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Steve Johnson leads top-ranked Trojans to Ojai tournament

April 12, 2012|By Sam Farmer
  • Steve Johnson competes in 2007.
Steve Johnson competes in 2007. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)

Quarterback Matt Barkley made big news when he announced he was passing on the NFL draft to stay for his senior season at USC.

But another USC standout did the same with far less fanfare.

Steve Johnson, the reigning NCAA men’s singles champion, opted to stay at USC for his senior season -- and a chance to lead the tennis team to a fourth consecutive NCAA title -- rather than turn pro right away. Johnson has won 55 singles matches in a row.

The Trojans will play in the Pac-12 Championships at the Ojai Valley Tennis Championships on April 25-29. This year marks the first time the men will play a dual-match team format, while the women’s event will remain a 32-draw singles event.   

Also to watch this year at the Ojai is 16-year-old Floridian Sachia Vickery, who is currently training full-time at the Weil Academy in Ojai. Vickery is currently ranked in the ITF Top 25 junior world rankings and is No. 420 in the WTA. She will compete in the women’s open event, which offers a combined $20,000 in prize money for men and women.

The winning team from the Ojai directly qualifies for the 2012 NCAA Division I national team championships May 13-15 at Stanford. USC is ranked No. 1 in the nation.

For more information, go to www.ojaitourney.org.

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Steve Johnson leads top-ranked Trojans to Ojai tournament

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