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Papanikolaou Named Finalist For Cutino Award

May 11, 2022

Nikolaos Papanikolaou, the 2021 ACWPC National Player of the Year who led the Cal men's water polo team to the NCAA championship, has been named one of the three finalists for the prestigious Peter J. Cutino Award, given to the best male and female NCAA water polo player each year.

Papanikolaou was arguably the most dominant force in the college game last season. He led the MPSF with 68 goals, 35 steals and 112 earned exclusions. He was also named the MPSF Player of the Year for the second straight season and the most valuable player of the NCAA Championship.

"We are all very excited that Papa is a finalist for the 2021-22 Cutino Award," Everist said. "This award has special meaning to us at Cal because of Pete's legacy. It's a great honor to be nominated. Papa had an incredible season and the nomination is well-deserved."

This marks the second straight year that Papanikolaou has been named a finalist for the Cutino Award. UCLA's Nicolas Saveljic won the honor last year.

The other two finalists this season are Saveljic and USC goalie Nic Porter.

The Cutino Award is named after former legendary Cal coach Pete Cutino, who led the Bears to eight national titles. This year's award will be announced on Saturday, June 4, at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. The ceremony will be live streamed on USA Water Polo's YouTube channel beginning at 6 p.m. PT.