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Papanikolaou, Everist Take Top Conference Honors

Nov 15, 2022

Nikolaos Papanikolaou and Kirk Everist once again headline the MPSF postseason awards.

For the third straight year, Papanikolaou has been named the MPSF Player of the Year and Everist the MPSF Coach of the Year. Everist becomes the first coach in conference history to be named Coach of the Year for three straight seasons while Papanikolaou joins Stanford's Tony Azevedo (2001-04) as the only players to capture MPSF Player of the Year honors for three consecutive years.

Papanikolaou, who was also named the 2021 ACWPC National Player of the Year and Cutino Award winner, has once again been the most dominant force in collegiate water polo this season. He's tied for fourth in the MPSF with 50 goals and leads the conference with 63 earned exclusions. He also ranks in the top ten in the MPSF in steals and field blocks, and led the Bears to their third straight conference regular season title, a 19-1 overall record and a No. 1 ranking in the CWPA national poll entering this weekend's MPSF Championships at USC.

Everist secured MPSF Coach of the Year honors for the fourth time overall. He guided Cal to an undefeated record in conference play as well as nine victories over teams ranked in the top-10 nationally. He is just the second Golden Bear to win MPSF Coach of the Year accolades (Steve Heaston – 1992, 1995).

Papanikolaou was one of seven Cal student-athletes to also earn All-MPSF honors, including a conference-high four on the First Team. In addition to Papanikolaou, senior attacker Jack Deely, junior goalie Adrian Weinberg and sophomore attacker Max Casabella were placed on the First Team while sophomore Roberto Valera took Second Team recognition. Senior Marko Valecic and junior Warren Loth earned honorable mention.

Papanikolaou has secured All-MPSF First Team recognition all four years he has been at Cal while Weinberg has captured conference honors four times as well. Deely is now a three-time All-MPSF honoree while Casabella, Valera and Loth have been named to the All-MPSF Team twice. This marks the first All-MPSF recognition for Valecic.

Cal opens the 2022 MPSF Championships as the No. 1 seed and meets eighth-seeded Penn State Behrend on Friday at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center.