Saveljic Named Cutino Award Finalist
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Olympic Club announced finalists for the Peter J. Cutino Award, an iconic honor in NCAA water polo to recognize the best men's and women's players each year. UCLA graduate student Nicolas Saveljic has been named one of three finalists on the men's side.
The Cutino Award ceremony will be remotely broadcast live on Thursday, Sept. 2 courtesy of USA Water Polo starting at 6:00 p.m. PDT. The broadcast, hosted by Greg Mescall, will feature interviews with the finalists, athletes, coaches and a look ahead to the men's college season plus the Cutino Award ceremony in its entirety. The broadcast will air free of charge at YouTube.com/USAWP and Facebook.com/USAWP.
Saveljic helped the Bruins win the 2020 NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship, the 12th in UCLA's storied history. Named a first-team All-American and a CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American in 2020, Saveljic led the Bruins and the MPSF and was second in the NCAA in scoring with 37 goals in 16 games (2.3 goals per game). He was also third in assists on the team (10) to finish as the overall leading scorer on the squad with 47 points. He also led the team, the MPSF, and the NCAA in steals with 30 on the year. The reigning NCAA Player of the Year, Saveljic moved into sixth place on the UCLA career scoring charts with 164 goals.
Saveljic wrote himself into the MPSF record books this past season when he tied the all-time MPSF record for goals in a conference game and was one shy of tying the single-game record by an MPSF player in any game with a career-high eight goals in a 15-13 win over then-No. 1 Stanford on Feb. 7, 2021. Only two other players have scored eight goals in a game in league play (Ben Hallock, Stanford vs. California on 11/9/19 and Jeff Colyer, Long Beach State vs. UC Santa Barbara on 11/3/96). Additionally, it was the most-ever goals by a Bruin since Ryder Roberts scored seven goals in a win at No. 9 Pepperdine on Oct. 22, 2015.
The other two finalists on the men's side include Jacob Mercep (USC) and Nikolaos Papanikolaou (California), while the women's list features Denise Mammolito and Maud Megens of USC and Stanford's Sarah Klass.