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OXY'S FUJIYAMA, ADELEYE AND BAILEY-FINDLEY NAMED ALL-SCIAC

By Michael Wells
Sports Information Director
 

LOS ANGELES — Three Occidental College women's water polo players were named All-SCIAC on Wednesday after leading the Tigers to a program-best 23 wins during the 2012 season.

Rachel Adeleye (Elizabeth, N.J.) and Nanea Fujiyama (Honolulu) were recognized on the first team, and Tessa Bailey-Findley (Anaheim Hills) made the second team.

All three women have now earned the distinction multiple times.

Fujiyama earned second team honors in 2010 and 2011, Bailey-Findley was second team in 2010, and Adeleye was second team in 2011.

Fujiyama, a junior who finished fifth among all collegiate women's water polo players in goals and second in NCAA Division III with 85, was among the candidates for SCIAC Athlete of the Year.

"In my opinion she's the best all-around player in the conference. It's no coincidence that our program has had three of it's best seasons since she arrived," Occidental coach Larry Zubrin said. "We're extremely fortunate to have a player of Nanea's caliber, and very excited about what she'll bring to the pool for an encore in 2013."

Bailey-Findley was also a force offensively. The senior's 74 goals ranked seventh overall and third in Division III, but it was her role as a leader that added to her impact.

"What she's done in the pool over the last four years has been remarkable, but it's really been her contribution outside of the pool that will have a lasting impact," Zubrin said. "With Corrine Casey (Lodi), she's carried on a great tradition of leadership that won't be forgotten."

While Fujiyama and Bailey-Findley could score with the best in the country, Adeleye was among the best at preventing them. The junior goalkeeper racked up 161 goals and totaled 40 steals, impressive marks considering she didn't have any experience as a goalie before coming to Occidental.

"What's Rae's done since she's been at Oxy is unheard of. We're talking about an athlete that had limited water polo experience prior to arriving here and had never played goalie prior to her freshman season with us," Zubrin said. "Since then she's been a three time All-SCIAC recipient.  It's really a testament to her athleticism, commitment, and never ending desire to improve."

Oxy finished 23-9 overall and 6-4 in SCIAC.