Dec. 24, 2004
Less than three weeks after carrying his team to the 2004 men's water polo NCAA title, senior attacker Brett Ormsby has been named the NCAA Division I Men's Water Polo Player of the Year by the American Water Polo Coaches Association, it was announced Thursday. UCLA Head Coach Adam Krikorian, after leading the Bruins to a 25-3 record and the school's eighth national title, has been honored as Coach of the Year.
Senior goalkeeper Joseph Axelrad, along with Ormsby, was named a first-team All-American while fellow senior Albert Garcia received second-team accolades. Named to the third team were senior center Ted Peck and junior center defender Michael March. Senior attacker Josh Hewko received Honorable Mention All-America honors.
For Ormsby, who concluded his stellar four-year UCLA career earlier this month with 241 total goals, the player of the year honor is his first, following two first-team selections in 2002 and 2003 and a second-team pick in 2001. Ormsby is the first Bruin to be bestowed the honor since Sean Kern in 2000.
Axelrad was an honorable mention All-American in 2003 but raised his stock in 2004 by posting an impressive 5.83 goals against average and providing stellar goalkeeping during UCLA's tightly contested run through the NCAA Final Four.
Garcia, who sat out the entire 2003 season, receives his first All-America selection after being an honorable mention All-MPSF pick in 2001. The fifth-year standout finished his UCLA career with 92 goals and two national titles (2000 and 2004).
Peck is also receiving his first All-America nod after being tabbed as an honorable mention All-MPSF pick in both 2002 and 2003. He played in every match during each of his four years at UCLA.
March, the only junior starter on the 2004 squad, follows up his 2003 honorable mention All-America honor with this year's third-team selection. The physical defender was third on the squad in 2004 with 27 goals.
Hewko, who appeared in every contest during his junior and senior years while starting all 28 matches in 2004, also receives his first All-America nod. He finished second to Ormsby in scoring with 27 goals for the Bruins last season.
For Krikorian, who is now tied with UC Irvine's Ted Newland for most men's NCAA titles won by an active head coach with three, the honor is a first. In 2001, he was named National Women's Water Polo Coach of the Year after leading the UCLA women's team to its second consecutive NCAA title. The sixth-year head coach has won 10 titles as a player and a coach. His career record with the men's team is 117-33.