SALEM, W.Va. — Salem International University Aquatics Director and men’s water polo coach Robert Bullion announced that 10 signees will join the Tigers’ water polo program for the upcoming 2017 season. Michael Rojas (Colombia), Marino Chorro (Spain), Petar Leontijevic (Serbia), Uros Jevtic (Serbia), David Romero (California), Mike Diaz (California), Seth Lodge (California), Steve de Neegard (Texas), Jacob Moore (Texas) and Devin Butterworth (Florida) will compete for Salem International this upcoming season in the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC).
The Tigers will look to build upon their 8-15 record from a season ago that saw them place second at the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Division II Championship.
The Tigers open their 2017 season at the United States Naval Academy Open in Annapolis, Md. SIU will face Navy and Princeton University on Saturday, September 2, followed by California Lutheran University and George Washington University on Sunday, September 3.
The 2017 season will also see the Tigers compete in the Mercyhurst Invitational (September 9-10) in Erie, Pa., the Bucknell Invitational (September 15-17) in Lewisburg, Pa., CWPA Division II Championship (October 14) in Erie, Pa. and Fordham Invitational (October 21) in the Bronx, N.Y.
A pair of key returners who helped lead the charge for SIU last year will be sophomore Milos Popovic and senior Djordje Stavrevski, who both found their way onto the 2016 CWPA Division II All-Tournament Team. Popovic capped-off his first season with the Tigers by garnering Mid-Atlantic Water Polo-West Region Rookie of the Year and Second Team honors after scoring 75 goals and adding 45 assists.
Stavrevski was named to the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) Division II All-America Team for the first time in his three years at SIU. He was one of seven that were placed on the First Team after finishing second in Division II with 82 goals during the season. His 82 goals in 2016 were the fourth-most in a single-season in program history, while his 45 assists ranked second for a single-season to Gregor Milanovic’s 49 in 2003. Stavrevski is the all-time leader in goals at SIU with 228.
Other key returners for the Tigers include sophomore Robert Juhas and junior Inigo Velasco, who will captain the 2017 squad. Juhas, who lead the Tigers with 45 steals last season added 38 goals and 30 assists while taking 94 shots. Velasco paced the Tigers in sprint-offs last season (11-for-26) tallied 27 goals and 43 helpers in his sophomore campaign.
MAWPC-West Region play begins on Friday, September 22 as the Tigers host Washington & Jefferson College at 7:00 p.m. SIU will honor its seniors on Saturday morning (September 23) at 10:00 a.m. as Gannon University makes its way to Salem. SIU also hosts Mt. San Antonio College on Friday, September 29, at the SIU Pool. The Tigers will play all-seven of their West Region foes in 2017, including first-year varsity member McKendree University on October 28 in Monmouth, Ill. at Monmouth College.
The 2017 MAWPC-West Region Championships will be held in Erie, Pa., on November 4-5.
Release courtesy Salem International University Athletics Communications