LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell freshman Rade Joksimovic completed the 2016 season with two more weekly awards as on Thursday he was named the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Player and Rookie of the Week, giving him 16 total weekly awards this fall. Additionally, Bison junior goalie Charlie Niehaus earned his first career Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Defensive Player of the Week award.
Bucknell (23-5), which is ranked 11th nationally this week, completed its season this past weekend with a 13-12 overtime loss to Harvard in an NCAA game in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Joksimovic led the Bison offense with six goals in the contest, while Niehaus posted 11 saves in the cage.
This is the fourth time this season that Joksimovic swept both Player and Rookie of the Week. He finished Bucknell’s first NCAA contest since 1985 with four steals and one ejection drawn to go along with his six goals. Joksimovic also scored the game-tying goal with 16 seconds left in regulation, sending the contest against the No. 10 Crimson to overtime.
Joksimovic finished his freshman season with 154 goals, 30 assists, 184 points, 76 steals, 36 ejections drawn and 23 sprints won. He ranks tied for second on the program’s single-season goals list and fourth on the single-season points lists. No player had joined either ledger in nearly 30 years.
The conference Player and Rookie of the Year, Joksimovic scored at least five goals 18 times this season and reached double-figures in goals three times, including a school-record 14 scores against Connecticut College.
A starter in all 28 games in 2016, Niehaus played well against Harvard, registering double-figure saves for the 16th time. He also added an assist, his 17th of the campaign.
Niehaus finished the season with 287 saves to rank sixth on the program’s single-season list. He now has 555 career saves, placing him eighth in school history. He was a Second Team All-Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference selection and was named First Team All-Mid-Atlantic Conference Championship.
Joksimovic and Niehaus were two key members of a Bison squad that put together one of the finest seasons in program history. Bucknell won 20 games for the first time in a decade and qualified for the NCAA Championship for just the sixth time in program annals.