Jan. 12, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA women's water polo team has been selected to finish fourth out of eight teams in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) preseason coaches' poll, as announced by the conference on Wednesday. Additionally, the Bruins will open the 2011 season ranked No. 4 in the national preseason poll.
The defending MPSF Tournament champion Bruins received 34 total points in the MPSF's preseason coaches' poll. Stanford, USC and Hawai'i have been tabbed first, second and third, respectively. Stanford, the runner-up to USC at last season's NCAA Tournament, secured 47 total points and six of eight first-place votes. USC corralled 43 votes and one first-place vote, and Hawaii gained 35 points and one first-place vote.
California, San Jose State, Arizona State and San Diego State round out the conference's remaining four spots, respectively, in the preseason coaches' poll.
Stanford will open the season as the preseason No. 1-ranked team, followed by No. 2 USC, No. 3 California, No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 Hawai'i. The remaining top 10 teams in the national poll include, in order, Loyola Marymount, San Jose State, Michigan, Arizona State and San Diego State.
In 2011, the Bruins return 19 letterwinners, including eight seniors and six juniors. Leading the way for UCLA this spring will be Grace Reynolds (43 goals) and Priscilla Orozco (40 goals), the Bruins' top two scorers in 2010. Other key veteran returners include Kelly Easterday, Sarah Orozco, KK Clark, Megan Burmeister and Caitlin Dement.
UCLA opens its season at the University of Michigan the weekend of Jan. 22-23, playing in the Michigan Invitational. The Bruins face Colorado State (5 a.m. PT/8 a.m. ET) and Hartwick (11:30 a.m. PT/2:30 p.m. ET) on Saturday, Jan. 22.
UCLA will take on Michigan on the nationally-televised Big Ten Network on Sunday, Jan. 23 (8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET). The Bruins will close their tournament Sunday against Cal State Northridge (12:50 p.m. PT/3:50 p.m. ET).
2011 MPSF PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
|Rank||Team||Points (First-Place)||2010 Record||2010 MPSF Record (Finish)|
|1||Stanford||47 (6)||26-3||7-0 (1st)|
|2||USC||43 (1)||25-3||6-1 (2nd/NCAA Champions)|
|3||Hawai'i||35 (1)||18-8||4-3 (t-3rd)|
|4||UCLA||34||22-8||4-3 (t-3rd/MPSF Tournament Champions)|
|6||San Jose State||14||17-14||2-5 (6th)|
|7||Arizona State||13||16-15||0-7 (8th)|
|8||San Diego State||12||21-15||1-6 (7th)|