Twenty-three Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) men's water polo student-athletes were tabbed Division III All-Americans as recently announced by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC).
Pomona-Pitzer led the conference with five selections including ACWPC Player of the Year Adam Ward, and ACWPC Coach of the Year Alex Rodriguez. Joining Ward on the All-American first team were fellow Sagehens James Kelbert, and Sam Sasaki, while California Lutheran's Ben Brown, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps's (CMS) Zack Rossman and Whittier's Hans Zdolsek also logged first team All-American honors.
Ward becomes the fourth Pomona-Pitzer player to earn national Player of the Year honors following Daniel Diemer (2017), James Baker (2016), Jason Cox (2012), while Rodriguez adds to his legacy with his third Division III Coach of the Year award (2018, 2016, 2011). Ward, who was also tabbed the SCIAC Athlete of the Year and a First Team All-Conference honoree for the third consecutive season, helped pace the Sagehens to the SCIAC Postseason Tournament title after his squad finished the regular season with a 14-0 league record. Sasaki, Brown Rozzman and Zdolsek also registered first team all-conference recognition following the 2018 regular season
Earning second team All-American laurels was Redlands' Chris Martinez and Grant Curry, Pomona-Pitzer's Dylan Elliott and Joseph Schafer, Chapman's Graham Asalone, CMS's Will Clark, La Verne's Chucky Ortega, and Whittier's Eric Borunda. Schafer, Curry and Brown highlight the second team All-American selections as First Team All-SCIAC honorees in 2018, while Asalone, Elliott, Ortega and Borunda were second team honorees. Borunda was also tabbed the SCIAC Newcomer of the Year after helping the Poets secure the second seed in the conference postseason tournament.
Nine student-athletes were also named Honorable Mention All-Americans by the ACWPC including Wesley Hertel and Vasil Halchev of Chapman, Murat Ersoz of Whittier, George Lundgren and Dillon Goldsmith of Cal Lutheran, Steven Csaposs of Caltech, Ethan Lewis of CMS, and Jacob Niskey and Spencer Allen of Redlands. Ersoz and Lewis were All-SCIAC first team selections, while Niksey, Goldsmith, Csaposs and Allen earned spots on the All-SCIAC second team.
A total of seven athletes are repeat All-America recipients as Ward (2018 First Team, 2017 First Team, 2016 First Team, 2015 Honorable Mention) leads the pack as a four-time selection. Csaposs (2018 honorable mention, 2017 honorable mention), Hertel (2018 honorable mention, 2017 honorable mention), Schafer (2018 second team, 2017 second team), Niskey (2018 honorable mention, 2017 first team), Zdolsek (2018 first team, 2017 first team) and Ersoz (2018 honorable mention, 2017 honorable mention) each garner their second All-America nods.