No. 3 Bears Visit No. 7 UOP, Host No. 11 SJSU
SATURDAY, SEPT. 11
NO. 3 CAL AT NO. 7 PACIFIC | 6 P.M. PT | CHRIS KJELDSEN POOL | STOCKTON, CALIF.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 12
NO. 11 SAN JOSE STATE AT NO. 3 CAL | 1 P.M. | SPIEKER AQUATICS COMPLEX | BERKELEY, CALIF.
The No. 3 Cal men's water polo team opens the 2021 fall season this weekend with a quartet of games at the Navy Open. The Golden Bears will meet No. 19 Navy and No. 17 Bucknell on Saturday followed by No. 14 Princeton and George Washington. The Bears return virtually the entire roster from last year's team that advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships and finished the season ranked No. 3 in the nation.Highlighting the returning group is junior Nikolaos Papanikolaou, the defending MPSF Player of the Year and an ACWPC First Team All-American.
Junior center Nikolaos Papanikolaou is one of the nation's top returning players after taking MPSF Player of the Year honors last season as well as ACWPC First Team All-American honors. Papanikolaou was also one of three finalists for the annual Peter J. Cutino Award, given annually to the top NCAA men's and women's player. Papanikolaou is also an outstanding student, having earned ACWPC All-Academic Superior recognition, as well as spots on the MPSF All-Academic Team and the Pac-12 Spring Academic Honor roll last season.
After compiling four wins over the weekend, Cal head coach Kirk Everist enters now needs just five victories to reach 400 for his career. Now in his 20th season at the helm, Everist has compiled a career record of 395-123. He was named the MPSF Coach of the Year last season for the second time in his career and has led the Bears to three NCAA titles, most recently in 2016. Everist was a three-time All-American as a player for Cal and went on to play for Team USA twice in the Summer Olympics.
The Bears had five student-athletes at the recently completed FINA Junior World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic. Junior goalie Adrian Weinberg, junior attacker Sam Untrecht and sophomore center George Avakian are all represented Team USA, which finished seventh overall. Meanwhile, freshmen Roberto Valera and Max Casabella played for Spain, which placed sixth.
ALL-AMERICANS DELAGRAMMATIKAS, DEELY RETURN
In addition to Papanikolaou, the Bears have two other returners who received ACWPC All-American recognition last season. Seniors Nikos Delagrammatikas and Jack Deely each garnered Second Team honors after helping Cal to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships. Delagrammatikas will also serve as team captain for the second year in a row.
Junior goalie Adrian Weinberg enters his third year as Cal's full-time starter after earning All-MPSF Second Team honors last season when he led the conference with 10.3 saves per game. Weinberg, who was also named to the MPSF All-Academic Team, also ranked fourth in the conference with a .496 save percentage.
Cal will host the MPSF Invitational Sept. 24-26, a 14-team tournament featuring the best squads in the country. Games will be held at both Spieker Aquatics Complex and Legends Aquatic Center. Ticket information is available at CalBears.com.
ABOUT NO. 7 PACIFIC
• Defeated No. 12 San Jose State and Fresno Pacific at last weekend's Pacific Invite
• Pushed No. 4 Stanford to the limit before a 15-12 loss
• JR Jeremie Cote scored five goals each against San Jose State and Stanford
• Tigers opted out of the 2020-21 season
ABOUT NO. 11 SAN JOSE STATE
• Spartans fell to UOP and Stanford at Pacific Invite, and defeated Fresno Pacific
• SJSU hosts No. 9 UC Davis, No. 15 Santa Clara and Cuesta College on Saturday
• Spartans set a school record for goals scored in their 28-7 win over Fresno Pacific