OAKLAND —The University of California San Diego men’s water polo team was picked to finish second in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Preseason Coaches Poll, the conference announced on Thursday.
The Tritons received 42 total points and one first-place vote to finish behind only UC Davis (49/7) in the poll. California Baptist and Loyola Marymount finished in a tie for third place with 34 points apiece, while Air Force placed fifth (22), Santa Clara sixth (20), Concordia Irvine seventh (16) and Fresno Pacific eighth (7).
UC San Diego finished second in the conference standings last season en route to an appearance in the WWPA Tournament championship game. The Tritons had a 6-1 record in the WWPA and an 11-14 overall mark.
In the process, redshirt junior goalkeeper Sam Thompson, sophomore utility Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt and junior utility Skyler Munatones each earned All-WWPA honors. Thompson was named first team, Turnbow-Lindenstadt made second team and also garnered WWPA Freshman of the Year and All-Freshman Team accolades, while Munatones received Honorable Mention.
UC Davis has won the past two WWPA Tournament championships after the Tritons won three-straight conference titles from 2013-15.
UC San Diego is ranked No. 12 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Preseason Top-20 Poll, and begins its season this weekend when it hosts the 2018 Triton Invitational beginning on Saturday, Sept. 1.
2018 WWPA MEN'S PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. UC Davis, 49 points (7 first-place votes)
2. UC San Diego, 42 (1)
T-3. Cal Baptist, 34
T-3. Loyola Marymount, 34
5. Air Force, 22
6. Santa Clara, 20
7. Concordia, 16
8. Fresno Pacific, 7