USC Starts at No. 1 in 2014 National Poll
Jan. 16, 2014
The top women's water polo team in the nation remains unchanged from the final rankings of 2013 as USC tops the Women's National Top 20 to highlight the 2014 Women's Varsity Top 20, Division III Top 10, CWPA Top 10 and CWPA Division III Top Five Preseason Polls released today by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA).
USC, which knocked off Stanford 10-9 in triple sudden death overtime for the 2013 NCAA Championship at Harvard, remains the top-ranked team in the country as the Women of Troy top the 2014 Women's Varsity National Top 20 Preseason Poll.
Also the top pick in the MPSF preseason poll, USC returns 2013 MPSF Player of the Year and All-American Monica Vavic, who poured in 77 goals last year with an MPSF-High 2.75 per game, along with senior All-Americans Flora Bolonyai at goalkeeper (5.09 goals-against average), Kaleigh Gilchrist, Madeline Rosenthal and Kelly Mendoza. Stanford has turned in four consecutive unbeaten conference seasons, a 27-0 record since the MPSF opener in 2010. USC beat Stanford in the longest NCAA women's water polo championship game ever played last season, winning 10-9 in triple sudden-death to claim the Trojans' fourth national championship. USC head coach Jovan Vavic is entering his 20th season at the helm of the Trojan women's water polo program.
Behind USC (99 points), Stanford (96 points) and UCLA (89 points) hold onto their final rankings from 2013 at No. 2 and 3, respectively, while California (81 points) and Arizona State (81 points) will start the 2014 season in a tie at No. 4.
UC Irvine (76 points) and Hawai'i (70 points) exchange their final spots from 2013 to stand at No. 6 and 7, while Princeton (59 points) and San Jose State (59 points) rise to tie at No. 8.
San Diego State (56 points) completes the Top 10, while Long Beach State (55 points), UC San Diego (38 points), the Michigan (36 points), Cal State Northridge (32 points) and Indiana (28 points) rate at No. 11-to-15.
Loyola Marymount (26 points), UC Santa Barbara (21 points), UC Davis (17 points), Hartwick (15 points) and Pacific (11 points) complete the Top 20 with Iona (9 points) receiving votes.
The top teams in each ranking remain unchanged from the final balloting of 2013 as USC (National Top 20), Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (Division III Top 10), Princeton University (CWPA Top 10) and Connecticut College (CWPA Division III Top Five) will begin 2014 in the same position the quartet concluded 2013 - at No. 1.
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), Big West Conference, Golden Coast Conference, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the polls are compiled and released on Wednesday during the season through the week following the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship.