Women’s Water Polo Presents Team Awards at Year-End Banquet

Women’s Water Polo Presents Team Awards at Year-End Banquet

From left to right: Devan Kennifer, Elise Molnar, head coach Ted Minnis, Jelena Cyr, Ariel Dukes, Monica Zdrojewski (photo Harvard Athletic Communications).

BOSTON – The Harvard women's water polo team handed out its end-of-the-season awards at its annual banquet Monday night at the Harvard Club of Boston. Devan Kennifer and Monica Zdrojewski were named co-MVPs, Jelena Cyr earned the Most Improved award, Ariel Dukes was honored as the Rookie of the Year and Elise Molnar took home the Coaches Award.

The MVP, Most Improved and Rookie of the Year awards were voted on by members of the team. The Coaches Award was selected by head coach Ted Minnis and assistants Jessi Wood and Kristin Stanford.

Kennifer and Zdrojewski led Harvard to its second straight season with a winning record in 2012. Kennifer netted 67 goals and contributed 48 assists and 95 steals, while Zdrojewski had 42 goals, 38 assists and 38 steals entering the CWPA Eastern Championship tournament. A senior from Monterey, Calif., Kennifer was named to the all-division team during all four of her years in Cambridge. Zdrojewski, a senior from Laguna Niguel, Calif., was an "excellent" student-athlete selection by the CWPA and contributed eight hat tricks this season.

Cyr had four goals, two assists and 11 steals before last weekend's CWPA Eastern Championship to be named the most improved player for the Crimson. The sophomore 2-meter from Livermore, Calif., had a season-high four steals during a win over Villanova, 14-3, Feb. 12 and scored twice in a 12-3 win over Mercyhurst in the first round of the CWPA Southern Division Championship.

Dukes was Harvard's best rookie throughout 2012, as the Winter Park, Fla., native made 193 saves in goal for the Crimson. The freshman was named the CWPA Defensive Player of the Week twice and earned two CWPA Rookie of the Week honors as well. She completed a rare sweep of the CWPA weekly defensive and rookie awards March 27 after a 13-save performance in a 7-5 win over Brown.

Molnar earned the Coaches Award after playing 2-meter defense for Harvard this season. She was named to the CWPA All-Southern Division second team for her contribution of 19 goals, 15 assists and 32 steals through the teams first 25 games. Her most impressive performance of the season came against NCAA-qualifier Iona, when she had three goals, an assist and three steals before Harvard slipped in sudden-death overtime.

Cyr, Dukes and Molnar will all return to Cambridge next season, where they will look to produce Harvard's first back-to-back-to-back winning seasons in 11 years.