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Nick Kennedy led CMS with 85 points (photo by Thomas Walker)
Nick Kennedy led CMS with 85 points (photo by Thomas Walker)

Kennedy Earns SCIAC Men's Water Polo Newcomer of the Year; Four Stags Earn All-SCIAC

CLAREMONT, Calif. - First-year attacker Nick Kennedy earned the SCIAC Newcomer of the Year Award and was joined on the All-SCIAC first team by Cristian Pang, Aidan Nettekoven and Luke (Bear) Weigle, the conference office announced today.

Head Coach Greg Lonzo an assistant coach Dave Merryman were also recognized as the SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year, after guiding the Stags to a 21-6 regular season and an 11-1 SCIAC record, good for a share of the regular season conference title, as well as a share of the current No. 1 ranking in Division III with Redlands. 

Kennedy leads the Stags in points heading into the postseason with 85 points on 46 goals and 39 assists. He had a season-high four goals in a 9-8 win over Redlands, including the game-winner with two seconds left to break an 8-8 tie. He also closed out the year with four straight three-goal games, adding four assists in a win over Occidental to match his season-high with seven points. He also had six assists in a win over CSU Fullerton, and five assists in a win over Wagner. 

Pang is just ahead of Kennedy for the team lead in goals scored with 48, while also adding 28 assists for 76 points. He had a season-high five goals and three assists for eight points in a win over Biola, and added four goals and two assists against No. 12 UC San Diego. He also had five goals (with one assist) in a Senior Day win over Caltech, and four goals in wins over Westcliff and CSU Fullerton. 

Nettekoven had a save percentage of .500, making 159 saves on the year, compiling a 9.17 goals against average, and earning the SCIAC Defensive Player of the Week Award three times. He was particularly dominant in SCIAC games, tallying a .580 save percentage and a stingy 6.61 goals against average, tallying 13 saves and allowing five goals in a win over Chapman, and reaching 10 saves in a win over Pomona-Pitzer. 

Weigle, who earned the SCIAC Newcomer of the Year last season, enters the SCIAC Tournament with 37 goals on the year. He had four three-goal games, including against Concordia and No. 11 UC Santa Barbara in the Inland Empire Classic, and nine two-goal games, including Division I powers Long Beach State and Pacific.

CMS will be the top seed in the conference tournament and open up play on Friday night at 7 p.m. against No. 4 Chapman. A win would enable the Stags to host the championship match on Sunday against the winner of the other semifinal between Pomona-Pitzer and Redlands.