Nov. 18, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Navy senior Conor Handley was named the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division MVP, head coach Mike Schofield was named the Coach of the Year and two other players joined Handley on the all-Southern Division teams, the CWPA league office announced at its annual banquet on Friday evening.
Handley was joined on the first team by Kyle Wertz while Stevie Ray was selected to the second team.
Handley had a sensational senior season leading the Mids to the CWPA Southern Division tournament title last week and helping the Mids to a 23-6 overall record entering the CWPA Eastern Tournament Semifinals, where Navy serves as the No. 1 southern seed. The senior attacker from Naperville, Ill., ranks third on the team in points (51) and goals (41) and has distributed 10 assists on the season. He has scored 148 points (112 g, 36 a) in his four years at Navy with 113 (85 g, 28 a) coming over the course of the last two seasons. He has been Navy's most consistent performer all season long on both ends of the pool and leads all Navy players with 30 steals.
Handley's award marks the seventh time in the last 12 years that a Navy player was named the CWPA Southern Division Player of the Year after Sean Foster (2000), Nick Hill (2002), Alex Ratcliffe (2005), Aaron Recko (1006), Michael Mulvey (2007) and Kyle Wertz (2009) were each named winners of the award since the 2000 season.
Wertz, a senior left-hander from San Diego, Calif., is putting the finishing touches on a sensational career at Navy. He was named to the first team after leading the team in points (78) and assists (29) and ranking second in goals (49), despite playing in just 18-of-29 games this year. He has scored 250 career points to rank 10th all-time on the Navy career scoring list. He has been a two-time All-East first-team player and was an honorable mention All-American and CWPA Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2008.
Ray, a senior from Baytown, Texas, was named to the second team after appearing in 21 games and ranking fourth on the team in goals (39) and points (50). He has scored 177 points (134 goals and 43 assists) during his career and was a first-team All-East honoree a year ago.
Schofield was named the Southern Division Coach of the Year after leading the Midshipmen to a 22-6 regular-season mark and a CWPA Southern Division Tournament title. The Mids finished in second place in the league standings with a 5-3 record, but then dominated the tournament, defeating their four opponents by a combined margin of 56-21. The Mids avenged losses to Bucknell and a regular-season sweep by Princeton in the tournament, defeating the Bison in the semifinals (11-5) and Princeton in the finals (10-5).
Navy will play in tomorrow's CWPA Eastern Tournament semifinal round against 17th-ranked Brown after defeating Harvard, 20-5, in Friday's quarterfinal round. Saturday's game will get underway at 6:00 pm in Cambridge, Mass., on the campus of Harvard University.
# GO NAVY #