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Three Bears Earn ACWPC All-America Honors

Apr 22, 2021
Nikolaos Papanikolaou earned First Team All-America Honors for the first time in his career.

Three members of the California men's water polo team were named to the 2020-21 ACWPC All-America Team, as announced Thursday. The team is voted on by all ACWPC member coaches and is reflective of DI, DII & DIII teams that competed during the 2020-21 season. 

Sophomore Nikolaos Papnikolaou led the team, earning a First Team selection for the first time in his career. He was previously named an All-American honorable mention in 2019.

Senior Nikos Delagrammatikas and junior Jack Deely were each named Second Team honorees. It is the first career All-American nod for both. 

Papanikolaou was named MPSF Player of the Year and First Team All-MPSF after finishing the season with 25 goals, 26 points and 14 steals, scoring in all 10 of the Bears' regular season games and earning 44 ejections (15 penalty shots). He was the only player in the MPSF this season to draw six exclusions against a conference opponent, having done so twice. He was one of three players in the MPSF to collect four steals in a single game, also doing so twice during the regular season.

Delagrammatikas and Deely also joined Papanikolaou as All-MPSF First Team selections. Team captain Delagrammatikas tallied 14 points, 10 goals, four assists and five steals during the regular season and finished with two hat tricks, scoring three goals each in two wins over UCLA.

Deely finished with a team-high 29 points (17 goals, 12 assists) and had a season-high five goals against UCLA on Feb. 21. He joined Papnikolaou as the only Bears to score five goals in a single game this season.

The Bears finished the season with an 8-5 overall record (7-3 MPSF) and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals. The squad earned the top spot in the CWPA rankings for the first time since 2017, sitting at No. 1 for three consecutive weeks, Feb. 17-March 6. The team was also the only one in the MPSF to complete a weekend sweep in conference competiiton, winning all three matches at the USC tournament in February.

Men's Water Polo 2020-21 All America
First Team
Balazs, Kosa, Pepperdine 
Tyler Abramson, Stanford
AJ Rossman, Stanford
Nikolaos Papanikolaou, Cal
Nicolas Saveljic, UCLA
Jacob Mercep, USC
Jake Ehrhardt, USC
Nic Porter, USC

Second Team
Patrick McDonough, Cal Baptist
Jack Deely, Cal
Nikos Delagrammatikas, Cal
Evan Rosenfeld, UCLA
Jake Cavano, UCLA
Grant Snyder, Air Force
Isaac Salinas, Navy
Bernardo Maurizi, UCLA

Honorable Mention
Doruk Ozar, Bucknell
Daniel Domotor, La Salle
Joseph Shaw, Loyola Marymount
Matthew Heygood, McKendree
Jason O'Donnell, Mount St. Mary's
Nicholas Tierney, Pepperdine
Curtis Jarvis, Pepperdine
Finn Pardon, San Jose State
Quinn Woodhead, Stanford
Tommy Gruwell, UCLA

For complete coverage of Cal men's water polo, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalWaterPolo), Instagram (@CalMWaterPolo) and Facebook (