UC Irvine, Long Beach State Earn Premier Awards
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2017 Women's Water Polo All-Conference
UC Irvine and Long Beach State representatives landed the major awards to highlight the announcement of the 2017 Big West Women’s Water Polo All-Conference Team.
UC Irvine junior utility Mary Brooks headlined the recipients as two-time Player of the Year while Anteater mentor Dan Klatt earned Coach of the Year honors. The Freshman of the Year award went to Long Beach State goalkeeper Eirini Patras.
Brooks (Fresno, Calif./Clovis West HS) is just the second repeat Big West Player of the Year and she is the sixth Anteater recipient. This is Brooks’ third award in three years after also garnering Big West Freshman of the Year honors in 2014. The junior led UCI with 63 goals on the year, including a season-high six scores against UC Davis in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament. Brooks then went on to net four goals in the title game to help the Anteaters to a thrilling 8-7 sudden victory win to claim the championship and earn Most Valuable Player recognition. The junior’s 2.17 goals per game average is second-best in league.
In his 13th year at the helm, Klatt led his team to its sixth Big West Tournament title and seventh regular season crown after finishing league undefeated at 5-0. The Anteaters are the only Big West program to ever finish conference play unbeaten and Klatt has helped his team to a 5-0 mark in the Big West four times. After earning the No. 1 seed, Klatt led the ’Eaters to a tournament sweep after a dominating 14-2 win versus UC Davis in the semifinals and an 8-7 sudden victory title-clincher in the finals. UCI will make its third NCAA Tournament appearance in four years after earning the No. 4 seed. This is Klatt’s sixth Big West Coach of the Year honor in nine seasons as a conference-sponsored sport.
An Athens, Greece native, Patras is the first 49er to ever claim Big West Freshman of the Year accolades. The goalie led the league with 227 saves on the season for an 8.72 saves per game average. The first year helped her team to just its second appearance in the Big West Tournament title game after a couple of thrilling overtime wins. Patras led the Beach to a 7-6 OT victory over defending champion UC Santa Barbara and recorded a game-high 10 saves, then posted 14 stops in the semis to help the 49ers to an 8-7 OT win. Her 14 saves rank fourth-best in the Big West Tournament record book for stops in a single contest.
The all-conference first team features a slate of first-time honorees in Long Beach State’s Christina Kotsia, CSUN’s Madeleine Sanchez, UC Davis’ Greta Kohlmoos and UC Irvine’s Kelsey Thornton. Brooks represents the Anteaters for the second time as a first-team honoree while Hawaii’s Irene Gonzalez and Chloe Barr two-time recipients for the Rainbow Wahine.