BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- The two-time defending conference champion will have home pool advantage on November 21-23 as the United States Naval Academy will serve as host of the 2008 Collegiate Water Polo Association Men's Eastern Championship in Annapolis, Maryland, with the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship on the line.
Navy, the 2006 and 2007 Eastern champion, will look to become the first team since the University of Massachusetts (1993-96) to capture three straight Eastern titles. In the history of the conference, the feat has been accomplished five times by Yale University (1972-74), Bucknell University (1977-80), Brown University (1983-85) and the United States Naval Academy (1986-88).
The Midshipmen, who have played in the title game 13 times in the 36-year history of the Eastern Championship with eight victories (1986-88, 1990, 2000, 2003, 2006-07), will have to play their way into the tournament field as the top four teams from the Southern Division and the Northern Division's top four squads will clash for the 37th Eastern crown.
However, the Midshipmen will face a bevy of opposition for a berth in the championship field as George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, Penn State University-Behrend College, Washington & Jefferson College, Gannon University, Bucknell University, Salem International University and Mercyhurst College will all look to capture one of the Southern Division's berths to the tournament.
In the Northern Division, Saint Francis College will look to capture a berth and have a chance at making the Terriers fourth title game appearance in five years. The Terriers will also face competition for the four Northern Division bids as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brown University, Iona College, Queens College, Harvard University, Fordham University and Connecticut College will battle for a ticket to the championship field.
Ticket, hotel and schedule information will be available on the Collegiate Water Polo Association website in the coming weeks.