UC Irvine, Hawaii Claim Major Season Awards
Big West Women's Water Polo All-Conference Release
The two championship game participants also claimed the major awards as UC Irvine and Hawai’i nabbed the lionshare of the honors.
UH attacker Irene Gonzalez was named the Player of the Year, while UCI nabbed the Freshman of the Year in utility Isabel Rack and the Coach of the Year in Dan Klatt.
Gonzalez, a junior from Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, is the second Rainbow Wahine player to win Player of the Year honors, following current teammate Chloe Barr who won it in 2015. Gonzalez recorded 53 goals and 36 assists for 89 points this season, tops on the team in each category and ranking second, tied for third and second in the Big West, respectively. Gonzalez scored in all but four of the 24 games she has played in this season, including 10 matches of three goals or more. Her 166 career goals also have her on the verge of the league’s all-time top 10, putting her in position to reach the 200-goal plateau and challenge for the all-time lead held by CSUN’s Madeleine Sanchez (229).
Rack, who hails from Murrieta, Calif., had an excellent debut season for the Anteaters. She put up 24 goals, eight assists, 32 points, 19 steals and eight field blocks. Rack recorded three goals against Arizona State, then had her best game of the season against rival Long Beach State with four goals, one assist and a steal. Against conference opposition, Rack tied for the team lead in goals (7) and points (8) on only 17 shots. She is the fifth Freshman of the Year in UCI history and the first since Mary Brooks won it in 2015.
Klatt has now won the Coach of the Year award seven times in the 10-year history of the award. Faced with a young squad that lost six senior field players and a goalkeeper from a year ago, Klatt coached the team to its seventh Big West Tournament title, the most in Big West history. The team ended the season on a five-match win streak, a season-high that included an 8-7 sudden victory triumph over top-seeded Hawai’i in the Big West Tournament title match. Klatt also added an individual accomplistment to his ledger this season as he became the first coach in Big West history to win 200 career matches.
The all-conference first team features a pair of returnees in Gonzalez and CSUN senior Madeleine Sanchez. UC Davis, UC Irvine and Hawai’i each had two first team honorees, while five different teams were represented on the first team. The inaugural seven-player All-Freshman team was led by Rack, one of three UCI players to be named to the list. The complete teams can be found in the link above.
2018 BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Irene Gonzalez, Hawai’i
2018 BIG WEST FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Isabel Rack, UC Irvine
2018 BIG WEST COACH OF THE YEAR
Dan Klatt, UC Irvine