Photos by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. - The 2017 All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) men's water polo teams were announced this week following a vote conducted by the league's member head coaches.
The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team saw five players earn recognition, which included first teamers Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) and Carlos Heredia Viteri (Commerce, Calif.), second teamers Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden) and Tim Aakhus (Bakersfield, Calif.), and Sportsmanship Andrew Wettstead (Fresno, Calif.).
Ersoz sees himself on the 1st Team for the first time in his career after being named 2nd Team All-SCIAC back in 2016. This season he made a statement proving to be one of the best goalies in the SCIAC and in all of Division III after playing in 13 conference match-ups totaling 128 saves against 224 shot attempts for a .571 save percentage. He allowed a mere 7.92 goals against average and played 388:00 minutes with a team high 31 steals. He also added a goal on the season.
Heredia Viteri put together an impressive first year being named 1st Team All-SCIAC as an attacker. He played in all 16 games collecting 35 goals with 16 assists and a .376 shot percentage. He also added 23 steals and seven drawn exclusions. He was also named the SCIAC Athlete of the Week on September 25.
Zdolsek was also in his first year with the Purple & Gold and was named the SCIAC Newcomer of the Year after being named the SCIAC Athlete of the Week twice this season. He also played in all 16 conference games totaling a team high 39 goals with nine assists and a .394 shot percentage. Along with his offense he also added 26 steals and drew eight ejections.
Aakhus, one of two seniors who received recognition on the All-SCIAC teams sees himself on the 2nd Team for the first time in his career after he played a pivotal role for the Poets. This season he was another offensive spark adding 26 goals and 10 assists with a .351 shot percentage. On the defensive end he added 24 steals and picked up three exclusions.
Wettstead was the last Poet to earn a spot on All-SCIAC being named to the Sportsmanship Team. He was a captain for Whittier and played a big role as the backup to Ersoz. He played in six games and picked up 25 saves in 117:10 minutes but his big stat was going a perfect 3-0 in starts with wins coming against La Verne, Occidental, and Caltech.
SCIAC Athlete of the Year – Daniel Diemer (Pomona-Pitzer)
SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year – Jon Bonafede (Caltech)