Aug. 15, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA men's water polo team has been selected to finish in a tie for third place among nine teams in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) preseason coaches' poll, as announced by the conference on Monday.
UCLA and Stanford are tied for third in the preseason poll, with each team collecting 45 points.
USC and California have been picked to finish first, with the Trojans and Golden Bears each securing 60 points. USC, the defending NCAA Champions, netted five of nine first-place votes. California received the other four.
Rounding out the poll's final five teams, respectively, are Pacific, Pepperdine, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine.
UCLA went 19-6 in 2010, tying for second place with USC in the MPSF regular-season standings with a 6-2 conference mark. The Bruins finished fourth at the MPSF Tournament.
In 2011, the Bruins will return 15 letterwinners, including top scoring threats Josh Samuels, Griffin White, Cullen Hennessy and Cristiano Mirarchi. Other key returnees include Aimone Barabino, Brett Hays and Chris Wendt. UCLA's three goalkeepers - James Hartshorne, Matt Rapacz and Andrew Mesesan - split time in the cage last fall and return this season.
UCLA begins its season at home, hosting the UCLA Invitational at Spieker Aquatics Center, on Saturday, Sept. 3. That day's complete schedule, including opponents and times, has not been finalized.
2011 MPSF PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
|Rank||Team||Points (First-Place)||2010 Record||2010 MPSF Record (Finish)|
|1T||USC||60 (5)||28-2||6-2 (2nd-tie)|
|1T||California||60 (4)||24-4||8-0 (1st)|
|7||Long Beach State||22||7-15||0-8 (9th)|
|8||UC Santa Barbara||20||12-12||2-6 (7th)|
|9||UC Irvine||10||18-82||4-4 (5th-tie)|