Photos by Joe Bergman
PASADENA — Rey Julian Castillo was named the 2016 SCIAC Men's Water Polo Newcomer of the Year for his excellent debut season and goalie Ian Hernandez was named to Second Team All-SCIAC as voted by the league's head coaches. Castillo also made the Second Team.
Castillo earned his Newcomer of the Year status as a force in the pool for the Leopards. The junior driver led La Verne with 80 goals on the season and 43 in SCIAC play. The Puerto Rico native also led the team with 39 drawn ejections while tallying 44 steals and 17 assists.
Hernandez emerged as one of the best netminders in the league, tallying 277 saves on the season. The sophomore also gave out 13 assists and drew two ejections.
The duo helped La Verne to its best SCIAC season (5-6) in recent memory as the Leopards notched five conference wins for the first time in more than 10 years. Both Castillo and Hernandez will return in 2017 to lead the program's upward trajectory.