LOS ANGELES - The UC San Diego men’s water polo team, ranked 11th nationally, has been picked to finish tied for second in the six-team Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) according to the 2013 WWPA Preseason Coaches’ Poll, announced Thursday.
No. 13 Loyola Marymount has been tabbed as the preseason favorite after receiving three first-place votes, finishing ahead of previous WWPA champions Air Force (2012) and UCSD (2011) by two points.
Defending champion No. 12 Air Force and UCSD finished tied for second, with the Falcons receiving two first-place votes and the Tritons grabbing the final first-place vote.
No. 17 UC Davis was predicted to finish fourth, No. 18 Santa Clara was voted fifth and newcomer Cal Baptist was picked sixth.
UCSD is coming off a year in which they went 16-8 overall and 12-2 in the WWPA. The Tritons earned the top seed in the conference tournament before falling 9-7 to Air Force in the championship. The Tritons fell one game short of reaching the NCAA Final Four after beating the Falcons three times during the regular season.
The Tritons will be led in 2013 by junior goalkeeper Cameron Ravanbach (La Jolla/ La Jolla HS), who returns after a stellar season in which he was named first team All-WWPA. Returners Joe Dietrich, Matt Michalko, David Higginson (San Diego/ The Bishop’s School) and Chase Cockerill will look to anchor the Tritons on offense.
UC Davis will host the 2013 WWPA Championships on Nov. 22-24. The winner earns the WWPA’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
UCSD is set to host the 2013 Triton Invitational this weekend, taking on Redlands at 8 a.m. and Cal at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday before facing Cal Lutheran at 8:30 a.m. and UCLA at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
2013 WWPA Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Loyola Marymount (3 first place votes)
2. Air Force (2)
2. UC San Diego (1)
4. UC Davis
5. Santa Clara
6. Cal Baptist