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BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — The University of California is the favorite to repeat as National Champion as the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) releases the 2017 Men’s Varsity National Top 20, Division III Top 10, Northeast Water Polo Conference (NEWPC) Top Five and Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Top Five Preseason Polls for the 2017 season.

Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, which captured the 2016 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) title, will commence the new season at No. 1 in the Division III Poll, while Bucknell University and Harvard University retains their previous No. 1 ranks after winning the MAWPC and NWPC crowns last season.

Voted on by a panel of coaches from the MAWPC, NEWPC, Golden Coast Conference, Western Water Polo Association (WWPA), Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), SCIAC and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the polls will be compiled and released on Wednesday during each week of the season through the week following the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship.

2017 Men’s Varsity National Top 20 (Preseason)

The University of California will open the season on top of the sport as the squad holds the No. 1 position in the 2017 Preseason National Men’s Varsity Top 20 Poll.

The Golden Bears, who claimed the 2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship, falls one point shy of rating as a unanimous preseason No. 1 selection as California picks up 99 points.  The University of Southern California (96 points) remains at No. 2 after finishing as the runner-up at the NCAA Championship, while Stanford University (88 points) rises two spots from its final 2016 position to claim the No. 3 berth in the Top 20.

The University of California-Los Angeles (87 points) and University of the Pacific (79 points) come in No. 4 and 5, respectively, while the University of California-Santa Barbara (73 points), Pepperdine University (70 points), Long Beach State University (69 points) and the University of California-Davis (53 points) follow at No. 6-to-9.  Harvard University (47 points) breaks up a potential All-California Top 10 as the Crimson come in at the final spot.

Princeton University (46 points), the University of California-San Diego (41 points), the University of California-Irvine (39 points), Bucknell University (37 points) and Brown University (32 points) stand at No. 11-to-15, with California Baptist University (43 points), Loyola Marymount University (21 points) and George Washington University (18 points) holding down the No. 16-to-18 slots.

Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (12 points) and St. Francis College Brooklyn (12 points) round out the Top 20 as the duo is tied for the final spot.

2017 Men’s Varsity Top 20 (Preseason)

Rank Team 2016 Final Poll Points
1  University of California 1 99
2  University of Southern California 2 96
3  Stanford University 5 88
4  University of California-Los Angeles 3 87
5  University of the Pacific 4 79
6  University of California-Santa Barbara 6 73
7  Pepperdine University 7 70
8  Long Beach State University 8 69
9  University of California-Davis 10 53
10  Harvard University 9 47
11  Princeton University 13 46
12  University of California-San Diego 14 41
13  University of California-Irvine 19 39
14  Bucknell University 11 37
15  Brown University 12 32
16  California Baptist University 15 (T) 22
17  Loyola Marymount University 17 21
18  George Washington University 15 (T) 18
19 (T0  Pomona-Pitzer Colleges 18 12
19 (T)  St. Francis College Brooklyn 20 12
RV  United States Air Force Academy RV 8
RV  Santa Clara University RV 4
RV  San Jose State University NR 4

2017 Men’s Varsity Division III Top 10 (Preseason)

The Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges will open the 2017 season at No. 1 in the Preseason Men’s Varsity Division III Top 10 Poll.

Unlike the National Top 20 which experienced moderate changes from the final 2016 rankings, the Division III Top 10 is dramatically rattled from the concluding positions of a year ago.

Johns Hopkins University (92 points) and Whittier College (92 points), which stood at No. 5 and 4 in the final voting of the 2016 campaign, will begin the 2017 season in a tie for the runner-up position, while the University of Redlands (81 points) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (79 points) come in at No. 4 and 5.

Chapman University (76 points) and California Lutheran University (72 points) stand at No. 6 and 7 with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (66 points), Occidental College (58 points) and the University of La Verne (49 points) taking the No. 8-to-10 spots.

2017 Men’s Varsity Division III Top 10 (Preseason)

Rank Team 2016 Final Poll Points
1  Pomona-Pitzer Colleges 1 99
2 (T)  Whittier College 5 92
2 (T)  Johns Hopkins University 4 92
4  University of Redlands 2 81
5  Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges 3 79
6  Chapman University 7 76
7  California Lutheran University 8 72
8  Massachusetts Institute of Technology 6 66
9  Occidental College 10 58
10  University of La Verne 9 49
RV  Washington & Jefferson College NR 11

2017 Men’s Varsity Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Top 5 (Preseason)

Bucknell University will begin the second season of Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) play as the No. 1 selection in the league’s Top Five Poll.

The 2016 MAWPC Champion Bison, which began the league’s inaugural season in 2016 at No. 2 in the preseason balloting, is a unanimous selection this year with 100 points.  George Washington University (92 points), which finished as the MAWPC runner-up, retains its final spot from last season at No. 2.

Johns Hopkins University (88 points) improves its position from the concluding 2016 poll by moving up to No. 3.  Fordham University (85 points) and Wagner College (85 points), which rated at No. 3 and 5, are now tied at No. 4 entering the new season of play.

The MAWPC features 14 teams as Bucknell, George Washington, Wagner, Johns Hopkins, Fordham and the United States Naval Academy comprise the Eastern Region, with Gannon University, Mercyhurst University, Monmouth College, Salem International University, Washington & Jefferson College, Connecticut College, La Salle University and first-year varsity program McKendree University competing in the Western Region.

2017 Men’s Varsity Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Top 5 (Preseason)

Rank Team 2016 Final Poll Points
1  Bucknell University 1 100
2  George Washington University 2 92
3  Johns Hopkins University 4 88
4 (T)  Fordham University 3 85
4 (T)  Wagner College 5 85


2017 Men’s Varsity Northeast Water Polo Conference Top 5 (Preseason)

Inaugural/2016 Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) Champion Harvard University, which tied for Third Place at last year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship, will aim to defend its crown as the Crimson are No. 1 in the NWPC Preseason Top Five Poll.

Comprised of Brown University, Harvard, Iona College, Princeton University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Saint Francis College Brooklyn, the NWPC teams will start the march to the 2017 NCAA Championship with rankings that echo the results of 2016.

Princeton (94 points), which placed third at last year’s league championship tournament, moves up one position to No. 2.  Brown (89 points), St. Francis Brooklyn (87 points) and Iona (48 points) complete the Top Five after rating at No. 2, 4 and 5, respectively, in the final poll from November.

2017 Men’s Varsity Northeast Water Polo Conference Top 5 (Preseason)

Rank Team 2016 Final Poll Points
1  Harvard University 1 98
2  Princeton University 3 94
3  Brown University 2 89
4  St. Francis College Brooklyn 4 87
5  Iona College 5 48
RV  Massachusetts Institute of Technology NR 34
Collegiate Water Polo Association