BRIDGEPORT, Pa. – Heading into the 2013 season, the Air Force water polo team is ranked 12th in the Men’s Varsity Preseason National Top 20, released today by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA).
Voted on by a panel of coaches from the CWPA, Western Water Polo Association (WWPA), Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the poll is compiled and released on Wednesday during each week of the season through the week following the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship.
Five-time defending champion USC was a unanimous choice at the top of this year’s preseason poll, while 2011 runner-up UCLA is second in the poll with 91 points. Rounding out the top five spots are Stanford (88 points), Cal (87 points) and Pacific (84 points).
Air Force, which finished the 2012 season with a 19-13 overall record and tied for 11th in the final national rankings after competing in its first NCAA Championship since 1994, received 46 points in the balloting. Four other teams from the Western Water Polo Association join the Falcons in the preseason top 20. UC San Diego is ranked 11th, followed by Loyola Marymount (13th), UC Davis (17th) and Santa Clara (tied for 18th). Meanwhile, Pomona-Pitzer and league newcomer Cal Baptist also received votes in the preseason poll.
The Falcons will host their annual Blue/Silver Scrimmage this Saturday, Aug. 31 at noon in the Cadet Natatorium. Meanwhile, Air Force officially opens the 2013 campaign Sept. 7-8 at the Triton Invitational, hosted by UC San Diego. There, the Falcons will take on top-ranked USC and sixth-ranked Long Beach State, along with WWPA foes UC Davis and Redlands.