Aug. 29, 2012
BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA men's water polo team has been ranked No. 2 in the national preseason poll, as announced by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Wednesday.
UCLA totaled 94 points in the preseason poll, trailing USC (100). California (91) came in at No. 3 while Stanford (85) will open the season ranked No. 4, followed by UC Santa Barbara (78) at No. 5.
Rounding out the preseason poll's top 10 teams includes UC Irvine, Pacific, Pepperdine, Long Beach State and Loyola Marymount, respectively.
UCLA finished the 2011 season ranked No. 2, nationally, after winning the MPSF Tournament and falling to USC in the national championship game. The Bruins posted a 24-5 overall record and finished in third in the MPSF with a 6-2 conference mark.
This fall, UCLA will return 17 letterwinners, including its top three scoring threats from a year ago in Josh Samuels (49 goals), Griffin White (45 goals) and Paul Reynolds (37 goals). Other key returners for the Bruins include Matt Rapacz (25 starts in the cage and 180 saves), Bret Lathrope (19 goals), Daniel Lenhart (18 goals), Aimone Barabino (15 goals) and David Culpan (13 goals).
UCLA opens its schedule at home, hosting the UCLA Invitational, on Sept. 1-2. The Bruins will play three regular-season games and three exhibition games this weekend. UCLA opens with Pomona-Pitzer at 8 a.m. at Spieker Aquatics Center.