Four Tigers Earn ACWPC All-America Honors
For the first time since at least 1975, the 2012 edition of Pacific Men's Water Polo saw four of its student-athletes earn Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-America honors, as announced today by the organization.
Junior Balazs Erdelyi highlights the group of four players, earning first team honors. Sophomore Alex Obert was a second team pick while junior Alex Malkis and freshman Aleksandar Petrovic were tabbed as honorable mention selections.
"This is a tremendous honor for these student-athletes and for our program," head coach James Graham said. "I believe that individual awards are a reflection of overall team success, and these four players truly reflect this ideal. They were the driving force behind our success this season due to their willingness to play as a unit and buy into the team concept. Our entire team fed off of their hard work and positive attitudes, and they deserve to be recognized for what they helped our team accomplish."
After posting one of the greatest seasons in the school's history in 2012, Erdelyi was a first team pick for the second consecutive year. He led the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with 83 goals on the year and his 3.46 goals per game average also topped the conference. The Hungarian native 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 scores in the Tigers' rout of Santa Clara on Oct. 21, the most in a single game at Pacific since at least 1997. Erdelyi became the first player in school history to earn MPSF Player of the Year honors and was also nominated for the prestigious Peter J. Cutino Award, presented annually to the nation's top water polo player. In just his sophomore season, Obert has established himself as one of the more dominant two-meter players in the nation. He racked up 51 goals on the year and his 2.32 goals per game average ranked eighth in the MPSF. Obert finished the season with 15 multi-goal games, including three hat tricks, three four-goal outings and two five-goal showings. He was also a Second Team All-MPSF pick.
Malkis had a stellar year in the cage for Pacific, finishing the season with 273 saves. His average of 12.07 saves per game was tops in the MPSF was the only average over 12.00. The junior had 15 double-digit block outings on the year, including a career high 22 stops in Pacific's close loss to Stanford at the SoCal Tournament. He racked up a total of 70 saves at the SoCal Tournament, blocking a then-career-best 18 shots in the Tigers' overtime upset of then-No. 4 California. Malkis was also an MPSF Honorable Mention selection. Petrovic emerged as a force to be reckoned with in his first year in Stockton. Taking over the role of the team's starting center defender, the Serbian native finished the year with 42 goals and ranked in the top 20 in the league with a 1.68 goals per game average. He went for 14 multi-goal games and had three hat tricks and three four-goal outings. He stepped up his production in MPSF matches, averaging 2.75 goals per game and accounting for 22 scores.
Petrovic also collected MPF Honorable Mention honors. Pacific finished the 2012 season with a 13-12 record and a 3-5 mark in MPSF games. Picked to finish ninth in the pre-season coaches' poll, Pacific placed seventh in the league standings before taking sixth at the MPSF Tournament back in November. The outlook for 2013 is bright as Pacific returns everyone from this year's campaign while three-time All-America pick Goran Tomasevic and Balazs Szabo join the Tigers after redshirting this past season.
Click here to view the complete ACWPC release.