Defending Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) champion Pomona-Pitzer received seven first place votes and 79 of a possible 81 total points as the Sagehens were tabbed first in the 2017 SCIAC Men's Water Polo Preseason Coaches Poll following a vote by the league's men's water polo head coaches.
Redlands notched 64 points to finish second in the preseason poll voting, edging Whittier (63) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) (60) who each received a first place vote. Cal Lutheran was selected fifth with 43 points, followed by Chapman (40) and La Verne (31). Occidental and Caltech rounded out the poll with 20 and 10 points respectively.
Pomona-Pitzer logged an impressive 23-9 overall record in 2016, highlighted by an 11-0 mark in SCIAC action. The Sagehens went 3-0 in the conference tournament, outscoring their opponents, 40-23, capped by a 7-4 win over CMS in the SCIAC championship contest. Pomona-Pitzer earned an NCAA Championship First Round tilt against California where it fell, 16-6.
Whittier (19-13) and CMS (16-16) each tabbed an 8-3 record in SCIAC play in 2016, while Redlands finished with an overall ledger of 18-15, 7-4 in league action. The Sagehens will look to its three returning 2016 All-SCIAC athletes to replace SCIAC Athlete of the Year James Baker. La Verne's Rey Julian Castillo was tabbed SCIAC Newcomer of the Year as he led the Leopards in goals (80) including 43 in SCIAC play. He also led the team with 39 drawn ejections while tallying 44 steals and 17 assists.
2017 SCIAC Men's Water Polo Preseason Poll
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Pomona-Pitzer (7) - 79 points
2. Redlands – 64 points
3. Whittier (1) - 63 points
4. CMS (1) - 60 points
5. Cal Lutheran – 43 points
6. Chapman – 40 points
7. La Verne – 31 points
8. Occidental - 20 points
9. Caltech – 10 points