Erdelyi Named Finalist For Cutino Award
Pacific Men's Water Polo's Balazs Erdelyi has been named one of three finalists for the 2012 Cutino Award, announced by The Olympic Club of San Francisco on Thursday, Dec. 13.
This award is presented annually to the most outstanding collegiate water polo player in the nation as voted by the coaches of NCAA Division I institutions.
Erdelyi, a junior attacker from Eger, Hungary, had one of the greatest seasons in Pacific history this past year. He led the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with 83 goals and his 3.46 goals-per-game average also toped the conference. He finished the year with 21 multi-goal games, including five four-goal outings, four five-goal showings and a pair of six-goal performances. He went for a career-high nine goals in the Tigers' rout of Santa Clara on Oct. 21, the most in a single game at Pacific since at least 1997.
"For Balazs to be named a finalist for the Cutino Award speaks to the tremendous season he had," head coach James Graham said. "He put up spectacular numbers for us all season long, and he really established himself as a force defensively. He embraced his role as our team's leader and his willingness to play for the team made our whole group better and allowed us to showcase his amazing talents."
Joining Erdelyi as finalists are senior Josh Samuels from UCLA and junior Nikola Vavic of USC. The winner will be announced at the 14th annual Cutino Awards Night Dinner on Saturday, June 1, at The Olympic Club's City Clubhouse located in San Francisco.
The award takes its namesake from the late Peter J. Cutino, former coach of California who passed away in September 2004. Cutino led the Golden Bears to eight NCAA Championships and was inducted into the U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1985.
Erdelyi is just the second player in Pacific history to be named a finalist for the Cutino Award. Goran Tomasevic was nominated for the award after the 2010 season.
The two will team up next year as part of a talented Pacific squad that returns All-MPSF selections in Alex Obert, Alex Malkis and Aleksandar Petrovic. The Tigers finished sixth at the MPSF Tournament back in November after being picked to finish ninth in the preseason coaches' poll.