Jan. 10, 2012
TEMPE -- The Arizona State University women’s water polo team is looking to start the season strong after earning its highest preseason ranking in school history on Tuesday, coming in at No. 5 in the first Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Coaches Poll of the year.
The Sun Devils look to improve from last year where they ended the 2011 season ranked eighth nationally after a seventh-place finish at the MPSF Championships. Tuesday’s preseason poll places them behind Pac-12 rivals Stanford, California, USC and UCLA in the MPSF conference*.
In addition to the MPSF ranking, which is almost as good as the national rankings due to the incredibly competitive nature of the conference, the Sun Devils are showing strength in the NCAA preseason rankings as they will enter the season ranked No. 7 in the country as ranked by the Collegiate Water Polo Association Varsity Top 20 poll released last week.
All eight members of the MPSF conference are ranked in the top 10 in the CWPA poll, and take up the first five spots in the rankings on top of that.
This year’s seniors, which include top returning goal-scorer Bella Morrison, will lead the Sun Devils into their highly anticipated season.
Arizona State water polo opens the 2012 season on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the UC Santa Barbara Tournament in Santa Barbara, Calif., as they will open the year against unranked Santa Clara in the opener before facing a tough early-season test in #6 UC-Irvine. ASU will also compete against CSU Bakersfield and Concordia in the competition.
*The Pac-12 Conference does not include water polo as a sport, though Pac-12 schools compete in the MPSF essentially a ‘conference’.