UC Santa Barbara is New #1, Fordham Vaults into Men’s Water Polo Top 20

UC Santa Barbara has ascended from #7 in the preseason poll to #1 heading into Week 4 of the men’s collegiate water polo season after knocking off five ranked foes including each of the last two top ranked teams. The Gauchos have topped #6 Pepperdine, #4 Cal, #5 Long Beach State, #1 USC and most recently #1 Stanford en route to a school record 13-0 start and the longest season win streak in more than 40 years.

UCSB sitting at the pinnacle of the CWPA rankings makes the program only the second team outside of the Pac-12 to occupy the top spot since Pacific did so in 2013. It is also the highest ever ranking for the Gauchos and marks the first time a UCSB has topped the rankings in any sport since men’s soccer was #1 in 2004. 

Cole Brosnan has put in 30 goals, while Sam Nangle has chipped in 21 so far in 2019. In Thursday’s overtime win over #6 Pepperdine, Brosnan racked up four goals. He added two more in the upset win over then-#1 Stanford on Friday as Leo Yuno put in four goals and Nathan Puentes added a hat trick. It was Colton Gregory, Ivan Gvozdanovic and Yuno who led the way against Fresno Pacific on Saturday with three goals each.

UCLA held down the #2 spot in the poll for the fourth straight week, followed by Stanford, Pacific and USC.

Fordham made the biggest jump of the week, moving up from receiving votes to a spot in the Top 20 at #16, it marked the Rams’ first Top 20 ranking since 2017. The Rams sit at 9-2 on the year after going 4-0 at the Bucknell Invitational last weekend. The team topped #13 Bucknell 17-15 and defeated Salem (11-8), Wagner (13-9) and La Salle (15-9). Fordham boasts ranked wins over #17 St. Francis and RV Santa Clara. Its two losses have come at the hands of #2 UCLA and then #12 Harvard.

Leading the way for the Rams is Dimitris Koukias, who scored five goals in the upset win over #13 Bucknell and against Wagner. Jake Miller-Tolt chipped in a hat trick vs. the Bison as well as against Salem and Wagner, before capping his weekend with a seven-goal outing vs. La Salle.

The biggest fall of the week saw George Washington crash from tied for 14th to 19, followed by Bucknell’s drop by #13 to 17. Brown fell out of the poll after sitting at #20 a week ago.

GW lost to #14 St. Francis Brooklyn (11-7) and #12 Harvard (13-8) before rounding out the weekend with wins over Johns Hopkins (16-7) and Salem (21-10).

Bucknell, meanwhile, went  3-1 at home, topping Mercyhurst (13-1), Wagner (17-5) and La Salle (16-10) after falling to Fordham in its tournament opener.

Brown stumbled with losses to #9 Long Beach State (18-13) and RV Air Force (14-12), before rebounding with a win over Chapman (13-9).

New to the rankings are Redlands and Santa Clara, which each received votes outside of the Top 20 this week. Redlands, out of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), is 6-5 after topping Concordia (Irvine) 12-9 on Saturday. Santa Clara is 4-4 including a 3-1 mark last week with wins over Ottawa (22-11), Austin College (17-5) and Whittier (11-9). The Broncos lost 12-9 to then-#8 Cal.

Collegiate Men’s Water Polo Week 4 Rankings (9/25/19)

Rank Team Week 2 Poll Points
1 University of California-Santa Barbara 2 (T) 99
2 University of California-Los Angeles 2 (T) 94
3 Stanford University 1 91
4 University of the Pacific 4 84
5 University of Southern California 5 82
6 Pepperdine University 6 73
7 University of California 8 71
8 Long Beach State University 9 65
9 University of California-Davis 7 62
10 University of California-Irvine 10 53
11 University of California-San Diego 11 51
12 Harvard University 12 46
13 Loyola Marymount University 14 (T) 32
14 Princeton University 14 (T) 30
15 St. Francis College Brooklyn 14 (T) 25
16 Fordham University RV 20
17 (T) California Baptist University 19 19
17 (T) Bucknell University 13 19
19 George Washington University 14 (T) 16
20 San Jose State University 18 12
RV United States Air Force Academy RV 4
RV Brown University 20 3
RV University of Redlands NR 2
RV United States Naval Academy RV 2
RV Santa Clara University NR 1
RV Pomona-Pitzer Colleges RV 1

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4 years ago

wow. Those dudes have no fear. I hope to coach my swimmers to be that mentally tough.

4 years ago

Amazing! Go Gauchos!