Pacific water polo standout named first-team All-American

water polo players compete in a game

Reuel D'Souza

Reuel D’Souza ’24, whose all-around stellar play helped University of the Pacific to the NCAA Final Four and a conference championship, was named first-team All-American by the Association of College Water Polo Coaches.

D’Souza also earned first-team All-Golden Coast Conference honors and was third for the Tigers with 54 goals. He was an honorable mention All-American selection in 2021.

Prior to D’Souza’s honor, the last first-team All-American at Pacific was Luke Pavillard in 2019.

D’Souza was one of five Tigers honored by the coaches. Bogdan Djerkovic ’23 was a second-team All-American selection and graduate student Bae Fountain, Mihailo Vukazic ’26 and Jeremie Cote ’23 were honorable mention All-American selections.

“These are amazing accomplishments for all five guys,” said Head Coach James Graham. “I’m happy to see them appreciated for their individual contributions to our team success. They would be the first to say that their individual successes were due to those around them.”

D'Souza gained valuable experience playing for the Canadian National Team in international competition last summer. Cote and Djerkovic also played for Team Canada.

"I think one thing that Jeremie and I both really worked on was to keep improving team culture," D'Souza said. "A lot of guys, including myself, were new to the program. We understood the personnel we had and the need to build on our efforts.”

Djerkovic was the most valuable player of the Golden Coast Conference Tournament and joined D’Souza on the GCC first team. He was also named to the NCAA All-Tournament second team after scoring four goals in the two NCAA contests. 

Fountain was a first-team All-GCC selection as goalie. The first-year Tiger started 21 of the 29 games this season and led the conference in saves and save percentage.

Vukazic tallied seven goals in the NCAA Tournament, including four in a win over UC Davis. He was named to the NCAA All-Tournament first team.

Cote earned All-America honors for the third time. He was an honorable mention selection in 2019 and a third team choice in 2021. Cote scored four goals in the NCAA Tournament, including three in the win over UC Davis.

“With four All-Americans (all except Djerkovic) returning next year, the future is bright,” Graham said. “We are actively searching for young talent to join this great program and help us achieve our goal of winning a national championship.”

They will do so in a new league with the West Coast Conference—Pacific’s primary athletic league—adding men’s water polo for the 2023 season.

“It’s always exciting to have a change, especially in conference opponents. But wherever we play, our goals remain the same: to win a conference championship and to win a national championship,” said D’Souza, who also is representing student-athletes on the search committee for the next West Coast Conference Commissioner.