OAKLAND, Calif. — The No. 15 University of California San Diego women’s water polo team has been picked to finish first in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Coaches’ Poll, the conference announced on Thursday.
It is the sixth-consecutive year and seventh time in the last eight seasons UC San Diego has earned the top spot in the poll.
The Tritons received 49 total points and seven of eight first-place votes, with second-place Cal State East Bay receiving 42 total points and one first-place vote. Sonoma State is third (37), Fresno Pacific took fourth (27) and Cal State Monterey Bay was picked fifth (21).
Mercyhurst is sixth (21), while Gannon (11) and McKendree (11) are tied at seventh to round out the poll. It is the first season in the WWPA for both Fresno Pacific and McKendree.
UC San Diego, the five-time reigning WWPA champion, is currently 3-5 this season and is coming off a 19-15 campaign in 2017.
The Tritons return 15 players from last season’s roster including sophomore utility Jessee Ransone, sophomore goalkeeper Reilly Gallagher and junior attack Krista Schneider, who all earned All-WWPA honors last season.
UC San Diego head coach Brad Kreutzkamp enters his ninth season at the helm of the program. A four-time ACWPC Coach of the Year, Kreutzkamp has led the Tritons to five WWPA championships and five NCAA Championship appearances in seven years.
The Tritons play host to Cal State East Bay on Friday, Feb. 9, beginning at 4 p.m., and host the Triton Invitational this weekend starting on Saturday, Feb. 10.
2018 WWPA Women’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. UC San Diego, 49 (7 first-place votes)
2. Cal State East Bay, 42 (1)
3. Sonoma State, 37
4. Fresno Pacific, 27
5. Cal State Monterey Bay, 26
6. Mercyhurst, 21
T-7. Gannon, 11
T-7. McKendree, 11