Five Broncos Receive Golden Coast Conference Honors

Click here to watch the video previewing the Broncos for the GCC

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The year of firsts for the Golden Coast Conference continues in its inaugural season as the league announced its 2014 GCC All-Conference selections on Tuesday. LMU's Alexandra Honny was named the Player of the Year and San Diego State's Ioli Benekou was named Newcomer of the Year, as voted on by the league's seven head coaches. Santa Clara had five players honored on the various GCC teams.

"It is great that we had several players named to the all-conference team," said Bronco head coach Keith Wilbur.  "Even so, our team had such a balance attack this year with so many contributors, I still feel we had some players with outstanding years still deserving of recognition.  That speaks more to the make-up of our team than any complaints about the all-conference selection process.  While individual awards are nice, I think our group is more focused on what our team as a whole has accomplished this year, and what we aim to accomplish at conference championships this coming weekend."  

Honny, who is just the second Lion in program history to tally more than 200 goals in her career, enters the 2014 GCC Championships leading the league with 74 goals and 79 steals. The fourth-year senior is one of just four seniors to be honored on the 2014 All-GCC award list.

Joining her with individual honors was San Diego State's Benekou. The freshman ranks tied for fourth in the GCC in goals with 56, tied for 20th in assists with 24 and tied for ninth with 41 steals. She helped lead the Aztecs to the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming GCC Championships hosted by LMU, April 24-26.

Both Honny and Benekou were among the eight student-athletes to earn first-team All-GCC. The only other senior on that list was Santa Clara's Kaitlin Murphy. The youth of the GCC was represented on the first-team by Pacific junior Taylor Adair, LMU sophomore Ivana Castro, San Diego State junior Anique Hermann, California Baptist junior Laura Kocsis, and San Diego State sophomore goalie Kaitlin Murphy.

The All-GCC second-team was just as young with Santa Clara utility Claire Eadington as the only senior. Joining her for the rest of the second-team were all sophomores, including California Baptist's Hannah Evans, Santa Clara's Julia Peters, Azusa Pacific's Maryann Slama, Pacific 's Gracie Smith and LMU goalie Claire Wright.

Holding to the trend, the All-GCC honorable mention honors was represented by one senior, Santa Clara's goalie June Afshar. Joining her was LMU junior Mackenzie Beck, Fresno Pacific sophomore Nia Paodaca and San Diego State freshman Alyssa Diacono.

Rounding out the 2014 All-GCC honors was the GCC All-Freshman team. Earning the honor was Megan Myers of Azusa Pacific, Paizlee Dreyer of California Baptist, Kaitlin Fletcher of Fresno Pacific, San Diego State's Benekou and Diacono, and Cathy Cantoni of Santa Clara.

Follow the 2014 GCC Championships live on the LMU Sports Network. All nine games will be broadcast and links, scores and more can be found on GCCWaterPolo.com. Tickets for the 2014 Championships are on sale online, and links to purchase are on the GCC website.

2014 GCC Awards and Honors
Player of the Year: Alexandra Honny, LMU (Sr., DR)
Newcomer of the Year: Ioli Benekou, SDSU (Fr., DEF)

First-Team GCC All-Conference
Taylor Adair, Pacific (Jr., UTL)
Ioli Benekou, San Diego St. (Fr., DEF)
Ivana Castro, LMU (So., UTL)
Anique Hermann, San Diego St. (Jr., DR)
Alexandra Honny, LMU (Sr., DR)
Laura Kocsis, California Baptist (Jr., UTL)
Rachel Mitchell, San Diego St. (So., GK)
Kaitlin Murphy, Santa Clara (Sr., UTL)

Second-Team GCC All-Conference
Claire Eadington, Santa Clara (Sr., UTL)
Hannah Evans, California Baptist (So., 2M)
Julia Peters, Santa Clara (So., 2M)
Maryann Slama, Azusa Pacific (So., UTL)
Gracie Smith, Pacific (So., 2M)
Claire Wright, LMU (So., GK)

Honorable Mention GCC All-Conference
June Afshar, Santa Clara (Sr., GK)
Mackenzie Beck, LMU (Jr., UTL)
Nia Apodaca, Fresno Pacific (So., UTL)
Alyssa Diacono, San Diego St. (Fr., CTR)

GCC All-Freshman Team
Megan Myers, Azusa Pacific (Fr., DR)
Paizlee Dreyer, California Baptist (Fr., DR)
Kaitlin Fletcher, Fresno Pacific (Fr.,DR)
Ioli Benekou, San Diego St. (Fr., DEF)
Alyssa Diacono, San Diego St. (Fr., CTR)
Cathy Cantoni, Santa Clara (Fr., DR)