures in the front of the tennis stadium. Trojan Candy was out the front door just like that.

Team with major donors
The men's team showed Trojan Spirit with these major donors. Gary Buntmann is the second donor on the left.
Stands and awning
I went back inside to join Tara and Jim. We walked back out to the courts. This is what the stands and the awning look like.
Men's and Women's teams
Both the men's and women's teams joined together for this picture on the courts.
Miller Fong and Tara Quarrie
As Tara Quarrie (11/29/2015), Jim and I were walking off the courts to go upstairs to the reception, we met Miller Fong. Miller showed us his sketch of the event. Miller lettered in tennis at USC in 1959. He was wearing his letterman's sweater. He graduated in 1964 with a degree in Architecture and currently teaches sketching in the School of Architecture. FIGHT ON, Miller!
Our plaque
Upstairs, Tara took us to our plaque. My sister Pat, brother-in-law Dudley, Jim and I donated the section of seats at Center Court.
Scott Jacobson, Jim Yee, Tara Quarrie, and Julian Bonse
Trojan Candy took this picture of Scott Jacobson (who was the head of the renovation), Jim, Tara and Julian Bonse standing around the plaque. Fantastic job, Scott!
Jim and Candy Yee
Then, Julian took this picture of Jim and yours truly at our plaque. Thanks, Julian.

Logan SmithAs we were enjoying the refreshments, I saw a familiar face. Tennis Freshman Logan Smith was standing right next to us. He smiled at us and agreed to let me interview him. Logan already knew that Jim and I met his mom, dad and sister after the Tulane victory. Logan, who has played competitive tennis for six years, said that his dad played tennis and his younger sister is learning. Another future Trojan? Logan chose USC because Coach Smith is great, there are good resources, and USC is a great program. I second that! On a more personal level, Logan is majoring in Communications. He likes to hang out with his teammates and play Ultimate Frisbee. His favorite food is spicy Mexican food. He loves to eat at Chipotle. Logan told me that he is taking a dance class at USC and loves to dance "hip hop." He likes music with a good beat and CDM music is his favorite. Logan's favorite two movies are "Good Will Hunting" and the first "Batman" movie. Thank you for choosing USC and FIGHT ON, Logan!

Max deVroomeAs soon as I finished my interview with Logan, a very familiar face in a bright blue suit walked my way. Trojan Candy has seen Senior Max deVroome come through in many clutch matches. He agreed to let me interview him. Max is from Vught, Netherlands. He said that he gets to go home in the summer and winter breaks. His mom is coming to Los Angeles in April. Trojan Candy hopes that she can take a picture of Max and his mom then. Max is from a very athletic family. His younger sister, who is nineteen, is playing professional tennis in Mexico and is coached by Max's older brother. Thank goodness that Max, who is majoring in Business Finance, chose USC. He, like Logan, likes to hang out with the guys on the team and watch movies. Max recommended a French movie to me titled "Untouchable." He is an avid reader, especially autobiographies. His favorite book is heavy, dark "Norwegian Wood." As for music, Max likes mellow music such as Remix. Kygo is his favorite artist. Max's face lit up when I asked him what his favorite food is. He said his Grandmother's cooking is his favorite, and he and his family went to her home every Sunday. She makes a bouillon vegetable soup, the best steak ever, and thin, crepe pancakes with cherries on top. Mmmm...delicious! FIGHT ON, Max!

What a beautiful new Tennis Stadium!