Relton Earns All-Big West Second Team Honors
After setting new records for career saves and single-season saves this past season, Pacific Women's Water Polo's junior goalkeeper Michele Relton earned Second Team All-Big West honors, announced Wednesday by the conference office in Irvine.
The Quebec native finished the year with 371 saves, breaking the school record for single-season blocks that she herself set during her first year at Pacific. She also became the school's all-time saves leader and now owns 1,013 career blocks. Relton averaged 11.79 saves per game, upping her average to 12.86 blocks per game in Big West play.
"This honor really means a lot to me," Relton said. "I wouldn't have been able to make the strides I made this season without a great group of girls pushing me to be better every day at practice. I can't wait to take it even farther next year."
Relton went for a season-high 17 saves twice in 2013, the first time against CSU Bakersfield in February and the second time versus Harvard in March. She racked up 25 double-digit save outings while playing every single minute of the Tigers' season in the cage.
Relton earned Big West Player of the Week honors following Pacific's stellar showing at the UC Santa Barbara Winter Invite in January. She collected 45 saves in the Tigers' four games, blocking 14 shots against Azusa Pacific, 12 versus UCLA and 11 against CSU Bakersfield. Her eight saves against then-No. 8 Loyola Marymount propelled the Tigers to victory, giving the program its first-ever win over a team ranked eighth or better.
Relton helped Pacific make its 2013 campaign one to remember. This year's team set a new school record for the best start in program history as it owned a 7-2 record through its first nine games. The Tigers also won seven games in a row twice this season, good for the second-longest winning streaks in school history. Pacific also finished with a .500 record for just the third time in program history.
"I couldn't be happier for Michele that she received recognition for an excellent season," head coach James Graham said. "She was the backbone of our defense all season, and she both kept us in a lot of games and won a lot of games for us. She works hard every day, and our entire team pushed her to get better all year, and the hard work paid off."
This is Relton's second appearance on the league's all-conference team, having been named an All-Big West Honorable Mention selection as a freshman.
For a complete list of this year's honorees, click here.