ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Rade Joksimovic, who earlier on Friday was crowned the MAWPC East MVP for the second-straight season, put on an offensive clinic in the first round of the MAWPC tournament, netting nine goals to lead the No. 16 Bucknell men's water polo team to a 15-4 rout of Merychurst at Lejeune Hall and Scott Natatorium.
The Bison (18-11, 10-0 MAWPC) used a 11-0 run to open up a 13-1 lead by halftime and never looked back. With their victory, they'll play the winner of the Wagner-Navy game in tomorrow's semifinals at 4:30 p.m.
Joksimovic, who also recorded one helper, was one of three Bison who enjoyed a multi-point performance against the Lakers (11-11, 6-1 MAWPC). Tommy Stupp scored a pair of goals while Cullen Jacuzzi posted a goal and one assist.
Charlie Niehaus was strong in net, making 13 saves and notching two steals. With his effort, which gave him 835 career saves, he passed Tony Paxton (1978-80, 833) for second in program history in this statistical category.
Joksimovic's nine-goal outing gave him 99 on the season. With one more, he'll become only the third Bison to score at least 100 in two seasons. 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. Joksimovic's 154 goals from 2016 is tied for second in program history.
Joksimovic also recorded seven steals during this contest, moving him to second in Bucknell's history in single-season steals (86) and sixth in career steals (162).
MERCYHURST 1 0 3 0 - 4
BUCKNELL 5 8 1 1 - 15
Goals: Joksimovic (9), Stupp (2), Jacuzzi, Jordao, Schofield, White
Assists: Jacuzzi, Joksimovic
Steals: Joksimovic (7), Stupp (3), Jacuzzi (2), Niehaus (2), Poland (2) Blackwell, Stanley, White
Ejections Drawn: Hagen (3), McClymonds (3), Joksimovic (2)
Saves: Niehaus (13 svs., 4 ga., 32:00 min.)
Sprints: Blackwell (1-1), Jacuzzi (1-2), McClymonds (0-1)