The Olympic Club, a private athletic and social club located in San Francisco, hosted the awards this year, a tradition that goes back to 1999. The award is in honor of Peter J. Cutino, who led Cal Berkeley to eight NCAA Water Polo titles in the 1970s and ’80s and is voted on by Division I coaches.
Fischer, a redshirt senior, becomes the 10th woman from the Stanford water polo team to be awarded this honor. She joins her sister, two-time winner Mackenzie, in accepting this award in back-to-back years for the Cardinal. Fischer was named the Player of the Year by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches after helping Stanford win the NCAA title over USC. In her four years at Stanford, Fischer is a three-time NCAA champ, a four-time ACWPC All-American in addition to being a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
On the men’s side, it was Cal-Berkeley’s Nikolaos Papanikolaou who came away with the award. With the win, Papanikolaou, a junior, became the first Cal Golden Bear to win more than one Cutino award. His win represents the fifth time that a Cal player has won the award. Like Fischer, Papanikolaou repeated as national champion, and he was the ACWPC Player of the Year for the second year in a row.
The University of the Pacific’s Reuel D’Souza, a sophomore, and USC’s Jake Ehrhardt, a redshirt senior, were the other finalists.