FOUR TIGERS EARN ACWPC ALL-AMERICAN HONORSBy Michael Wells Sports Information Director
LOS ANGELES — Four Occidental College women's water polo players took home top honors for their role in Oxy's winningest season in program history during 2012.
Junior center Nanea Fujiyama (Honolulu) was named an Association of College Water Polo Coaches First Team All-American, junior goalie Rachel Adeleye (Elizabeth, N.J.) made the second team, and senior utility Tessa Bailey-Findley (Anaheim Hills) and senior attacker Corrine Casey (Lodi) earned honorable mentions after leading the Tigers to a 23-9 season that included an upset over NCAA Division I UC Santa Barbara and nearly a month-long stretch as the No. 1-ranked team in Division III.
The Tigers 23 wins are the most any Oxy women's water polo team has won in a season. Oxy finished third in the SCIAC with a 6-4 record.
"We're obviously very proud of these women," Occidental coach Larry Zubrin said. "I know they'd agree their individual success is a product of the entire team's accomplishments."
Still their individual contributions stood out.
Fujiyama was one of the most prolific goal scorers in any division and Adeleye was among the best at preventing them. Fujiyama ranked fifth in the nation with 85 goals and Adeleye's 161 saves were 12th best.
Casey and Bailey-Findley chipped in their fair share of offense, Bailey-Findley with 74 goals — seventh best in the nation — and Casey with a team-high 53 assists, but it was their intangibles that served as the team's glue.
"Tessa and Corrine were not only outstanding in the pool, but as team captains they carried the torch of outstanding leadership that we've been fortunate to have over the years here at Oxy."
Pomona-Pitzer's Annie Oxborough-Yankus and Grove City's Chelsea Johnson were named the ACWPC Co-Players of the Year.
Oxy graduates its two captains but returns maybe the best goal scorer and goaltender in the SCIAC.
"Nanea and Rachel might be the two best water polo players in the SCIAC and I'm very excited to have them back for an encore in 2013," Zubrin said.