Stephania Haralabidis & Jovan Vavic Sweep As MPSF Player and Coach of the Year|
May 3, 2016
USC head coach Jovan Vavic has pocketed his fifth career selection as the MPSF Women’s Water Polo Coach of the Year, while junior Stephania Haralabidis is the fourth Trojan in the past eight years to earn honors as the MPSF Player of the Year. The pair lead a pack of six All-MPSF honorees from USC’s 2016 roster — all of whom have been instrumental in guiding the Women of Troy to an undefeated 23-0 record as they now go in pursuit of a fifth national championship next week. Stephania Haralabidis is joined on the All-MPSF First Team by sister Ioanna Haralabidis and freshman goalie Amanda Longan, who also has a place on the MPSF All-Newcomer Team. Junior Brigitta Games lands a spot on the All-MPSF Second Team, while Brianna Daboub and Avery Peterson have hauled in All-MPSF Honorable Mention.
Head coach Jovan Vavic now has a grand total of 11 MPSF Coach of the Year awards to his name — five on the women’s side and six with the men — as he has now guided the Women of Troy through the program’s third undefeated regular season. Last week, Vavic saw his USC women capture their fourth MPSF Championship while preserving a perfect 23-0 record. Only two teams have finished within a goal of the Trojans in games this season, a nod to the powerful balanced that Vavic has developed with this 2016 squad. USC had been picked to finish second in the conference and third in the nation to open the year, but Vavic and his crew have shrugged off those outside expectations as they led the MPSF in both offense and defense and now hold the top seed as they carry that perfect record into the NCAA Tournament for the 13th consecutive season. Vavic and the Women of Troy are gunning for the program’s second undefeated season, last achieved in 2004.
USC junior Stephania Haralabidis is the eighth overall Trojan to be selected as MPSF Player of the Year, making it a grand total of 10 such honors for the USC program. The team’s top scorer this season with 55 goals to date, Haralabidis has bumped up her career count at USC to 177 goals, ranking No. 8 all-time in the history books. Recently named to the MPSF All-Tournament Team after USC’s run to the 2016 crown last weekend, Haralabidis also picked up a pair of MPSF Player of the Week selections in 2016 as she’s helped pace the Trojans to their undefeated record. She was an MPSF All-Newcomer Team honoree as a freshman and was named to the All-MPSF Second Team last year while currently standing as a two-time ACWPC All-American.
Junior Ioanna Haralabidis also has upgraded last year’s Second Team selection with a spot on the 2016 All-MPSF First Team alongside her twin Stephania. A defensive specialist for the Women of Troy, Ioanna also stands as the team’s third leading scorer this season with 34 goals so far. A 2015 ACWPC All-American, she now ranks as USC’s No. 20 all-time career scorer with 117 goals in just under three seasons of work as a Trojan.
In her first year as a Trojan, freshman goalie Amanda Longan’s impressive work in the cage has secured her a place on the All-MPSF First Team. Recently crowned the MPSF Tournament MVP for her role in USC’s run to the MPSF title, Longan is averaging 10.5 saves and just 4.5 goals-against per game in her 15 appearances to date. Longan’s five picks as MPSF Newcomer of the Week also helped make her a shoe-in for a spot on the MPSF All-Newcomer Team. She’s posted eight double-digit save outings so far this season, including a career-high 17 stops secured in an 8-3 win at Stanford to help hand the Cardinal their first MPSF loss since 2009.
In her second season at USC, junior Brigitta Games continues to turn heads as a power player at set. USC’s second leading scorer with 36 goals so far this season and freshly inked with a spot on the MPSF All-Tournament Team, Games has her first MPSF award with her spot on the 2016 All-MPSF Second Team. A 2015 ACWPC All-American and a member of last year’s MPSF All-Newcomer Team, Games has upped her game even more in her junior year. She has struck in 20 different games and also nabbed her first career MPSF Player of the Week accolades this year after a standout effort in an 8-5 rivalry win over UCLA during MPSF play.
USC’s two All-MPSF Honorable Mention recipients — Brianna Daboub and Avery Peterson — also are reflective of the Trojans’ incredible cohesive balance in 2016. Both team captains, Daboub and Peterson have combined for 58 goals so far this year, including a hat trick apiece in the MPSF championship win last weekend. Sophomore Daboub boasts a deft defensive ability as well as a cannon shot, racking up 25 goals to stand as USC’s fifth leading scorer. She was an MPSF All-Newcomer Team selection as a freshman. Junior two-meter force Avery Peterson, meanwhile, has scored more goals this season than she did in her freshman and sophomore years combined. USC’s fourth leading scorer with 33 goals, Peterson provides a potent tandem with Games at set to give the Trojans an important depth charge. Her selection as MPSF Player of the Week earlier this year was Peterson’s first-ever conference honor, making this year’s All-MPSF Honorable Mention accolades a well-deserved award for the junior captain.
Complete MPSF awards list HERE. USC honorees are listed below.
2016 ALL-MPSF HONORS
MPSF Coach of the Year
MPSF Player of the Year
All-MPSF Second Team
MPSF All-Newcomer Team