The Pomona-Pitzer women's water polo team was selected to finish first in the 2019 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Preseason Poll as voted on by member head coaches.
Pomona-Pitzer received eight first place votes and one second place vote for 80 of a possible 81 points. The Sagehens have won two straight SCIAC Postseason Tournament titles and finished last season with a 22-11 overall record highlighted by a 14-0 mark in conference play. Pomona-Pitzer won eight straight contests to close out the regular season and clinch the top seed in the league tournament. The Sagehens then downed Whittier, 15-3 in the semifinals, before besting California Lutheran, 8-2 in the title game to earn the SCIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship.
Cal Lutheran received one first place vote and seven second place votes to highlight 72 points en route to be voted second in the 2019 preseason poll. The Regals were the second seed in last year's SCIAC Postseason Tournament and finished the season 21-9 overall, 12-2 in conference play. Cal Lutheran advanced to the tournament final after topping Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS), 6-5 in a hard-fought semifinal matchup.
The Athenas, which finished the 2018 campaign 18-10 overall, 11-3 in SCIAC action and secured the third seed in the conference tournament. CMS was voted to finish third in the 2019 preseason poll with 60 points - just four points ahead of fourth place Whittier which received 56 points. The Poets captured the fourth seed in last year's SCIAC postseason following a 7-7 league slate. Whittier finished the 2018 season 9-17 overall.
After finishing the year with 6-8 records in 2018 Chapman (10-17 overall) finished fifth, while Redlands posted an 8-21 overall ledger and were sixth. The 2019 preseason poll sees the Bulldogs voted into fifth with 42 points, while the Panthers received 41 points.
The seventh, eighth and ninth slots went to La Verne, Occidental and Caltech as the Leopards, Tigers and Beavers finished in those respective slots a year ago.
Pomona-Pitzer enters the season receiving votes in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Varsity Top 25 Preseason Poll, and first in the CWPA Division III Top 10 Preseason Poll. Cal Lutheran is slotted second, while CMS and Whittier are tied for third. Chapman was voted fifth, while Redlands was sixth. La Verne and Occidental were voted seventh and ninth to round out SCIAC teams in the top 10. The 2019 season starts Saturday, January 26.
2019 SCIAC Preseason Poll
1. Pomona-Pitzer (8) - 80 points
2. Cal Lutheran (1) - 72 points
3. CMS - 60 points
4. Whittier - 56 points
5. Redlands - 42 points
6. Chapman - 41 points
7. La Verne - 27 points
8. Occidental - 17 points
9. Caltech - 10 points