Twenty-Three SCIAC Men's Water Polo Players Garner ACWPC All-American Honors

Twenty-Three SCIAC Men's Water Polo Players Garner ACWPC All-American Honors

ACWPC All-American Teams

A total of 23 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) men's water polo players were named Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-Americans as recently announced by the organization. 

Whittier's Dominick Nevarez led six SCIAC student-athletes on the ACWPC All-American first team as he was named the Division III Player of the Year. Nevarez, who transferred from Division I Cal Baptist University, was recognized as the SCIAC Athlete of the Year after leading the Poets to their fourth regular season SCIAC Championship title, the SCIAC Postseason Tournament title, and the 2019 USA Water Polo Division III National Championship title. Nevarez totaled 66 goals on the season to lead the Poets and added 19 assists and 85 points. He finished with a .405 shot percentage, while drawing 14 exclusions and picking up 28 steals. In SCIAC play he netted 38 goals and logged 52 points against the SCIAC (73 total points) in 2019. He also finished with 14 assists in SCIAC play with a .543 shot percentage, 14 steals, and 5 drawn exclusions. 

Joining Nevarez on the first team are fellow Whittier players Murat Ersoz and Hans Zdolsek, Ethan Lewis of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS), Dylan Elliott of Pomona-Pitzer, and Spencer Allen of Redlands. 

Ersoz proved to be a top goalie in the conference once again earning a spot on an All-SCIAC team all four years during his tenure at Whittier. He has now been named First Team All-SCIAC the past three years and was voted second team in 2016. This season he totaled 93 saves across nine games in SCIAC play with a .604 save percentage and a 7.39 goals against average. 

Over his three years at Whittier, Zdolsek has been named to the All-SCIAC second team twice and was a First Team All-SCIAC performer in 2018. This season within conference play, he totaled 21 goals and nine assists despite playing as the Poets top defender. He added a .500 shot percentage and had 17 steals.

Lewis finished his senior season with a career-high 50 goals, highlighted by five goals in each of the two wins over Pomona-Pitzer, including the tiebreaking game-winning goal in the final minute of each. The second one came in the SCIAC Tournament semifinals, when his goal from over 10 meters out as the shot clock expired gave CMS a 12-11 comeback win and sent them on to both the SCIAC Tournament final and the inaugural USA Water Polo Division III National Championship. 

Elliott earned First Team All-SCIAC honors while earning the third most points on the Sagehens netting 43 points on the strength of 37 goals and six assists. Elliott had a .430 shot percentage and netted the game-winning goal over CMS earlier in the season. 

Allen was a threat on offense all season for Redlands but really turned it on in the second half, scoring three or more goals in four important SCIAC games. He ranks amongst the Top 10 in the conference in goals (32), points (46), and sprint percentage (.714). Against Chapman, Allen scored five goals, including the game-winner that ultimately sent the Bulldogs to the SCIAC Postseason Tournament.

Graham Asalone and Evan Belli (Chapman), Zack Rossman and Will Clark (CMS), Ben Brown (California Lutheran), and Eric Borunda (Whittier) were named Second Team All-Americans, while Andre Rivas and Dillon Goldsmith (Cal Lutheran), Wesley Hertel (Chapman), Noah Smith (CMS), Steven Csaposs (Caltech), Joseph Schafer and Noah Sasaki (Pomona-Pitzer), Charles Ortega (La Verne), Cooper Krause (Redlands), and Michah Kamai and Carlos Heredia Viteri (Whittier) earned Honorable Mention All-American status. 

Poets' head coach David Kasa was also named the ACWPC Division III Coach of the Year. In just his second season at the helm, Kasa has put together an impressive resume winning the 2019 SCIAC Regular Season Championship title, the 2019 SCIAC Tournament title, and the USA Water Polo Division III Collegiate National Championship. He and his assistant coaches were also named the SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year after posting a 21-12 overall record, and a 13-1 SCIAC ledger. His team this season finished No. 1 in the CWPA Division III polls and received votes in the final Division I Varsity Polls.  He finished 2019 off winning seven in a row, went 7-1 in the month of November, and won 11 of his last 12.