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BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — The Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) announced that a total of 28 student-athletes from 13 institutions earn 2017 ACWPC Men’s Varsity Division III All-America honors.

Whittier College, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges and Johns Hopkins University lead the selections as the trio garnered a quartet of accolades.  California Lutheran University (three), Chapman University (three), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (three), Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (two) and Connecticut College (two) also garnered multiple honors, with the California Institute of Technology, Occidental College, Penn State Behrend, University of La Verne and the University of Redlands each posting solo honors.

Headlining the team is Division III National Player of the Year/goalie Daniel Diemer of Pomona-Pitzer.  He becomes the third Sagehens’ player to earn National Player of the Year honors following James Baker (2016) and Jason Cox (2012).

The honor moves Pomona-Pitzer into a tie with the University of California-San Diego (Romas Kudirka – 1997, 1996; Ross Meecham – 1999 ,1998) for the second most National Player of the Year awards with four since the award was first presented to a Division III competitor in 1996.

Johns Hopkins (Josh Kratz – 2008; Sean McCreery – 2007, 2006, 2005; Brian Mead – 2004) holds the record with five accolades, while Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (John “Tanner” Cullen – 2015; Brian Chong – 2011, 2010) and Redlands (Ryan Floersch – 2009; Adam Foley – 2003; Kevin Rosa – 2001) have both earned three nods.  La Verne (Rob Casillas – 2002; Kenny Clements – 2000) holds a pair of awards, while Whittier (Goran Mataic – 2014) has also earned a single Player of the Year accolade.

A total of eight athletes are repeat All-America recipients as Diemer (2017 First Team, 2016 First Team) and Adam Ward (2017 First Team, 2016 First Team, 2015 Honorable Mention) of Pomona-Pitzer, Christopher Gardhouse (2017 First Team, 2016 Second Team 2015 Honorable Mention) of California Lutheran, Jeff O’Brien (2017 First Team, 2016 Second Team) of Chapman, Noah Deer (2017 First Team, 2016 First Team) of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Giorgio Cico (2017 First Team, 2016 Second Team, 2015 Second Team) and John Wilson (2017 Second Team, 2016 Honorable Mention, 2015 Second Team) of Johns Hopkins and Steve Cress (2017 Honorable Mention, 2015 Honorable Mention) of Connecticut earn either their second or third laurel.

Capping off the All-America team is Jon Bonafede of California Institute of Technology who earns notice as the 2017 Division III National Coach of the Year.

The first Caltech coach to earn the honor, he joins a Hall of Fame caliber list of Alex Rodriguez of Pomona-Pitzer (2016, 2011), Ted Bresnahan of Johns Hopkins (2015, 2008, 2005), Justin Pudwill of Whittier (2014, 2013), Greg Lonzo of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (2012, 2010), Tom Whittemore of Redlands (2009, 2001), Craig Rond of Cal Lutheran (2006), Mitch Carty of Whittier (2004), Jeff Ma of MIT (2003), Tim Hugar of La Verne (2000), Denny Harper of UC-San Diego (1999, 1998, 1996) and Mike Sutton of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (1997).  A Division III National Coach of the Year was not selected following the 2007 and 2002 seasons.

The ACWPC All-America teams are selected based on nominations and voting by the head coach of each program by National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division (Division I, II, III).

Since 2005, the mission of the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) is to promote the development and advancement of collegiate water polo. This shall be accomplished by providing its membership with professional education, services, training and a united voice.

2017 Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Division III All-America Team
Coach of the Year: Jon Bonafede (California Institute of Technology)
Player of the Year: Daniel Diemer (Pomona-Pitzer Colleges)
First Team  
Daniel Diemer (Goalie) Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
Adam Ward Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
Jacob Niskey Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
Christopher Gardhouse California Lutheran University
Jeff O’Brien Chapman University
Noah Deer Claremont-Mudd Scripps Colleges
Giorgio Cico Johns Hopkins University
Hans Zdolsek Whittier College
Second Team  
John Wilson (Goalie) Johns Hopkins University
Finn Banks Johns Hopkins University
Zack Rossman Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges
Clyde Huibregtse Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Joseph Schafer Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
Rey Julian Castillo University of La Verne
Max Taylor University of Redlands
Carlos Heredia-Viteri Whittier College
Honorable Mention  
Nick Loomis (Goalie) California Lutheran University
Wesley Hertel (Goalie) Chapman University
Murat Ersoz (Goalie) Whittier College
Steven Csaposs California Institute of Technology
Davey Thomas California Lutheran University
Kevin Dayan Chapman University
Dylan Pinckert Connecticut College
Steve Cress Connecticut College
Josh Kurtz Johns Hopkins University
Christian Schillinger Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Evan Kim Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Matthew Weiser Occidental College
Grant Garcia Penn State Behrend
Tim Aakhus Whittier College
Collegiate Water Polo Association