LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego men's water polo team was picked to finish the 2012 Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) season in second place after earning 114 points in the league's annual preseason coaches poll, it was announced Monday.
The Tritons, the league's defending champion, earned five first-place votes, finishing just behind top-ranked Loyola Marymount, which garnered 116 points and seven first-place votes. UC Davis, which UCSD played in last year's title game, earned 100 points to place third while Air Force earned 91 points to earn fourth.
Shaping up the next four spots in the the poll were Santa Clara (84 points) at No. 5, Pomona-Pitzer (69) at No. 6, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (58) at No. 7 and Redlands (56) at No. 8. Rounding out the poll was Whitter (36), Chapman (34), La Verne (20) and Occidental (14).
UCSD returns seniors Brian Donohoe and first-team All-WWPA selection John Butler. Donohoe, who was a second-team All-WWPA selection and a Capital One Academic All-American, has more career goals (84) than any player on UCSD's returning roster and figures to again be one of the Tritons' primary offensive threats. Butler is UCSD's No. 2 returning goal scorer after tallying 33 last fall while earning a team-high 43 assists as well as 26 steals.
The senior class also includes Chris Barton, Lance Curtiss and goalie Nick Michels.
UC San Diego will go to the UC Irvine Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 1 and scrimmage Stanford, UC Irvine and Long Beach State. The regular season opener is at UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 8.
2012 WWPA Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Loyola Marymount - 116 points (7 first place votes)
2. UC San Diego - 114 (5)
3. UC Davis - 100
4. Air Force - 91
5. Santa Clara - 84
6. Pomona-Pitzer - 69
7. Claremont - 58
8. Redlands - 56
9. Whittier - 36
10. Chapman - 34
11. La Verne - 20
12. Occidental - 14
-- UCSDtritons.com --