Setting the Scene
What: MAWPC Conference Championship
When: Friday, Nov. 17 to Sunday, Nov. 19
Where: Lejeune Hall – Annapolis, Md.
Online Video: CollegiateWaterPolo.org ($)
Where: Lejeune Hall – Annapolis, Md.
Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Championship Schedule
Friday, Nov. 17
Game 1: No. 1 seed Bucknell vs. No. 8 seed Mercyhurst, 3 p.m.
Game 2: No. 4 seed Wagner vs. No. 5 seed Navy, 4:30 p.m.
Game 3: No. 2 seed George Washington vs. No. 7 seed Gannon, 6 p.m.
Game 4: No. 3 seed Fordham vs. No. 6 seed Johns Hopkins, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 18
Game 5: Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1, 1:30 p.m.
Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4. 3 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4:30 p.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 6 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 19
Seventh Place: Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 5, 9 a.m.
Fifth Place: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 10:30 a.m.
Third Place: Loser Game 8 vs. Loser Game 7, 12 p.m.
First Place: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 1:30 p.m.
The 2016 MAWPC Tournament
• The Bison won the inaugural MAWPC tournament in dominating fashion, downing Connecticut College (24-4), Fordham (16-5) and then No. 18 George Washington (11-5) all by six or more goals.
• In the victory over the Camels, Rade Joksimovic broke a school record that had stood since 1999 with 14 goals. He went on to score six against the Rams and four against the Colonials to finish the tournament with 24, an average of eight per contest.
• By winning the MAWPC tournament, Bucknell claimed the conference's autobid to the NCAA tournament. It was the Bison's sixth NCAA tournament apperance and first since 1985.
Bucknell at a Glance
• Bucknell enters the postseason with a 17-11 (10-0 MAWPC) record. The Bison were ranked No. 16 in the most recent CWPA poll and have been ranked every week this season.
• Bucknell (10-0 MAWPC East) and Gannon (7-0 MAWPC West) were the only teams that completed MAWPC action undefeated.
• Rade Joksimovic (90g-34a), Marko Djordjevic (48g-45a) and Cooper Dolan (34g-19a) are Bucknell's top three in points.
• Joksimovic, who scored 154 goals as a freshman a year ago, has the chance to become only the third Bison to score at least 100 goals in more than one season. The previous two, Scott Schulte (184 in 1980, 154 in 1977, 127 in 1978, 121 in 1979) and Jeff Hilk (108 in 1983, 104 in 1985), are members of the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame.
• Steal leaders Joksimovic (t-2nd, 79) and Tommy Stupp (8th, 69) have already cracked Bucknell's single-season top 10 in this statistical category. Joksimovic, who totaled 76 a year ago, is tied for seventh in school history in career steals (155).
• Jeff Hagen has paced Bucknell's defense with 53 drawn exclusions. In net, Charlie Niehaus has made 267 saves, which is tied for eighth in school history. He now stands third in career saves with 822 and is 11 outside of second.
Bucknell Goes Undefeated in MAWPC Play
• The Bison finished 10-0 in MAWPC East Region play with their 8-6 victory over Fordham on Nov. 5. Bucknell outscored its MAWPC opponents by a 108-76.
• The Bison, who clinched their second-straight MAWPC East Region regular-season title with the Rams' overtime loss to Wagner on Nov. 1, completed their perfect conference season behind a five-goal outing by Rade Joksimovic.
Bucknell Goes Undefeated at Home
• The Bison went 8-0 at Kinney Natatorium in 2017.
• Bucknell is currently riding a 15-game home winning streak. The Bison last fell at Kinney Natatorium on Oct. 8, 2016, a 10-9 loss to George Washington. It was their only loss in both MAWPC action (9-1) and at home (11-1) that campaign.
• Over the past five seasons, Bucknell is 42-7 (.857) at Kinney Natatorium. The Bison lost only one home contest in both 2016 (11-1) and 2013 (6-1).
Bucknell’s Longest Winning Streaks
2017: 11 - *Sept. 16 to Oct. 14
1977, 1984, 1985, 2016 (twice): 9
Hilk to be Inducted into CWPA Hall of Fame
• Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame member and former men's water polo standout Jeff Hilk ’86 will be inducted into the Collegiate Water Polo Association Hall of Fame before Sunday's MAWPC title game.
• Hilk will become the fourth Bison to be enshrined in the CWPA Hall of Fame, joining Scott Schulte ’81 (inducted 2006), Mark Gensheimer ’81 (inducted 2012) and Tony Paxton ’81 (inducted 2016). In addition to those three former players, former Bucknell coaches Dick Russell (inducted 2002) and Lynn Kachmarik (inducted 2003) previously garnered the CWPA's highest honor.
• The full release on Hilk's induction can be read here.
Mercyhurst at a Glance/Series History
• Mercyhurst enters the tournament with an 11-10 (6-1 MAWPC) record.
• The Lakers most recently competed at the CWPA Western championships. They advanced to the finals by topping Monmouth College (19-5) and Salem International (17-16 3OT). In the finals, they fell to Gannon (10-15).
• Bucknell leads the all-time series, 14-1. The Bison have won their past six games against the Lakers.
• Bucknell and Mercyhurst have met at least once every year since 2006.
• At this year's Bison Invitational, the Bison downed the Lakers, 15-6. Rade Joksimovic (5g-3a), Cooper Dolan (2g-1a), Jared Stanley (1g-2a) enjoyed three-point outings.