Jan. 17, 2013
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LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Colorado State women’s water polo team begins its 2013 campaign this weekend, and on Wednesday, the Rams were tabbed at No. 4 in the eight-team WWPA Preseason Coaches poll.
It ties the highest preseason selection in program history. The Rams were also picked to finish fourth last season.
“We went into the WWPA Championships last year seeded No. 8, so to have us at No. 4, I’m a little bit surprised,” associate head coach Mike Moody said. “I know the talent that we have, and what we’re capable of doing, but for others to see that as well, that feels good.”
A year ago, a week after being picked to finish fourth in the WWPA, CSU earned a top-20 ranking in the CWPA Varsity Top 20 poll for the first time. However, injuries and one of the most challenging schedules in the nation led to the No. 8 seed heading into the WWPA Championships. CSU won two games at the conference tournament to finish sixth out of nine teams.
Moody, however, believes that this year’s veteran leadership and offseason workouts will lead to a more successful season in the pool in 2013.
“We’ve been building this program the last few years, but now it’s time to take that next step,” Moody said. “It’s great to be picked in the upper half of the standings, but all that matters is getting it done in the pool, and I think from what I’ve seen this fall, we’re capable of doing that.”
Finishing ahead of CSU in the preseason poll is Loyola Marymount (49 points), UC San Diego (43) and Santa Clara (36). Loyola Marymount and UC San Diego are currently ranked.
The bottom half of the poll includes Cal State East Bay (24), Sonoma State (20), Cal State Monterey Bay (15) and Cal State San Bernardino (7).
Loyola Marymount, which won the title in 2012 and has claimed nine of the league’s 12 all-time championships, earned seven of the eight first-place votes. UC San Diego was the other first-place vote getter—receiving one top pick. The Tritons won the title in 2011 and were last season’s runner-up.
CSU spent five nights this past week at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, practicing several times per day and on Monday scrimmaging against No. 16 Cal State Northridge. The Rams’ regular season begins Saturday in the Michigan Kick-Off, as CSU will face four ranked teams in two days.
2013 Varsity Top 20 preseason poll released
Also released on Wednesday was the CWPA Varsity Top 20 preseason poll. Of CSU’s 24 scheduled games, 11 are against teams currently ranked. Included on that list are all four opponents the Rams will face this weekend at the Michigan Kick-Off, plus a tilt with preseason No. 1 Stanford, on March 24. More tough competition could still be on the horizon as CSU’s tournament at Santa Clara (April 6-7) has yet to announce its field, plus the WWPA Championships (April 26-28), which will include No. 8 Loyola Marymount, No. 20 UC San Diego and others.