UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, St. Francis Brooklyn Climb CWPA Men’s WP Poll

Week 1 of the collegiate men’s water polo season brought five upsets and three overtime contests and the most recent Collegiate Water Polo Association Top 20 poll reflected those results.

UC Santa Barbara jumped three spots from tied for seventh to fourth in the Sept. 11 poll. UC Irvine (13 to tied for ninth) and St. Francis Brooklyn (receiving votes to 17) also were big movers from the preseason listing.

UCSB went 4-0 at the Triton Invitational in San Diego last weekend, besting three top 10 teams along the way en route to the program’s highest ranking since 2016. The Gauchos topped Concordia (Irvine) 12-7 to kick off the season and followed with wins over #7 Pepperdine (11-5), #4 Cal (8-5) and #5 Long Beach State (12-9) to claim the tournament crown. Next up, UCSB will head to Redlands, California, for the Inland Empire Classic.

UC Irvine went 2-2 in San Diego, topping #9 UC San Diego 5-4 and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 8-7, before falling to #5 Long Beach State 10-8 in double overtime and #4 Cal 11-6. UC Irvine will face a handful of ranked opponents at the WWPA/GCC Challenge Cup in Los Angeles this weekend.

For its part, St. Francis Brooklyn posted a 3-1 weekend at the Bruno Invitational in Providence, Rhode Island. The Terriers topped #16 Cal Baptist (11-10), McKendree (18-7) and Wagner (10-9) before being edged by #16 Bucknell 13-10. SFC will head to the Princeton Tiger Invitational in Princeton, New Jersey this weekend.

Defending national champion USC remained at #1 after an idle opening weekend. The Trojans kick off their 2019 campaign at the Inland Empire Classic on Saturday.

UCLA held down the #2 spot after a 4-0 weekend at the Navy Open in Annapolis, Maryland. The Bruins downed Fordham (15-3), #12 Princeton (14-5), vote getter Navy (20-7) and La Salle (20-2). Next up, UCLA heads to Palo Alto, California, for the Stanford Invitational, during which the Bruins will play #18 San Jose State and three exhibition matches.

Stanford dropped one spot to #3 despite dominating the competition in four wins at the Navy Open. The Cardinal topped RV Navy (26-3), Iona (20-1), Johns Hopkins (22-2) and #12 Princeton (22-8). Stanford is set for four weekend exhibition matches as well as a Friday contest with San Jose State.

Cal rounds out the Top 5, falling one spot from #4 after a 3-1 showing at the Triton Invitational. The Bears defeated RV Whittier (22-2), #14 Loyola Marymount (14-9) and #13 UC Irvine (11-6) but fell to then #7 UC Santa Barbara 8-5. Cal is set for a Wednesday exhibition followed by home games against #11 UC Davis and #6 Pacific on Saturday and Sunday.

Pomona-Pitzer dropped out of the Top 20, falling from #19 to the top vote getter spot. Cal Baptist fell from #16 to #20.

The full Week 1 poll is below.

2019 Men’s Varsity Top 20 (Week 1/September 11)

Rank Team 2019 Preseason Poll Points
1 University of Southern California 1 96
2 University of California-Los Angeles 2 (T) 94
3 Stanford University 2 (T) 93
4 University of California-Santa Barbara 7 (T) 87
5 University of California 4 77
6 University of the Pacific 5 (T) 76
7 Long Beach State University 5 (T) 71
8 Pepperdine University 7 (T) 66
9 (T) University of California-Irvine 13 58
9 (T) University of California-San Diego 9 58
11 University of California-Davis 10 51
12 (T) Harvard University 11 42
12 (T) Princeton University 12 42
14 Bucknell University 16 (T) 34
15 George Washington University 15 29
16 Loyola Marymount University 14 28
17 St. Francis College Brooklyn RV 14
18 San Jose State University 18 13
19 Brown University 20 11
20 California Baptist University 16 (T) 6
RV Pomona-Pitzer Colleges 19 5
RV Santa Clara University RV 3
RV United States Air Force Academy RV 2
RV United States Naval Academy RV 1

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