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Whittier Tabbed as Women’s Water Polo Preseason Favorite

Whittier Tabbed as Women’s Water Polo Preseason Favorite

The Whittier College women’s water polo team was the top pick to win the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) championship, according to the 2017 preseason coaches’ poll released Thursday morning.

The Poets received six out of nine first-place votes for a total of 77 points. Whittier finished 26-8 (11-0 SCIAC), en route to winning the 2016 SCIAC championship. “It is an honor to be recognized as the preseason favorite,” said Whittier head coach Justin Pudwill. “The SCIAC is competitive each year, so we know there is a lot of work ahead of us this season.” 

Pomona-Pitzer was second with a total of 71 points including three first-place votes, followed by La Verne in third at 67 points while Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (52) and Chapman (44) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Cal Lutheran was sixth with 34 points, with Redlands in seventh at 33 points while Occidental (18) and Caltech (9) rounded out the poll.

Pomona-Pitzer kicked the season off competing at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational on January 21. The nine-team conference championship will be played April 21-23 hosted by La Verne to determine the conference automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.

Whittier returns three 2016 All-SCIAC recipients in seniors Isabella Gorrocino, Zyania Morales and Jenel Rivera. Morales and Rivera tied for 7th in 2016 for SCIAC goals with 23 each. Pomona-Pitzer also returns a trio of All-SCIAC performers in first-teamers Jocelyn Castro and Asha Earwood and second-teamer Christina Williamson.  Earwood tallied 188 saves last season while Castro returns as the Sagehens’ top scorer with a team high 37 goals.  La Verne will look to 2016 Newcomer of the Year Guarina Garcia to challenge the Poets for the conference title.  Garcia’s 56 goals earned her a second-place spot for total goals and her 19 goals in conference was good for the fourth spot in the conference. 

 

School

Points (first-place votes)

1. Whittier

77 (6)

2. Pomona-Pitzer

71 (3)

3. La Verne

67

4. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

52

5. Chapman

44

6. Cal Lutheran

34

7. Redlands

33

8. Occidental

18

9. Caltech

9