NCAA Runnerup USC Ranked #1 in Preseason Women’s Water Polo Poll

The 2019 NCAA runner-up USC was picked as the #1 team in the nation in the Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Association preseason women’s water poll released on January 15.

The Trojans, which fell to fellow Mountain Pacific Sports Federation member 9-8 in the 2019 national championship match in May, are in their first full season under head coach Marko Pintaric. Pintaric took over for Jovan Vavic, as interim head coach when Vavic was fired last March.

The Cardinal, which secured the seventh national title in program history last season behind a three-goal effort by Makenzie Fischer, were picked tied for second alongside 2019 semifinalist UCLA.

The Bruins fell 8-7 in overtime to Stanford in the semifinals. Cal, which lost 10-8 to USC in the other semifinal, checks in at #4 in the preseason poll.

UC Irvine, which split the regular season Big West title with Hawaii in 2019 and was the runnerup in the conference tournament, rounds out the Top 5 after ranking seventh in last year’s final poll.

Indiana, which finished the 2019 season among the vote getters outside the Top 25, begins 2020 at #23, tied with Marist. The Hoosiers, which went 6-17 in 2019, are in their first season under head coach Taylor Dodson. Dodson, who was an assistant coach for IU the past two years, took the helm of the team in June.

Cal Baptist, which ended the year at #25, dropped into the ranks of the vote getters outside of the Top 25.

Cal State East Bay, which was not ranked or listed in the final poll of 2019, checks in among the vote getters to start the new year. The Pioneers finished third in the Western Water Polo Association in 2019.

2020 CWPA Preseason Poll (Jan. 15)

Rank Team 2019 Final Poll Points
1 University of Southern California 2 98
2 (T) Stanford University 1 95
2 (T) University of California-Los Angeles 3 95
4 University of California 4 88
5 University of California-Irvine 7 81
6 University of Hawaii 5 80
7 University of Michigan 6 74
8 Arizona State University 10 70
9 University of the Pacific 8 67
10 University of California-Davis 11 64
11 University of California-Santa Barbara 9 63
12 Loyola Marymount University 12 51
13 University of California-San Diego 14 49
14 Fresno State University 16 46
15 (T) Princeton University 15 41
15 (T) Long Beach State University 13 41
17 Harvard University 20 (T) 38
18 San Jose State University 20 (T) 31
19 San Diego State University 18 28
20 Bucknell University 17 24
21 Wagner College 19 22
22 California State University-Northridge 22 (T) 13
23 (T) Indiana University RV 12
23 (T) Marist College 24 12
25 Azusa Pacific University 22 (T) 9
RV California Baptist University 25 8
RV California State University-East Bay NR 1

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