Hawaii’s Bia Mantellato Dias Among Women’s Cutino Award Finalists

Photo Courtesy: USA Water Polo

Hawaii’s Bia Mantellato Dias Among Women’s Cutino Award Finalists

Hawaii’s Bia Mantellato Dias was among the three finalists named for the women’s Peter J. Cutino Award by USA Water Polo on Tuesday.

Mantellato Dias is joined by a pair of goalies, California’s Isabel Williams and Lauren Steele of UCLA.

Mantellato Dias was named Big West Player of the Year in a historic season for the Rainbow Wahine, who finished No. 3 in the final rankings and became the first Big West squad to make the national semifinals since 2013. A sophomore from of Sao Paolo, Brazil, Mantellato Dias led that effort with 64 goals, six assists and 20 steals.

Each of the national finalists has a representative in the balloting for water polo’s Heisman trophy. Williams set Cal’s single-season saves record with 326 saves while the Golden Bears allowed a nation-best 6.7 goals allowed per game. She is the all-time leader in saves for the program at 885. Cal made its first national final since 2011. Williams joins Emily Csikos as the only Cutino finalist in program history.

Steele was the star of the NCAA final, leading UCLA to a 7-4 win over Cal. The instant impact freshman made 17 saves in the NCAA final, earning MVP honors. She was also the MPSF Tournament MVP and the conference’s newcomer of the year. She helped the Bruins post a 26-0 record, just the third in program history and the fifth in women’s water polo D1 history.

A goalie hasn’t been named the Cutino winner since Ashleigh Johnson and Amanda Longan won it back-to-back in 2017 and 2018.

The 25th Cutino Awards will be held in a ceremony June 1 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. The finalists for the men’s award were announced in April.

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