The Pomona-Pitzer men's water polo team was voted as the unanimous favorite atop the 2018 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Preseason Poll as voted on by member head coaches.
Pomona-Pitzer received all nine first place votes and 81 total points in the 2018 preseason vote recently conducted by the league's head coaches. The Sagehens logged an impressive 24-11 overall record last season and a 13-1 mark in conference play en route to securing the SCIAC Postseason Tournament title. Pomona-Pitzer won seven straight matches, including a 13-10 victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) in the SCIAC semifinals, and a 9-7 win over Whittier in the championship contest to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. From there, the Sagehens fell to the University of the Pacific in the opening round of the national playoffs.
Whittier, which finished second in the conference standings a year ago, narrowly edged CMS in the 2018 preseason voting, 65-64. The Poets were 17-12 (12-2 SCIAC) during last year's campaign and advanced to the SCIAC Tournament final before falling to Pomona-Pitzer. CMS, which finished fourth last season wiht a 14-15 overall record, and a 9-5 ledger in SCIAC play, is slotted to finish third this season.
Last year's third place finisher Chapman received 49 points in the 2018 preseason voting after logging a 14-14 overall record, highlighted by a 10-4 SCIAC slate. Redlands, California Lutheran, and La Verne finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively in the standings a year ago, and were tabbed in the same spots ahead of this season. The Bulldogs finished 13-16 (8-6 SCIAC) and received 44 points, the Kingsmen posted a 12-14 mark (6-8 SCIAC) and notched 40 points, and the Leopards registered 35 points after posting a 6-17 overall record, 3-11 in SCIAC play in 2017. Occidental edged Caltech, 14-13 for the eighth and ninth spots in the 2018 preseason poll.
Entering the 2018 season, eight of the nine SCIAC teams are ranked in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Division III Top 10 Preseason Poll with Pomona-Pitzer leading the way at number one. Chapman is ranked third, Whittier fourth, CMS fifth, Redlands sixth, Cal Lutheran eighth, La Verne ninth, Occidental 10th and Caltech is receiving votes in the rankings. The season is set to begin Saturday, September 1.
2018 SCIAC Preseason Poll
1. Pomona-Pitzer (9) - 81 points
2. Whittier - 65 points
3. CMS - 64 points
4. Chapman - 49 points
5. Redlands - 44 points
6. Cal Lutheran - 40 points
7. La Verne - 35 points
8. Occidental - 14 points
9. Caltech - 13 points