Courtesy: Collegiate Water Polo
BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — The Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) announces the selection of 26 student-athletes to the 2020/Winter 2021 ACWPC Division I Men’s Varsity All-America Team.
Due to COVID-19 impacting the ability of teams to compete during the rescheduled men’s varsity season, the ACWPC elected to maintain proportionality between the number of programs and the number of recognized student-athletes. Further, the ACWPC Board decided to honor one all-encompassing team for the year rather than dividing selections into Division I, II and III to recognize the student-athletes who competed during the 2020-21 season without regard for their divisional affiliation.
A total of 14 institutions (the University of Southern California, the University of California-Los Angeles, the University of California, Pepperdine University, Stanford University, California Baptist University, the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Naval Academy, Bucknell University, La Salle University, Loyola Marymount University, McKendree University, Mount St. Mary’s University, San Jose State University) earned at least one All-America selection with National Champion UCLA leading the pack with five picks.
Led by National Player of the Year/thre-time All-America selection Nicolas Saveljic (2017 Division I Second Team, 2018 Division I First Team, 2020 First Team), the eight-member First Team is comprised of athletes fro UCLA, USC, California, Stanford and Pepperdine. The lone UCLA selection on the First Team, Saveljic is joined by three-time (2018 Division I Second Team, 2019 Division I Second Team, 2020 First Team) All-America goalie Nic Porter along with four-time (2017 Division I Honorable Mention, 2018 Division I First Team, 2019 Division I FIrst Team, 2020 First Team) pick Jacob Mercep and three-time honoree (2018 Division I Honorable Mention, 2019 Division I Honorable Mention, 2020 First Team) Jake Ehrhardt of USC.
Three-time All-America athletes Balazs Kosa (2018 Division I Third Team, 2019 Division I Second Team, 2020 First Team) of Pepperdine and Tyler Abramson (2018 Division I Honorable Mention, 2019 Division I First Team, 2020 First Team) of Stanford accompany two-time All-America selection (2019 Division I Third Team, 2020 First Team) AJ Rossman of Stanford in completing the First Team.
Three-time (2018 Division I Third Team, 2019 Division I Third Team, 2020 Second Team) All-America pick Jake Cavano of UCLA leads the second team as the Bruins place three athletes on the squad. Goalie Bernardo Maurizi and Evan Rosenfeld join Cavano on the squad along with two-time All-America honoree (2019 Division I Honorable Mention, 2020 Second Team) Isaac Salinas of Navy. The remainder of the Second Team is comprised of first-time award recipients as Patrick McDonough of California Baptist, Jack Deely and Nikos Delagrammatikas, Rosenfeld, Grant Snyder of Air Force and Maurizi each garner their inaugural All-America accolade.
The 10 Honorable Mention recipients include five past All-America athletes as Daniel Domotor (2019 Division I Honorable Mention, 2020 Honorable Mention), Matthew Haygood of McKendree (2019 Division II 1st Team, 2020 Honorable Mention), Finn Pardon of San Jose State (2019 Division I Honorable Mention, 2020 Honorable Mention), Quinn Woodhead of Stanford (2019 Division I Third Team, 2020 Honorable Mention) and Tommy Gruwell of UCLA (2019 Division I Third Team, 2020 Honorable Mention) notch their second laurels.
Doruk Ozar of Bucknell, Joseph Shaw of Loyola Marymount and Jason O’Donnell of Mount St. Mary’s along with Nicholas Tierney and Curtis Jarvis of Pepperdine complete the Honorable Mention list.
National Champion head coach Adam Wright of UCLA earns his fourth Coach of the Year award and the ninth in the history of the Bruins’ program. In the history of men’s water polo, USC (Jovan Vavic – 2018, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2003, 1998; John Williams – 1998), UCLA (Adam Wright – 2017, 2014, 2015, 2020; Adam Krikorian – 2004; Guy Baker – 1999, 1996, 1995, 1991), Stanford (John Vargas – 2019; Dante Dettamanti – 2001, 1994, 1993, 1986, 1985, 1984), California (Kirk Everist – 2016, 2006; Steve Heaston – 1992, 1990; Pete Cutino – 1988, 1987, 1983), Pepperdine (Terry Schroeder – 1997), the University of California-Irvine (Ed Newland – 1989, 1985, 1982), Pacific (James Graham – 2013) and the University of California-San Diego (Denny Harper – 2000) have combined to claim each Coach of the Year reward. Note, a Coach of the Year was not selected in either 2007 or 2002.
The ACWPC All-America teams are selected based on nominations and voting by varsity head coaches.
Founded in 2005, the mission of the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) is to promote the development and advancement of collegiate water polo. This shall be accomplished by providing its membership with professional education, services, training and a united voice.